Today’s WaPo brings news that two senators are bitching about the impending move to allow bars and nightclubs to stay open till 5:00 am throughout the inauguration madness. This is our city, of course, and I don’t particularly care what a pair of senators from California (Feinstein) and Utah (Bennett) have to say about how we run the place.

Trouble is that in this case, they happen to be right.

This is a big giveaway to the very powerful Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, which came up with the idea in the first place. By extending the hours, of course, all kinds of businesses will pull in extra cash.

D.C.’s police union chief, Kristopher Baumann, has raised hell about the diversion of crime-fighting resources that the extended hours will cause. People out in the neighborhoods, Baumann has said, will be left with scant police protection because all the officers will be covering the nightlife areas. As union boss, Baumann’s complaints can often be dismissed as idle carping about nothing.

But think about the scenario—we’re going out of our way to extend bar and club hours, and for what? So the police can prowl the streets collaring people for disorderlies and DUIs all the way up to 7 am? It’d be nice to think that the spirit of Election Night will linger; in other words, that people will be joyous and peaceful and so on. But four nights of almost-to-dawn revelry provides a huge opening for the knuckleheads of the world to have their day.

Plus, the move lays bare the District’s political bias. How come they didn’t do this the last time Bush was inaugurated? Bad policy all around.

For more on the inauguration, including the latest news, housing and rentals, parties, and events, check out City Paper‘s DC Inauguration Guide.

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