Since we don't deserve the vote...

As the Marion Barry scandals continue, we will undoubtedly hear more about how this is why DC doesn't deserve voting rights. Clearly, the people of the District of Columbia are not ready for democracy, because they keep electing Marion Barry.

Let's follow this line of thinking and identify others who do not deserve voting rights simply because we don't approve of who they elect, or they elect people who have tainted reputations.

Elected Rod Blagojevich governor in 2002 and 2006 (later indicted for corruption)
Elected George Ryan governor in 1998
Elected Dan Rostenkowski to Congress, 1959-1995
Elected Richard J. Daley mayor from 1955-1976 and Richard M. Daley from 1989-Present
Elected Dan Walker governor from 1973-1977
Elected Otto Kerner governor from 1961-1968

Elected Ted Stevens to the U.S. Senate from 1968-2009
Elected Sarah Palin governor from 2006-Present
Elected Frank Murkowski to U.S. Senate and governor 1981-2006

The State of Ohio
Elected Jim Traficant to Congress, 1985-2002
Elected Buz Lukens to two terms in Congress

The State of Florida
Elected Katherine Harris as Secretary of State and to Congress, 1999-2007
Elected Mark Foley to Congress, 1995-2006

The City of Detroit, Michigan
Elected Kwame Kilpatrick, 2002-2008

The State of Idaho
Elected Larry Craig to the House and then Senate, 1981-2009

The State of Pennsylvania
Elected Joseph P. Kolter to Congress, 1969-1993

The State of Minnesota
Elected David Druenberger to the Senate, 1978-1995

The State of California
Elected Randy "Duke" Cunningham to Congress, 1991-2005

From the Jack Abramoff Scandal, the State of Texas (Ohio and Pennsylvania also included)

From the Keating Five, the States of Arizona and Michigan (and Ohio, again)

From Abscam, the States of New Jersey and South Carolina (Pennsylvania and Florida included)

The State of South Carolina, again, for electing Mark Sanford

The State of Nevada
Elected John Ensign to the House and Senate, 1995-Present

The United States of America
Elected George W. Bush president, 2001-2009.

Democracy isn't something 'earned' by passing a test of electing 'good' people. The right to self-governance isn't something that is bestowed upon us by a benevolent Congress. The right to govern ourselves, and either fail miserably or do a decent job, is inherent. If it wasn't we should all lose our right to vote because collectively, we've all made some pretty bad choices.


  1. I think you forgot a few -

    Pennsylvania Rep. Jack Murtha - Faces allegations of steering defense spending to the consulting firm his brother works for and another firm that a former staffer founded.

    New York Rep. Charlie Rangel - Currently faces no fewer than 4 House Ethics Committee investigations.

    California Rep. Jane Harman - Is fighting allegations that she offered to help seek reduced charges for two pro-Israel lobbyists suspected of espionage in exchange for help from a pro-Israel donor, also suspected Israeli agent.

    California Sen. Dianne Feinstein - Is accused of devising legislation that helped her husband get a federal contract to sell foreclosed properties at compensation rates higher than the industry norms. Her defense is that the legislation never became law.

    Connecticut Sen. Chris Dodd - Continues to stonewall information requests in relation to allegations that he was the recipient of VIP loans from disgraced subprime lender, Countrywide.

    North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad - Continues to hide in Chris Dodd's shadow while he fights off the same allegations.

    President Barack Hussein Obama - Continues to avoid scrutiny regarding the preferential treatment he received from TARP recipient Northern Trust Bank in negotiating a loan and purchasing his Chicago area home for beyond lowball discount of 15% under market prices at the height of this nations real estate boom.

    Haven't the people of DC repeatedly elected a felon and crack user in Marion Barry?

  2. You also forgot Connecticut - John Rowland whose massive corruption scandal garnered national attention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_G._Rowland

  3. AnonymousJuly 13, 2009

    Why is Sarah Palin on your list? Don't answer. I already know why. Half assed logic like yours is why people in DC shouldn't have voting rights.

  4. swift, you do see that you just proved my point exactly, right?

  5. But what if DC just elects Marion Barry to Congress? Luckily, I won't be living here by then so I'll be able to laugh from afar.

  6. Ha, I love that swift gets pissed that Sarah Palin is on this list, but doesn't mention Bush being on the list...how's that for logic.

  7. Since John Ensign is opposed to voting rights in the District, and John Ensign is involved in a political sex & cash scandal, Nevada residents should not be allowed to vote for politicians who oppose voting rights in the District.

  8. While I get your point, I think you're missing a key distinction: DC voters _keep on_ electing Barry, year after year after year, long after he has been shown to be a crook, thief, etc. Most of the folks on your list ended up leaving politics after their various foibles were exposed, never to be heard from again and certainly un-electable. Barry has been found guilty, done time, and yet DC's voters keep on returning him to office, and that's why some might say they're not ready for democracy.

  9. Okay, sour-grapes commenters aside, no one can seriously be arguing that any US citizens should be disenfranchised based on their address. I refuse to believe it.

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  11. I think you should add in a special category for the folks in California who simultaneously vote "no new taxes" and "no service cuts" :-)

  12. @Nick - And no one was "seriously" arguing Barack Obama should not be president because he is black.

  13. AnonymousJuly 14, 2009

    The man got caught w/ crack in a hotel room, and continually served public office in various capacities (thanks to DC voters) while continually engaging in criminal and abhorrent behavior. Most of those people you listed, if not, ALL of them, disappeared off the political map and into pure satire shortly after their scandals happened.

    To be fair, this should not mean DC's voting issues should be directly linked to their local voting patterns.

    Buuuuut I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm not keen on the idea of DC having voting rights anyway.