President Obama is going to start off his second term with his limo’s finally featuring the official D.C. license plates that highlight a lack of voting rights.
The plates read “taxation without representation” to highlight the fact that the residents district still has no voting rights in Congress despite having a population large than Wyoming. The plates were featured on the Presidential limo when Bill Clinton was in office but George W. Bush had them removed. From the Washington Post:
President Obama announced Tuesday that the District’s politically charged “taxation without representation” license plates will be placed on all presidential limousines this weekend, a move city leaders have been waiting on for four years.
In a statement, White House officials said Obama will use the protest license plate because after living in the city for four years, he has seen “first-hand how patently unfair it is for working families in D.C. to work hard, raise children and pay taxes, without having a vote in Congress.”
I would first like to give Obama credit for keeping his promise. Over four years ago during his first campaign Obama said he would put the taxation with representation plates back on the presidential limo and now he has.
That said, I find this a depressingly perfect metaphor for how many politicians only actively back positions when they think they will never happen. During his first two years Obama had a very good chance of getting voting for the roughly 600,000 people of D.C. if he had really pushed for it. Back at the beginning of his first term a voting rights bill nearly won approval and Democrats could have even pushed through a full statehood measure if they were really committed.
Now that there is zero chance of a voting rights bill being approved by House Republicans, Obama has finally gotten around to taking this step to show his support for it.
Photo by Sean_Marshall under Creative Commons license