Democratic “squad” member Rashida Tlaib says she wants to hang an altered U.S. flag with 51 stars outside her congressional office.
Tlaid told D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser at a hearing Thursday she wants to display the 51-star flag to demonstrate support for making the District of Columbia a state.
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Tlaib’s exchange with Bowser came up because D.C. statehood activists last week displayed American flags with a 51st star.
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It didn’t make her a lot of fans.
Officially, the point for statehood backers is that there are nearly 700,000 residents of the district who lack representation in the Senate, and have a “delegate” with limited voting privileges in the House, rather than a full representative.
Unofficially, the point for statehood backers is that those 700,000 D.C. residents are overwhelmingly Democrats, so giving D.C. statehood would automatically increase the Democratic Party’s presence in the Senate by two.
Before the midterm elections expanded their lead, Republicans had a one-vote majority in the Senate, so those two extra Democratic votes could have made a world of difference in the first two years of the Trump presidency.
But modern political bean-counting aside, the statehood backers tend to forget — or ignore — the fact that the Founders of this country specifically wanted the federal government to not be in any one of the states.
Among the powers the Constitution details for Congress in Article I, Section 8 is “To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States.”
Liberals love to criticize the Constitution’s limits by saying things like the “Founders could never have imagined …” whatever the problem of the moment is — whether it’s semiautomatic rifles, intercontinental ballistic missiles or the internet. They want to regulate anything that wasn’t already in existence in the summer of 1787.
But no one has to wonder what the Founders meant when it came to the capital of the United States. They wrote it down in black and white, and a state was not what they had in mind, because it would end up destroying the genius design in the consciously limited government they were creating.
It’s a pretty good bet Rashida Tlaib knows that. Muriel Browser probably knows that part of the Constitution by heart — even if she hates it.
What they’re hoping, though, is that most Americans don’t know it, and getting the ones who do know it to ignore it — even if that means faking the American flag in the process.
It’s Democratic denial in action.