The Trump Era Will Be A Disaster For D.C. Residents

Not for Wor-shing-tun, but the people who live here. For those who don’t know, the District of Columbia has no Senate representation at all and one non-voting House delegate. To boot, Congress can override any legislation passed by the D.C. Council. Typically, Republicans have used this for grandstanding with their constituents back home–with D.C. residents paying the price. One vile example is the refusal to fund needle exchanges. Hundreds of D.C. residents between 1998 and 2007 contracted AIDS simply because clean needles were unavailable.

Well, as Colbert King notes, it’s about to get worse (boldface mine):

Most D.C. citizens view the city as belonging to them. Not so, wrote Trump and his party in the first plank: “The nation’s capital city is a special responsibility of the federal government because it belongs both to its residents and to all Americans, millions of whom visit it every year.”

…It signals, for example, that the day of the White House deferring to the judgment of elected D.C. democratic leaders soon will be over.

Case in point: President Obama, like President Clinton, granted D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) courtesy to recommend candidates for federal district court judges and other important federal law enforcement offices in the District, such as the U.S. attorney.

The likelihood of deference being shown to D.C. Democrats by Trump and Congress on matters considered to be a responsibility of the federal government (i.e., future appointment of federal judges and federal offices) is slim to none. In the spirit of the platform, Republicans, not city leaders, will have the ultimate voices on District affairs, because they have the votes.

The second plank in the platform, which touts the expansion of the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program or school vouchers, is more than a statement of political objective. Noting that Obama and D.C. Democratic Party leaders oppose Opportunity Scholarships, the platform extols the program as a vehicle through which “thousands of low-income children have been able to attend a school of their choice and receive a quality education.” Going forward, federally funded school choice will be a permanent part of the D.C. education landscape, notwithstanding the mayor and council.

The third plank pounds nails into the D.C. budget autonomy coffin. The GOP platform accuses Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) and the council of illegally trying to seize from Congress its appropriating power over all funding for the District….

The platform’s fourth D.C. plank comes out blazing in defense of the Second Amendment. Charging District officials with engaging in a campaign of massive resistance to the Supreme Court’s rulings on gun rights, the plank states that “the Republican Congress should be prepared, upon the inauguration of a Republican president, to enact legislation allowing law-abiding Washingtonians to own and carry firearms.” Count on it: During the era of Trump and a GOP Congress, the District will become an “open carry” state.

Finally, the platform addresses statehood, or to put it bluntly, buries statehood. It can’t be done except by a constitutional amendment, the plank states. “A statehood amendment was soundly rejected by the states when last proposed in 1976 and should not be revived.” Period.

You have to wonder how long Congress will support open-carry if thousands of protesters–who let’s say are demographically representative of the city’s populations–were to show up for a protest with guns. In general, this crap will set the city back for years–open carry will most likely lead to additional murders.

And there’s nothing to stop Congress if they decide to use D.C. as a ‘showcase’ for the privatization of public services.

If D.C. decides to be a sanctuary city, Republicans could cripple the state government, something most other cities don’t have to confront (and any attempts to raise taxes to make up the shortfall…also have to be approved by Congress). Likewise, many of D.C.’s progressive policies such as free, full day Pre-Kindergarten education to three and four year olds could be axed without any recourse. Progressive reproductive health policies will be dead.

This could be an anti-Trump flashpoint: only four percent of D.C. residents voted for Trump. Not four percent of the black residents (roughly half of the city), but four percent of all residents.

Regardless, this is going to be bad.

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