The Washington Post

Putting statehood at risk

- Douglas Lowenstein, Washington

Regarding Perry Bacon Jr.’s March 6 op-ed, “Biden puts reelection over principles with D.C. decision”:

I have supported home rule since moving to D.C. in 1974. I proudly wear my “51” hat. But after a 2020 election when perception­s of being soft on crime hurt many Democratic candidates, the D.C. Council’s tone-deaf response was to enact a law that forces its allies to make a choice between supporting home rule or increasing their own electoral vulnerabil­ity. Not surprising­ly, they are opting for their own survival.

So, rather than attacking President Biden and Congress for likely blocking the D.C. criminal code reform, the D.C. Council should own this fiasco. It might well happen again with the bill allowing illegal immigrants and other noncitizen­s to vote in local elections. Could the council have come up with any other bill that is more likely to provoke GOP reaction?

The members of the D.C. Council were elected to deal with crime, housing and education, but as long as they go off the rails with an agenda that panders to the most extreme wing of the Democratic Party and ignores congressio­nal realities and the will of the voters, they should expect more challenges to home rule.

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