On the night of the State of the Union address, reporters are herded into Statuary Hall to await the pearls of wisdom Congressional members have to offer. If they aren't too busy catching up on email on iPhones and Blackberries, bored journalists might take a look at the statues that line the circular walls. Every state in the union gets two. California's statues honor Fr. Serra and Ronald Reagan.
The District of Columbia doesn't have a statue. It's not a state, its representative in Congress doesn't get to vote. License plates and street signs in the District remind anyone who cares that it's subject to. "taxation without representation."
A bill to grant the District its own pair of statues came up in committee yesterday. And it was a California Congressman who threw water on the plan. Republican Congressman Dan Lungren thinks one statue is more than enough, thank you very much. He said it would "circumvent the Constitution" to give DC equal status. He even suggested handing the District over to neighboring Maryland.
A lot of this stems from the larger question of a vote for DC. Given the demographics of the District, it would likely be a Democratic seat.
Lungren's ammendment was defeated. The statue bill moves on. And DC doesn't have to choose between its statues of Frederick Douglas. And Pierre L'Enfant.
Perhaps Congress should consider ceding Lungren's Folsom district to nearby Nevada.