Just a little blog about me and mine.

Blog Worthy February 13, 2009

Filed under: family,politics — Katie @ 8:48 pm

Is this blog worthy?  I think so, so please indulge me.  Over dinner tonight, my dad finally confessed that he voted for Barack Obama.  My dad.  The man who voted for the George Bushes, all of them, every time.  And Ronald Reagan.  And Gerald Ford, even though Jimmy Carter was his governor.  My parents had their wedding rehearsal dinner at the Pickrick, Lester Maddox’s restaurant in Atlanta—look him up, I promise you’ll be amused by racist tales of yet another fine Georgia politician.

My dad and I don’t agree on foreign policy or national security at all–although now that Iraq and Afghanistan have turned into major boondoggles, he’s coming around to where I’ve been since 2001.  That pretty much makes me look like not so much a crazy liberal idealistic child anymore doesn’t it?  My mom said I would be proud of something my dad did.  I looked across the table and said, “You voted for Barack Obama didn’t you?”  He sort of grinned and nodded his head.  I am proud.  It’s a big deal, and also hard work on my part, even if he made up his own mind.  I started to work on my parents as an unpaid Obama campaign staffer way before the primaries even took place.  We shared a disdain of Hillary Clinton (I’m sorry, it’s true), and shared a respect for John McCain–a respect that died once the campaign really started to take shape.  It’s quite controversial and shameful to PL when I say that in 2004, maybe even in 2007, I would have voted for John McCain over Hillary Clinton.  In mid-October, when my parents and I saw each other for the last time before the election, I talked about Sarah Palin with them.  A lot. Man, that Sarah Palin, how about that VP pick? She, along with John McCain’s old and infirm appearance probably pushed him over the edge.  In an ICU waiting room, I said, “You know Daddy, John McCain could die in office and Sarah Palin would be our President.”  Death is real and scary in an ICU waiting room, and Sarah Palin as President was also real and scary.

As my grandmother had heart surgery and reached the end of her life, she told me a racist joke about Barack Obama.  Emily Post never taught me how to properly respond to an offensively racist joke told by your dying grandmother in the ICU.  Since she died about 2 weeks before the election and didn’t get her chance to vote against Barack Obama, I thought that my dad– a truly fine and dutiful son–might have voted for McCain since his mother didn’t get a chance.  But he didn’t.  He probably won’t ever tell me exactly what helped him make up his mind, but I’m proud of him.


Day 9: Senate Panel O.K.’s Bill to Give Washington a Voting Representative February 12, 2009

Filed under: in the news,politics — Katie @ 11:22 pm

At first glance today’s article might seem fairly inconsequential-a bill passed through a Senate committee and will now move on to the full Senate. But, it’s actually huge news. The District of Columbia currently does not have a voting member in the House of Representatives, just a non-voting representative in the House who can sit on committees and speak on the floor (nothing at all in the Senate).  There are quite a few good reasons why DC and its tax-paying, voting citizens should have representation in Congress :

  • Consent of the governed-every one, even people who leave the U.S. can vote for people to represent them in Congress, except for people living in DC
  • Tax reasons-DC citizens have to pay the same amount of federal taxes as residents of other states.  Territories like Guam and Puerto Rico also have non-voting delegates in Congress, but their citizens aren’t subject to all U.S. taxes.  DC residents paid $20.4 billion in taxes, higher than 19 other states.
  • Constitutional law–well this argument would probably appear that it’s unconstitutional for Congress to give voting rights to DC since it’s not a state.  Oops.  Nevermind.
  • Population–DC has more people than Wyoming.  But people in Wyoming mostly vote for Republicans, while people in DC mostly vote for Democrats, so you do the math.

There’s also quite a few interesting solutions to address the situation:

  • make DC a state
  • grant DC representation through legislation (the current strategy)
  • amend the Constitution to allow DC to have Congressional representation without statehood
  • reunite DC with Maryland thereby making DC residents part of a state with representation.  DC was originally created from ceded parts of Virginia and Maryland.  Virginia got their part back in 1846, so that’s why DC is sort of a square but not really.  (Full disclosure:  I lived in DC for 9 months and in Maryland for 2 years, 2 months and can confirm that it’s not at all surprising that Virginia took back their part, they’re jerks.  But people in DC don’t want to be Maryland residents either because like Virginia, there’s this whole other part of the state that’s not near DC and they aren’t very cool.  For example, Rich Steele (aka the new RNC chair) was our Lieutenant Governor when I was there.  Fun times.)

A similar bill, to permanently expand the House of Representatives, passed the House in 2007 but died in the Senate. And yes, Mitch McConnell was totally unhelpful in this effort to do something useful-shocking I know.  It seems like there is support for the Bill this year, not least of all because President Obama was the co-sponsor in 2007 and still supports it.  But one question remains, if the bill ultimately passes, what license plate could top this?