'How embarrassing': Journalist highlights right-wingers' 'painfully stupid' arguments against DC statehood

'How embarrassing': Journalist highlights right-wingers' 'painfully stupid' arguments against DC statehood

Some Democrats are arguing that the District of Columbia is long overdue for statehood, and various Republicans have responded by voicing their opposition. Journalist Mark Joseph Stern, in a Twitter thread posted this week, examines some of the reasons that Republicans have given for opposing D.C. state — reminding readers how absurd some of them are.

Stern tweets some video of the right-wing Heritage Foundation's Zack Smith saying that the District of Columbia shouldn't have statehood because Washington, D.C residents can influence "the national debate" with yard signs.

One state, Smith testified before members of Congress, should not have "undue influence over the federal government." The conservative activist said, "There's no question that D.C. residents already impact the national debate. For the members here today, how many of you saw D.C. statehood yard signs or bumper stickers or banners on your way to this hearing today? I certainly did. Where else in the nation could such simple actions reach so many members of Congress?"

In his thread, Stern also posted video of Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia saying that D.C. shouldn't have statehood because it doesn't have its own landfill.

Hice testified, "D.C. would be the only state without an airport, without a car dealership, without a capitol city, without a landfill…. We could go on and on and on."

Stern, in response to Hice's comments, notes that Washington, D.C. does, in fact, have a car dealership."

The journalist tweets, "One of the reasons Republicans dress up their arguments against D.C. statehood in legalese is because otherwise, they sound racist, partisan, or painfully stupid." And he posted a link to a Slate article that was published on September 19, 2019 and slams Republicans' "bad faith" arguments against D.C. statehood.

Stern, in that article, wrote, "It is not the Constitution that stands in the way of D.C. statehood. It is a political party that would rather deny equal suffrage to 700,000 Americans than cede any modicum of power."

Here are some responses to Stern's Twitter thread:

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card


Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.