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Last week’s news that congressional intervention has gutted D.C.’s needle-exchange programs and essentially killed the city’s initiative on medical marijuana has a lot of my fellow Washingtonians furious. We’ve argued ourselves hoarse to prove that the measures would do things like help prevent HIV and ease the misery of the terminally ill. Beyond that, we’ve claimed that democracy is on our side. After all, Congress is dictating to our poor city how we can or can’t spend our own money, and now they’ve jumped into regulating how we can or can’t use our votes. Even the Washington Post has waxed irate.
It’s time to come clean, guys. Those gumshoes on Capitol Hill were on to us all along. The jig is up: They’ve found our master plan.
The plan, the real Plan, spelled out all our schemes, starting with Initiative 59. Oh, sure, no one would ever be against a referendum to ease the pain of folks dying from cancer. But those rascally representatives somehow figured out how we planned to broaden the initiative’s reach to people afflicted with “bad vibes,” “creepy parents,” and “nothing to do”to say nothing of our plot to staff a new chain of socialized head shops with kids from the mayor’s summer jobs program.
They outfoxed us on needle exchange as well. Oh, man, that Rep. Todd Tiahrt must be the Sherlock Holmes of Kansas! One of our 520,000 co-conspirators obviously screwed up and leaked the plan to bundle all those clean needles with instructions on how to mug Midwestern tourists. And I suppose the cover’s been blown on our scheme to re-rename the John A. Wilson Building the William S. Burroughs Building. Curses!
Next time around, we need to mimic the tactics of the enemy. Like that wily North Carolina Rep. Charles Taylor, we won’t unveil our plans until we’re ready to pounce. If we had guarded our secrets more carefully, we could have saved our “voting representation” initiative that would have given us our own vote on this Hill full of geniuses. As it happened, though, the braniacs in Congress saw right through our crack legal team’s devious agenda: By the time we had gotten through with those patsies on the Supreme Court, we figured, the D.C. Council would have had constitutional authority to make spending decisions for North Carolina, Kansas, and Virginia. So much for banking on the windfall that House Ways and Means Chair Hilda Mason was going to raise via that new 99 percent capital gains tax in Fairfax County and the D.C. excise tax on North Carolina tobacco. And to think how close we were.
We might as well bag the airport hoax, too. You know, the one where we pretended to be so mad about its being renamed for Ronald Reagan. We were mere days away from our goal of naming it after Walter Mondale! The Reagan lovers obviously knew this, just as they knew that we were planning to dump that Dulles tagwho the hell was he, anyway?in favor of Jane Fonda Airport. It seems the secret scheme to nix BWI in favor of Kim Il Sung Field is dead now, too.
And in the interests of damage control, we’d better just admit that those complaints about Sen. John McCain trying to add a bunch of long-distance departures to National’s daily schedule weren’t really about the airport’s neighbors. The ban on takeoffs to all destinations except Havana is nothing more than a dream now that the most intuitive legislature in history is onto us. We might as well forget about the decades-old plot to ban cars, nationalize gas stations, and institute free public rickshaws pulled by those arrested for ideological deviationism.
It seems as if every time we Washingtonians are on the verge of upending God, country, family, and decency, some ingenious, far-sighted member of Congress goes and ruins everything. Well, I give up. There’ll be no more messing with the best damn bunch of elected officials in the whole wide world. With seers like these up on the Hill, we’ll never get away with anything. CP