Kasich gives painfully honest answer in opposition to DC statehood

There aren’t any good reasons to oppose DC statehood, but there are a ton of bad reasons. However, of all of the bad reasons to oppose DC statehood, only one of them is honest. Perhaps not coincidentally, it is the answer that DC statehood opponents give least often.

But in an interview with the Washington Post’s editorial board, published yesterday, John Kasich gave that answer: DC statehood is bad because DC is full of Democrats.

Here’s the relevant portion of the transcript:

[JO-ANN] ARMARO:  You voted against statehood for D.C. when you were in Congress.

KASICH:  Yes.

ARMAO:  Is that still your position, and do you have–

KASICH:  Yes, I would it say probably is.

ARMAO:  What about voting rights in Congress, voting representatives?

KASICH:  Probably not. I don’t know. I’d have to, I mean, to me, that’s just, I just don’t see that we really need that, okay?  I don’t know. I don’t think so.

ARMAO:  But you realize though that people in D.C. pay taxes, go to war and they have no vote in Congress.

KASICH:  Yeah.

John Kasich, via Michael Vadon / Flickr

John Kasich, via Michael Vadon / Flickr

ARMAO:  How is that–

KASICH:  Well look, I am not – I don’t – I am not, because you know what, what it really gets down to if you want to be honest is because they know that’s just more votes in the Democratic Party. That’s what–

ARMAO:  So if there were Republicans in the District, you would have a different position?

KASICH:  Yeah, okay, well look, they send me a bill, I’m president of the United States, I’ll read your editorials.

As long as likely additions to the Union are populated by citizens who are likely to vote Democratic — DC and Puerto Rico being the two readily-available examples — Republicans are going to oppose adding new states. That is, unless Democrats offer a compromise in which the additions come with the introduction of new red states (splitting Texas into two smaller states, perhaps?) so that the balance of power in the Senate and Electoral College doesn’t change.

In case you’re wondering, yes. This would resemble the Missouri Compromise, in which Missouri’s addition to the Union as a slave state was paired with Maine’s addition as a free state. In case you were wondering a bit further, yes. Political polarization is currently at its highest point since the mid-1800s. There have been times when either or both major political parties were comfortable admitting new states regardless as to their electoral consequences. This is not one of those times.

So while it’s fair to say that “Republicans might lose” is a bad reason to keep DC in a holding pattern where they are taxed without being represented — or allowed to govern themselves, for that matter — at least it’s honest. So kudos, I guess, to Kasich for not bothering to come up with a more elaborate and less honest case?


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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35 Responses to “Kasich gives painfully honest answer in opposition to DC statehood”

  1. ocschwar says:

    The WSJ just advocated bailing out Puerto Rico to slow emigration from the island, because Puerto Ricans lean left and are moving to battleground states.

    Strange bedfellows..

  2. BeaverTales says:

    Just like Ottawa is part of Ontario, why can’t DC become part of Maryland again?

  3. Moderator3 says:

    Racist comments are unwanted here.

  4. JAM says:

    Seriously, prick…. You are why I hate you and dumbfuck outfits like “Raw Story” who goddamn kneejerk all sorts of retarded and pointless “left wing” garbage. Lefty folks like me are fucking done with you navel-gazing, cursable left-wing idiot dumbfucks like you. ENJOY DONALD TRUMP, shithead.

  5. JAM says:

    Really? Care to explain why then? Cuz I’m a frickin ally of your cause and you’re shooting your dumb ass in the foot, frankly. But go ahead, unthinking and unreasonable fool……

  6. Moderator3 says:

    Should you wonder why you have been banned, this comment is the reason.

  7. JAM says:

    Because black votes shouldn’t count.

  8. Beverlyshills4 says:

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  9. Houndentenor says:

    I must not have made my point very well.

    The US would obviously relocate all military bases and reassign all contracting if Texas were to secede leaving those areas financially devastated. My experience here is that the people who talk biggest about how much they hate Washington and the federal government work for that government or for a company that is almost entirely funded by government contracts. They’d be ruined. And of course other states would be thrilled to have that money and those contracts. If any state wants to leave, let them go.

  10. Jim Olson says:

    Give everyone a year’s notice to move out if they want to stay in the United States. Otherwise, let the secessionists go, and suffer the consequences of their choice. No reason the US can’t relocate military bases and NASA.

  11. Demosthenes says:

    Gerald Ford is to the left of Hillary Clinton.

  12. Houndentenor says:

    People in Texas love to mouth off about secession. If they look at reality (which such people never do) there are entire regions that will collapse without federal spending. The very large Clear Lake area south of Houston is all about NASA and NASA contractors. That would all disappear if Texas left. And San Antonio is all about the military bases there. If that disappears the 10th largest city in the US would become the new Detroit. There’s a lot more. And what happens to the Social Security of all the seniors living there. (I would argue that they just don’t get it any more and that would be the problem of the new Texas government.) Lots of problems and many questions. But they can go circle jerk about it in a “conference” (there’s one coming up) to their hearts’ content. I can tell you that it’s not going to happen.

  13. Houndentenor says:

    Exactly. If Virginia could seize Alexandria (during the Civil War and then never gave it back) then we could put DC into Maryland for the purposes of Congressional Representation.

  14. Houndentenor says:

    For a Republican these days, yes. Which shows you just how far right the party has shifted. Imagine where Gerald Ford would fit into today’s GOP.

  15. Houndentenor says:

    They do have electoral votes without representation.

    Meanwhile most laws are carefully worded so that DC is treated as a state in the implementation of various programs. The US government treats DC as a state except when it comes to representation in Congress.

  16. Houndentenor says:

    They should either get statehood (with at least one member of Congress and two Senators) OR no longer have to pay income taxes. One or the other. Or a compromise might be to put them into Maryland for purposes of Congressional representation. But the current situation is ridiculous and entirely political.

  17. Berylwreyes3 says:

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  18. Olterigo says:

    The Constitution does not provide for the borders of the federal district. Moreover, there is the precedent of returning the Alexandria County portion to Virginia, in which only the Congress, the Virginia legislature, and the residents of the county voted. The last ones in a referendum. I don’t see why the same can’t be repeated for the residential areas of DC.

  19. DoverBill says:

    Hows about all the “Gee wizes and golly goshes… can’t we all just be friends” bullshit?

  20. Jeremy Einbinder says:

    Technically, I think we’d have to change the constitution to make DC a state, at least that’s the most permanent measure, but your point stands.

  21. Al Thomas says:

    Kasich prepares a word soup to go with Palin’s word salads.

    Probably not. I don’t know. I’d have to, I mean, to me, that’s just, I
    just don’t see that we really need that, okay? I don’t know. I don’t
    think so.
    Well look, I am not – I don’t – I am not, because you know
    what, what it really gets down to if you want to be honest is because
    they know that’s just more votes in the Democratic Party. That’s what–

  22. ComradeRutherford says:

    Well, Drumpf did make it Great to tell the truth about the actual GOP agenda, so… Thank goodness that such evil is exposed.

  23. ComradeRutherford says:

    Indeed! We have seen for decades hoe Conservatives gleefully use Big Government to dictate how the Not White, Democratic-voting residents of DC are to live their lives.

  24. ComradeRutherford says:

    Party power is more important to Conservatives than the Constitution.

  25. toto says:

    Since March 29, 1961, and the 23rd Amendment, DC has had 3 electoral votes.

  26. marknc says:

    Yes, he is in fact the moderate. But being to the left of Genghis Khan is still WAAAAAY far right.

  27. BeccaM says:

    Can’t. The Constitution would have to be amended because it specifically sets aside the District as its own separate territory. It could become a state, however.

  28. BeccaM says:

    That’s part of it. The other part is the members of Congress love the extra power they get by being able to rule unaccountably over a heavily minority population. Much of the language from their statements, particularly Republicans from the mid-west, south, and middle-west states (such as Utah) betray an incredible degree of patronizing and treating DC residents like they’re children.

    If you were wondering whether this is heavily rooted in racism? It is.

  29. Skye Winspur says:

    I think the most honest answer would have to be “those colored people aren’t ready for representation.” Or “The thought of Eleanor Holmes Norton voting on Paul Ryan’s budgets is disgusting.”

  30. Demosthenes says:

    And he’s the “moderate”?

  31. Gindy51 says:

    Wow, he really said that? I am shocked and it shows this dope cannot think on his feet. Not presidential at all..

  32. NotTelevised says:

    Seconded

  33. BearEyes says:

    Democrats already compromise too much.

  34. confusion says:

    Let D C vote to join Maryland ..

  35. BillFromPA says:

    How about just letting Texas secede?

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