End the duopoly

Lack of political offset for Republicans makes DC statehood effort more difficult for Dems

House Democrats hold first hearing on the issue in 25 years; senior Capitol Hill producer Chad Pergram reports. You may not have thought about “The Missouri Compromise” since sixth grade social studies.

Political equilibrium was crucial when it came to admitting states into the union in the early 19th Century. That’s why the Missouri Compromise involved balance. The U.S. admitted Maine as a free state in March, 1820. Missouri came into the union simultaneously as a slave state. Slavery was barred north of the 36th parallel, where most of Missouri sits. So, policymakers crafted a deal to maintain the slavery prohibition – but admit Missouri – and offset it with the admission of Maine.

Even the essence of the U.S. Congress is constructed around The Great Compromise of 1787 – sometimes called the Connecticut Compromise. Small states were concerned about big states quashing their power in Washington. So, the Great Compromise allocated representation in the House based on population. But every state was equal in the Senate, regardless of size.

The Founders applied fairness.

And, such was the case when the U.S. admitted the newest states within a few months of one another in 1959: Alaska and Hawaii. Both states are small in […]

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