The House of Representatives approved a measure that would make the District of Columbia the 51st state. It isn’t a constitutional amendment – just a bill. That’s constitutionally suspect, but as George Will writes, it’s perfectly in line with currently Democratic politics:

After 2009, when Democrats controlled Congress and the presidency, they did not act on D.C. statehood. Then, however, Democrats had 57 senators. Today, they have only 50. Does anyone believe that if D.C. were as incorrigibly Republican as it is Democratic, Democrats would favor D.C. statehood, which would mean two more Republican senators until the last trumpet shall sound?

Absolutely not. But there is a solution to this thorny mess that involves a new constitutional amendment (sorry House Democrats, there really are no shortcuts). It would also give Democrats exactly what they say they want, but without playing a massively cynical game with DC’s borders, or doing violence to the Constitution.

The idea comes from historian John Steele Gordon, and goes like this:

Section I

The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is hereby repealed.

Section 2

For purposes of participating in federal elections only, the citizens of the seat of government of the United States shall be regarded and counted as being citizens of the state that ceded the land to the Government of the United States.

Residents of the District of Columbia would vote, then, for Maryland senators, congressmen, and presidential electors. With the population of the District added to Maryland’s for election purposes, that state would get at least one more congressman and one more electoral vote.

After 220 years, taxation without representation would finally be banished—at least from the nation’s capital.

Again, Democrats would get the representation they say District voters need and be done according to the Constitution. Which means they will never support it.