There has been a slow disintegration of political norms in America. Filibusters, for example, are now commonplace. So are holds on executive appointments. Motherhood bills are politicized. Frex, House Appropriations Committee Chairman Harold Rogers (R-Kentucky) is holding up a bill to fight the Zika virus for some partisan reason. Zika!
Which makes me wonder. The next time Democrats have full control of Congress, it would be very easy to pass a D.C. statehood bill. That would give the Democrats two additional safe seats in the Senate and one in the House. Moreover, it would force the Republicans to support an additional constitutional amendment, lest the inhabitants of the rump District of Columbia receive three automatic electoral votes under the 23rd Amendment.
Giving D.C. statehood vaguely feels like gerrymandering. In fact, that is what some prominent political scientists told me in a car in Chicago. But they also told me that they think suburban representatives like their influence over the District more than they like being in the majority, and that does not make sense.
So it would seem that the only reason for the next fully Democratic congress to refrain from making a District statehood bill job one would be a sense of propriety. And why would anyone care about that anymore?
Yet, somehow, my gut is that the Democrats won’t do this obvious thing the next time they have untrammeled power.
Why do I think that? I need some clarification to explain why my gut disagrees so strongly with my brain.