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The Washington Times’ always irascible Emily Miller offers a compelling argument in her latest column for why D.C. shouldn’t attain statehood: Its leaders and citizens can’t pick up their trash.

In her column, Miller scolds the tens of thousands of people who attended the March on Washington on Saturday for leaving the National Mall littered with soda cans, water bottles, and discarded protest signs. In particular she notes abandoned D.C. statehood signs she spotted on the grass, and takes a more pointed dig at supporters of D.C. statehood, who apparently drizzled signs around the Mall after their statehood rally to show how much they really don’t care about the city whose independence they’re fighting for.

“[Vince Gray] is hoping that Congress gives him budget authority this year,” Miller writes, “but people who think it is OK to leave their signs on the ground for someone else to clean up can’t handle more political autonomy.” Miller made no mention of the historic 130 tons of trash that were left on the Mall after President Barack Obama‘s 2009 inauguration, which was largely attributed to the removal of many of the Mall’s trash cans during the highly-attended event for security purposes.

If cleanliness is the baseline qualifier for voting rights, does Miller believe that New Jersey, with its 100-plus Superfund sites, ought to be stripped of its representation in Congress? Or is she just trolling for new frontiers of the old canard that D.C. and its government aren’t worthy of statehood?

I contacted the National Park Service, but no word yet on whether the agency thinks Saturday’s trashy aftermath “dishonored [Martin Luther King Jr.’s] memory.”

Photo by Will Sommer