Republican presidential candidate John Kasich is often plain spoken, even about his own party’s flaws.
In a meeting with the Washington Post’s editorial board, Kasich gave a brutally honest reason for his party’s opposition to D.C. statehood:
What it really gets down to, if you want to be honest, is because they know that’s just more votes in the Democratic Party.
Looking at any red/blue county map, you can instantly see what Kasich is talking about. Most of the urban areas in and around Washington D.C. tend to vote solidly Democratic in most elections.
Washington D.C. — just the federal zone (not the surrounding metropolitan area) — would become the 49th most populated state — ahead of Vermont and Wyoming, but still well within the range of only getting allocated 1 House member and the standard 2 senators.
The ‘all-powerful’ ability to form or deny cloture in the Senate, would give the Democratic Party an instant overnight advantage.
This kind of political jockeying is far from abnormal in our country’s history.
Even the Missouri Compromise of 1820 was designed to maintain the status quo — Missouri admitted as a slave state, Maine admitted as a free state. This balance would remain until the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 upset the balance, and was seen as one of the primary political causes of the Civil War.
In recent history, however, admitting states has been more along economic instead of political lines; D.C. would definitely not be an economic burden to the U.S., having one of the strongest economies of cities in the country.
So, more than likely Kasich is probably right when he suggests that denial of D.C. statehood is purely political in nature.
But the reality then becomes, why are we allowing political games to be played with the lives of over 670,000 American citizens? Especially when they pay in over $20 billion in federal taxes, the highest per capita federal tax in the nation, and still don’t have representation in Congress.