Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood
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Sen. Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperAmerica is in desperate need of infrastructure investment: Senate highway bill a step in the right direction FARA should apply to Confucius Institutes The 23 Republicans who opposed Trump-backed budget deal 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 ReidHarry Reid: 'Decriminalizing border crossings is not something that should be at the top of the list' 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care Reid says he wishes Franken would run for Senate again 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 NortonHouse Democrat offers bill to let students with pot conviction retain federal aid Majority of Americans opposes DC statehood: poll DC statehood hearing rescheduled to make room for Mueller testimony 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 McCaskillEx-CIA chief worries campaigns falling short on cybersecurity Ocasio-Cortez blasts NYT editor for suggesting Tlaib, Omar aren't representative of Midwest Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand MORE (Mo.), Jon TesterJonathan (Jon) TesterNative American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment House Democrats targeting six more Trump districts for 2020 Budget deal sparks scramble to prevent shutdown MORE (Mont.), Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPence to push new NAFTA deal in visit to Iowa Al Franken says he 'absolutely' regrets resigning Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand 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 SchultzParkland father: Twitter did not suspend users who harassed me using name of daughter's killer Hillicon Valley: Senate Intel releases election security report | GOP blocks votes on election security bills | Gabbard sues Google over alleged censorship | Barr meets state AGs on tech antitrust concerns House committee leader questions Trump on efforts to secure elections 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.