DC Statehood Makes No Sense
In a post Robert Prather dubs “A good primer on why I oppose DC statehood,” Matt Yglesias expresses his surprise that Democrats, who would demonstrably benefit from adding two more of their own to the Senate and another to the House, aren’t more wildly enthusiastic.
But the striking thing is not how strong Republican opposition to this idea is, it’s how tepid Democratic support for it is. You don’t hear Democratic leaders articulating this as a goal. And when the House of Representatives put it to a vote in 1993 it lost 277 to 153.
Perhaps this is because, in addition to being members of the Democratic Party, they’re in town to represent the interests of, say, North Dakota or the Alabama 2nd? It’s hardly in the interest of their constitutents to dilute their vote.
Beyond that, let me reiterate a point I made the last time this meme was circulating:
In no meaningful way is DC a state-like entity. It’s a city. And not even a huge city! Ranked by population, it’s the 27th largest city in the United States. It’s smaller than Denver, Nashville, Seattle, Boston, Milwaukee, El Paso, Baltimore, Charlotte, Memphis, Fort Worth, Austin, Columbus OH, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Detroit, San Jose, Dallas, San Diego, San Antonio, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City.
Indeed, it’s half the size of its chief NFL rival, Dallas. It’s roughly a third the size of Phoenix and a quarter the size of Houston. Chicago has five times the population. New York? Fifteen times bigger. And that’s just counting the actual residents, not the metropolitan areas, which would skew the disparities much further. But DC’s metro areas are firmly ensconced in Virginia and Maryland, so they’re not part of the discussion.
There’s no reason whatever to make DC a state except that its residents lack direct representation in Congress. And there are plenty of ways to remedy that injustice that I discussed previously.