Just a short note here on E.D. Kain's latest comments on the DC Statehood question. To clarify my position on it...my main interest in the issue is that I find it totally puzzling that liberals did not urge Democrats to take advantage of their brief large majorities in Congress to enact Statehood. Beyond that, on the question of statehood itself, my feeling is (1) that the status quo is not justifiable, and that (2) the various reasons I've heard arguing against statehood all seem pretty weak to me. That said, both returning the district to Maryland (Kain's preference) and statehood would solve the violation of democracy that makes the status quo problematic.
Kain objects what would certainly be a power grab to add two new Democratic Senators. But the Maryland option would be the reverse: it would have no effect on the Senate, but it would, following what would certainly be the repeal of the 23rd Amendment, remove three electoral votes from the Democrats. So either way, solving the democracy problem would have partisan political effects. In the abstract, as I have said, I think there's a good case to be made that statehood would help ameliorate the overrepresentation of rural areas in the Senate. But obviously, in reality, this sort of decision is made on partisan grounds, one way or another.