Tuesday, January 4, 2011

DC, Will You Take It Lying Down?

Shout out to DC Vote

"No, I'm not an American.  I'm one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism.  One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy."  Malcolm X, The Ballot or the Bullet

The Republican Party plans start of this new session of Congress by reminding DC residents that they are second class citizens. The Washington Post reports that:

Vincent Gray made his first public trip to Capitol Hill as mayor Tuesday, joining Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) at a pep rally to protest the new House GOP majority's plan to strip the District of the one voting right it has in Congress.

On Wednesday, the House will vote on a Republican-authored rules package that will take away the ability of delegates and resident commissioners to vote in the Committee of the Whole, a term that describes when the full House becomes a committee for the purpose of considering legislation. That right -- which Democrats have granted when they have controlled the House -- allowed Norton and her fellow delegates to vote on amendments to tax and spending bills, though the privilege could be seen as symbolic since a delegate's vote was not permitted to be the deciding one....

Speaking to reporters later, Gray compared District residents' fight to the American Revolution and said D.C. must be willing to escalate the battle. Asked whether he would be willing to get arrested for the cause of voting rights, Gray said, "I'm willing to do whatever it takes."

Norton, for her part, warned that Wednesday's vote could just be the opening salvo by Republicans in what could become "a full-scale war on home rule for the District of Columbia."

"When they strip you of the only vote you have ever had on the House floor, will you take it lying down?" Norton asked the crowd. "No!" they shouted back.

Many Republicans advocate sending brave, young American men and women to kill and die in foreign wars supposedly to promote so-called democracy abroad. Hypocritically, those same Republicans have no problem stripping DC, the nation's capitol and a predominantly African American jurisdiction, of the right to vote. Tea Party activists constantly whine about high taxes. Yet, they have nothing to say about taxation without representation in the District of Columbia. Obviously, as far the Republicans and the Tea Party are concerned, political advantage is far more important than democracy.

In order for the District to secure full voting rights, the people must engage in all forms of nonviolent resistance, including massive, sustained acts of civil disobedience.  Business as usual must be interrupted in order for Congress to get the message.  All concerned citizens should support D.C. Vote.

1 comment:

  1. Update:

    Norton fails in effort to prevent loss of Committee of the Whole vote
    By Ben Pershing
    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) failed Wednesday in an effort to forestall the new Republican majority's plan to strip her and her fellow delegates of the right to vote on the floor in certain circumstances.

    Under Democratic control, Norton has been permitted to vote when the House is in the Committee of the Whole -- a parliamentary term that describes when the chamber becomes a committee for the purpose of considering certain legislation. That right has allowed her to vote on amendments to tax and spending legislation, but her vote has only counted when it is not the deciding one on any given issue.

    The House GOP's opening-day rules package strips delegates of that right, and Norton attempted to block that move by offering a motion that would have sent the package to a five-member select committee that would study whether it is constitutional for delegates to have the vote. Republicans have contended that allowing delegates to vote, even in the Committee of the Whole, is unconstitutional, while Norton and other Democrats point out that a federal appeals court has previously ruled that it is constitutional.