In part, I agree with Michael Schaffer’s views on Congress’s interventions with the D.C. Council (“Foiled Again!” 11/6).
On my first reading of the article, I found myself totally in agreement with Mr. Schaffer’s point of view, in part because it was written in such a conspiratorial and jesting style. After mulling the issue over, however, I realized that I’m torn over the idea of Congress’ intervening in Washington’s affairs.
On one hand, Congress has no real right to be interfering in the local lawmaking of the District (or any American territory or state). With every decision Congress makes for D.C., Washington gets farther and farther away from independency and (dare I say it!) statehood.
On the other hand, over the last several years something was needed to offset the incompetent and corrupt decision-making processes of our local elected officials. Whether or not the something should have been Congress is a tough question.
What is not in question is that Congress’ intervention is not accepted now, with our city hopefully getting back on track after the new election. Schaffer makes this point by jokingly revealing the District’s scheme to turn Washington into a “Gomorrah.” After all, it’s not as if we’re handing out instructions on how to rob tourists or grabbing decision-making power of other states. Schaffer is taking these examples to the extreme to point out that, for good or bad, the District should be left on its own.
A year ago, I’d have said he would have been wrong. Today, though, Michael Schaffer’s cries against “the best damn bunch of elected officials in the whole wide world” ring a little too true.