Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood
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Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperInstead of raising the gas tax, stop wasting money on frivolous projects To stave off a recession, let's pass a transportation infrastructure bill Overnight Energy: Trump tweets he's revoking California's tailpipe waiver | Move comes as Trump visits state | California prepares for court fight | Climate activist Greta Thunberg urges lawmakers to listen to scientists MORE (D-Del.) is at it again. He recently introduced a bill that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state. But before you stand up and cheer Carper, it is necessary to look at his past record on this important but vastly overlooked issue.

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Carper became chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in 2013, when Democrats were still in the majority. One would reasonably think that Carper would have wanted to move his own bill, which went to the committee he chaired. But that was not the case. Far from it!

Carper did not move to have a hearing on the D.C. statehood bill soon after introducing it. In fact, he waited 18 months before he scheduled a hearing. That hearing was in late September 2014, right before Congress broke for the midterm elections.

The hearing was a farce. Not one other Democrat bothered to attend. When I asked Carper if he had asked any of the Democratic members of the committee to attend and lend their support, he refused to answer the question. There were five members of the committee who were co-sponsors of the bill.

In addition, the Senate majority leader at the time, Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidTrump thanks Reid for warning Democrats not to underestimate him Reid warns Democrats not to underestimate Trump Harry Reid predicts Trump, unlike Clinton, won't become more popular because of impeachment MORE (D-Nev.), was a co-sponsor and told me that if the bill came out of committee, he "would make it happen." "[M]ake it happen" means that for the very first time, the D.C. statehood bill would get a vote on the U.S. Senate floor.

Carper was not interested in any real action and passage of his bill. The entire exercise was disingenuous.

Obviously Carper, now in the minority, just wants a little bit of play on this issue, but cannot be taken seriously. With "friends" like this, who needs enemies?

Washington's representative, Del. Eleanor Holmes NortonEleanor Holmes NortonThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by National Association of Manufacturers - Trump defends Ukraine motives while attacking Biden DC statehood push faces long odds despite record support Democrat accuses GOP of opposing DC statehood because of 'race and partisanship' MORE (D) has an equally poor record. Last year, she refused to talk to the four uncommitted Democratic senators on the committee. If she had deigned to talk to them and had gotten three of the four to vote for the bill, the bill would have gone to the Senate floor.

When I asked Norton when she would talk to the uncommitted senators — Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillIranian attacks expose vulnerability of campaign email accounts Ex-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest MORE (Mo.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterRed-state Democrats worry impeachment may spin out of control Overnight Energy: Lawmakers show irritation over withheld Interior documents | Republican offers bipartisan carbon tax bill | Scientists booted from EPA panel form new group Senate Democrats hesitant to go all-in on impeachment probe MORE (Mont.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampThe Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Trump wins 60 percent approval in rural areas of key states Pence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa MORE (N.D.) and (now former Sen.) Mark PryorMark Lunsford PryorMedicaid rollback looms for GOP senators in 2020 Cotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm MORE (Ark.) — she told me, "You talk to them."

Norton's moniker of "Warrior on the Hill" is an enormous misnomer. She is not a fighter, but a passive perpetuator of the status quo. Washington needs someone who honestly and sincerely wants to act on behalf of the 650,000 Washington citizens who desire first-class American citizenship.

The new mayor, Muriel Bowser (D), is no better than Carper or Norton. During the mayoral campaign, I asked her if she planned to talk and lobby the four uncommitted senators. She looked at me and said, "I'll think about it." She did not act during her campaign and has done absolutely nothing on D.C. statehood since assuming office in January. Repeated attempts to ask about her meetings with Senate Democrats have been met with a wall of silence.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman SchultzDeborah (Debbie) Wasserman SchultzDeLauro enters race to succeed Lowey as Appropriations chief Democrats walk tightrope in fight over Trump wall funds Parkland father: Twitter did not suspend users who harassed me using name of daughter's killer MORE (Fla.) is the chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). One would think that she would be a champion for D.C., since no other jurisdiction has as many Democrats: Seventy-six percent of all registered voters in D.C. are Democrats. No other state approaches that number. When asked why she had not bothered to mention D.C.'s lack of voting rights or one word about D.C. statehood, she replied, "It's not a national issue."

The leader of the DNC obviously has no intention of making it a "national issue." This is the same person who went along with Norton in purging the D.C. statehood issue from the 2012 party platform.

One final person is the president of the United States. Barack Obama has gone out of his way to disrespect the citizens of Washington. There have been very modest rhetorical levels of support on the D.C. statehood issue, but only when asked. You must remember that when asked to have the "Taxation Without Representation" D.C. license plate put on his limo, he said to former Mayor Vincent Gray (D), "The Secret Service won't let me." (It was not until his second term that Obama added the "Taxation Without Representation" license plates.)

Carper, Norton, Bowser, Wasserman Schultz and Obama — don't count on them. The District of Columbia needs to find some real friends and advocates.

Plotkin is a political analyst, a contributor to the BBC on American politics and a columnist for The Georgetowner.