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House GOP Disenfranchises DC Voters First

(photo: Jason Ippolito on Flickr)

Proving where their priorities lie, the new House Republican leadership proposed and got approval from their membership for a new rule that strips DC’s 600,000 residents of their representation in certain circumstances (*when it won’t matter anyway*) on the floor of the House.

55% of these residents are African-American. More than eight percent of adults in DC are LGBT.

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.

In other words, stripping delegates, DC’s among them, of their “votes” is Job One for the party of Lincoln. But it won’t make any real difference. Under Democratic control, Holmes Norton’s House vote could never actually matter. Stripping DC of its symbolic representation was simply, and only, symbolic.

But by so doing, House leaders signal to their non-racist teabagger base that they will do anything they can to ensure that DC residents, majority African-American, are less well represented in Congress than they were yesterday. And that they will do it first of all!

It’s important to track the backwards steps this GOP House takes to satisfy its non-racist, non-sexist teabagger base. This disenfranchisement of African-American and LGBT DC residents is the first of many of these steps.

Welcome to the future, or welcome back to it, as the case may be!

CommunityMy FDL

House GOP Disenfranchises DC Voters First

Proving where their priorities lie, the new House Republican leadership proposed and got approval from their membership for a new rule that strips DC’s 600,000 residents of their representation in certain circumstances (*when it won’t matter anyway*) on the floor of the House.

55% of these residents are African-American. More than eight percent of adults in DC are LGBT.

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.

In other words, stripping delegates, DC’s among them, of their “votes” is Job One for the party of Lincoln. But it won’t make any real difference. Under Democratic control, Holmes Norton’s House vote could never actually matter. Stripping DC of its symbolic representation was simply, and only, symbolic.

But by so doing, House leaders signal to their non-racist teabagger base that they will do anything they can to ensure that DC residents, majority African-American, are less well represented in Congress than they were yesterday. And that they will do it first of all!

It’s important to track the backwards steps this GOP House takes to satisfy its non-racist, non-sexist teabagger base. This disenfranchisement of African-American and LGBT DC residents is the first of many of these steps.

Welcome to the future, or welcome back to it, as the case may be!

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