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January 11, 2018


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So in a weird sorta way, Trump will ultimately be responsible for the states of DC and PR because helped polarize the system so much that the Democrats will realize they have nothing to lose by admitting them along strict party lines?

Maybe Trump is a secret Democrat plant tasked with ensuring Democratic control for the next 30 years.....

I'm not fully convinced Democrats won't go right back to following the old unwritten norms of US politics once they get back in power. But they have been playing much harder hardball than I expected in the Trump era, so maybe it'll happen.

If norms are out the window why stop at PR and DC?
You could potentially still lose federal elections even with two additional blue states.
Bringing in Indian reservations as their own states would be useful tactic after DC and Puerto Rico to further control the Electoral College and Congress. If you had cooperation from a few blue states you could admit enough small enclave microstates into the Union to impeach and remove any elected Republican President and Vice President from office on a party-line vote.

I suspect, Dave, that you know the answer to this! I'm having some trouble understanding the point. Which is certainly because I'm tired, but would you mind explaining why you asked what seems to be an obvious question?

If norms are gone why restrain partisan power plays to the reasonable?

Trump would have still won the 2016 election with PR in the electoral college. If we're going to violate norms then we need to go far enough that they don't get a future chance to retaliate.

You’re assuming away all the other barriers to states other than Puerto Rico and D.C. Those barriers are immense.

I agree the barriers are immense but the partisan benefits seem (from my perspective) to be more long lasting and unequivocal with a larger power grab.

The partisan benefit of bringing in PR and DC is primarily 4 new Democratic Senators.

The House of Representatives is a marginal improvement (7 new Democratic Representatives for DC and PR but about half of those are probably reapportioned from existing Democratic districts). In terms of the Electoral College the effect is minute (about 4-6 more Democratic EVs on net after reapportionment).

DC status as a neutral and default place for federal employment might suffer if it was a state rather than a disenfranchised district. I could see Congresses (under both parties) shift more federal employment away from a State of Columbia.

There's the question of whether the people of Puerto Rico actually want statehood (the last couple of referendums are of questionable democratic validity). It's unclear if the tax implications (income, corporate, gas, bonds, etc) of statehood would be worth the federal benefits for the island.

I'm not sure the case for DC and PR statehood is unequivocal from a partisan point of view or from a local DC or PR perspective.

"Despite impressions, that was not true as of September 20, 2016."

Actually, it was very true. Check the presidential primary vote. And didn't you mean 2017?

Yes, I did mean 2017! Thank you.

Republicans regularly win gubernatorial, legislative and local elections on the island.


Hope everything is well with you.

Would love to read your thoughts on Puero Rico following the events there recently with Rosello getting in trouble politically (even with his own party apparently) and resigning but managing to push in his preferred successor now mired in controversy as he wasn't confirmed into the position as Sec of State by both the House and Senate in San Juan.....

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