D.C. statehood foes are being hypocritical
Robert Dufresne’s May 6 letter (“Statehood for D.C. is unconstitutional”) decried legislation to grant statehood to Washington, D.C. as an “unconstitutional scheme” to “rig elections” for Democrats.
That argument, popular among Republicans, conveniently ignores the fact that the disproportionate representation of low-population red states in the Senate is what gives their obstructionist, minority party the power to stall government at every turn.
This advantageous distortion was aggressively pursued by the GOP in a late-19th century power grab and persists today.
This hypocritical squawking about Democrats’ trying to “rig elections” is an all-too-familiar GOP ploy.
Republican leaders are currently attempting to corrupt the entire electoral process. In addition to employing their favorite tactics of voter suppression and gerrymandering, they now are actively pushing to seize power over state election boards, undermining well-established procedures and norms to partisan advantage.
With GOP popularity sinking (for good reason), they know cheating is the only way they can win.
We can dismiss their shaky constitutional objections, as well. Last week, a panel of 39 Constitutional scholars from law schools across the country submitted a letter to congressional leaders that exhaustively debunks claims of constitutional barriers to D.C. statehood, and dismisses the threat of U.S. Supreme Court adjudication, should the bill pass.
“The D.C. Admission Act calls for a proper exercise of Congress’ express authority under the Constitution to admit new states,” they wrote, “a power that it has exercised 37 other times since the Constitution was adopted.”
Robin Vaughan Kolderie
Will miss Sara Foss’s insight into issues
It was with great sadness that I read Sara Foss’s final ‘Thinking it Through’ May 30 column (“It’s time to say goodbye”) for The Gazette.
I tended to agree with Sara’s opinion and point of view more often than not, (but, definitely, not always). I was always entertained and enlightened. I will miss her work.
My major worry about this: Is it a part of the overall disintegration of the local print scene in America? I think back to the years when I delivered the Schenectady Union Star (‘59-’63). Seems like there has been a constant slide since that paper merged and then disappeared.
Farewell Sara! I hope to run across your journalistic efforts in the future — just as we occasionally get to hear Judy Patrick on the Round Table. Best wishes for your new endeavors.
Claims against Israel are based in history
Regarding the dispute in Schenectady schools over what terminology to use to describe Israel’s dealings with Palestinians reported in the May 30 Gazette (“Mideast Conflict Hits Home”), and specifically whether “ethnic cleansing” applies, let’s remember that Israel’s founding in 1948 as a specifically “Jewish state” entailed the expulsion of some 750,000 Palestinian Arab residents.
Also that a fair number of those expelled, who took refuge in the Jordan-controlled West Bank and the Egypt-controlled Gaza Strip, were conquered yet again in 1967, when Israel overran those areas and forcibly expelled some 400,000 of them.
David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s founding father, posited that Israel could abide a maximum Arab population of 20%, a limit that has been maintained to this day, when remaining Arabs are widely described as a “demographic threat.”
The event that sparked the most recent violence — the expulsion of half a dozen Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem to make way for a band of Jewish zealots from New York — was just another tiny step in a long trail of such expulsions.
A United Nations commission has defined ethnic cleansing as “rendering an area ethnically homogeneous by using force or intimidation to remove persons of given groups from the area.”
If Israel’s actions over the years do not meet that definition, they come awfully close.
The fact that Jews themselves in recent times were the victims of ethnic cleansing, and even of genocide, does not bar them from perpetrating such crimes against others but only adds a layer of irony.
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