In response to the blockade of all transportation routes, wired communications paths, and cell towers into and out of the District of Columbia, President Joe Biden issued an executive order to have the US armed forces to initiate the largest airlift since the Berlin Airlift of 1948. “Come on, man,” the President announced on a loudspeaker from the lawn of the White House, “we gave you statehood so we could change America. I thought DC governors would be just as smart as all the white governors.” Meanwhile, a fleet of Army, Navy, Marine, and privately chartered helicopters descended on the new heliport and satellite communications node on the site of the national mall, one of the few remaining open spaces remaining in the shrunken District of Columbia.
Apparently, the President didn’t anticipate such a rough start after statehood was granted to DC. Let’s review how we got into this mess. Shortly after Joe Biden’s inauguration, Congress granted statehood to all but a tiny portion of the District and named it the new State of Columbia. The new state immediately established a state government that assumed all power from the Mayor and DC City Council. Although city officials were stripped of all their former responsibilities, because what else does the state have to govern but the city itself, their jobs were left intact so as to avoid any increase in the unemployment rate.
With a population of about 712K, the new state has more people than Wyoming, which only has about 582K. Although Congress expected a relatively proportional state government (Wyoming has 30 state Senators and 60 state Representatives), the new state decided they needed to make up for years of taxation WITHOUT representation by switching to taxation with LOTS of representation. Not to be outdone by New Hampshire, which is only slightly more populous but has the largest House of Representatives in the nation (400) the new state created a legislature with 400 State Representatives and 60 State Senators. The Governor’s executive branch absorbed all city government agencies and tripled it to ensure it could administer all its new state authorities. A new State Supreme Court was established along with a network of subordinate courts and a proportional increase in the size of the judicial branch.
The first act of the new State of Columbia was to reject the state name, which reeked of white supremacy, and to apply good anti-racist practices by renaming it “The State of Wakonda,” with the state motto of course being “Wakonda Forever.”
The first act of the newly renamed State of Wakonda was to defund the police, replace them with thousands of social workers, psychologists, social media influencers, and anti-fascist neighborhood watch groups, and pass a revenue bill to pay for the newly expanded government, which consisted of thousands of new highly-paid positions. However, it became immediately clear that the cost of state government required a large increase in taxes that they might not be able to raise, so the governor and his legislature immediately demanded a subsidy from Congress to make up for the clear lack of any sustainable revenue base. “How can they expect Wakonda to support itself when we’re so tiny, don’t produce anything, and our wealthiest residents only live here part time?” complained the triple-hatted governor/mayor/commander in chief of the Wakonda National Guard.
After Congress refused to pass a spending bill to support the new state indefinitely, the Governor of Wakonda made the hard decision to build toll booths on all bridges and roads, increase parking rates, impose new taxes on anything that moved into or out of what was left of DC (including fiber optic and cellular communications), and add a special tax especially for federal lobbyists. Congress responded by passing a law exempting all Members of Congress, all employees of the Executive and Judicial branches, and all “certified” federal lobbyists from such taxes, which pretty much left only tourists to bear the burden of the new taxes. Tourism dried up as they realized the toll booth lines were too long anyway.
Maryland then filed suit against Wakonda in the Supreme Court to reclaim all the territory it originally ceded to Congress for creation of the District. They claimed that ownership of the territory was ceded only for the purpose of the creation of a national capital, and that if it was no longer needed, ownership should have been restored to the original and rightful owner. As precedent, Maryland cited the example of Virginia, which also ceded land to the District and later got it back. In 1846, the Virginia portion of the original territory of Columbia, encompassing Old Town Alexandria and Arlington County, was “retroceded” by Congress back to the Commonwealth.
With its back against the wall, the State of Wakonda ordered its National Guard and antifa troops to enact a blockade on the District until such time as Congress agrees to pay up and the Supreme Court rejects Maryland’s claim on its land. Congressional Democrats submitted a new bill proposing to move the national capital back to Philadelphia and asked Pennsylvania to cede up to 10 square miles to establish a new federal city there. The proposal was met with a resounding defeat in the Pennsylvania legislature. “Fat chance we want Congress back here,” the mayor of Phily tweeted.
Our original national capital was moved out of Philadelphia after the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, when over 400 unpaid and angry Continental soldiers marched on the city, demanding payment for their service during the Revolutionary War and temporarily preventing the delegates to Congress from leaving Independence Hall. Remember, this was before Congress figured out how to print money, and their coffers were empty. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania refused all requests for protection and, after two days, Congress adjourned and fled the capital for Princeton, NJ, which became the new provisional capital. The incident (dare we say “insurrection”?) made a lasting impression. The Framers of the Constitution referenced it over and over again in defending their provision for the creation of a “federal town” (the District of Columbia), which Anti-Federalists persisted in visualizing as a sink of corruption and a potential nursery for tyrants.
Ironically, little did the Federalist framers know that, 238 years after patriots marched on Independence Hall, the District of Columbia would actually be a sink of corruption and a nursery for tyrants – and protestors would again storm the halls of Congress.