Friday, March 06, 2009

Our view: Founders got it right with D.C.'s status

Our view: Founders got it right with D.C.'s status;

Reasonable Americans, transfixed by the crushing debt of the Obama administration's "New Era of Responsibility," have not had time to ask what else is new.

The short answer to that question is this: New Columbia.

You've not heard of New Columbia unless you a) know the U.S. Constitution and understand why the Founding Fathers did what they did at the beginning, or b) know the U.S. Constitution and are determined to violate it.

New Columbia would be the new name of Washington, D.C., if the District of Columbia were to become a state.

The name has been around for at least 35 years, and the reason the district is not a state goes back more than 200.

If the newly emboldened Democrat Party has its way, however, the old ways, the constitutional ways, will disappear.

The purpose and political status of Washington, D.C., are defined in Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution and reaffirmed in the 14th and 17th amendments.

The "District Clause" in Article 1, empowers Congress "to exercise exclusive legislation in all cases whatsoever" over a federal district on land ceded by other states for this purpose.

The district was established deliberately as the seat of government and intentionally as a federal district, not a state.

The 14th and 17th amendments affirm the special role on the states in that government, spelling out the apportionment of representatives and senators.

To try to undo that -- by legislative action or constitutional amendment -- would be to try to undo that which was intended: Establishing a federal government that is separate from the states and under the complete authority of Congress.

But details like that don't bother those who trumpet the "need for change" and blow off the implications for the nation.

This would include the Democrats who today control Congress and who, once again, are trying to grant Washington, D.C., the right to vote in Congress. They have the votes push the agenda and a president who says he will sign the legislation.

They've had to retreat for the moment, because of the opposition's legislative maneuvering, but that is only temporary. They won't pass up the chance to exploit the reality of the moment, which is this:

Reasonable Americans may be too distracted by the oppressive costs of the "New Era of Responsibility" to notice this renewed threat to their Constitution.

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