Don't believe for a second the excuse that a lack of time doomed the chances for legislation giving voting rights in the House of Representatives to the District of Columbia. Or that the decision was put off because of worries that a D.C. voting seat would not pass constitutional muster.
At this point, the only plausible explanation for the demise of the bill is that Republican leaders in Congress and the White House oppose democracy for anyone who happens to live in the nation's capital.
President Bush sat on his hands as House GOP leaders spurned a valiant effort by Rep. Thomas M. Davis III (R-Va.) to get a floor vote on the issue. Never mind four years of careful negotiation; never mind broad bipartisan support. Never mind, for that matter, that it is only fair to give all citizens, no matter their addresses, a say in their government.
"Shameful, sad and worse" is the way former Republican congressman Jack Kemp, a longtime advocate of D.C. voting rights, characterized the bill's death at the hands of his party.
... The beauty of the compromise crafted by Mr. Davis and Eleanor Holmes Norton, the city's Democratic nonvoting delegate to the House, was that party politics was taken out of the equation, as two new seats would have been added to Congress -- one for the mostly Democratic District and one for predominantly Republican Utah.
The people of the District will get another chance in January when Congress convenes under Democratic control.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Unknown | Friday, December 08, 2006 |