- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Budget deal exposes GOP divisions; conservatives slam tax hikes, vague cuts
Small change in license plate on limo speaks volumes to D.C.
Question of the Day
President Obama’s second inauguration was marked by pomp and grandeur, lofty rhetoric and large reviewing stands for VIPs, but many in the nation’s capital were fixated on three words about 1 inch tall.
Mr. Obama’s presidential limousine sported the District’s protest license plates emblazoned with the city’s “Taxation Without Representation” rallying cry. The slogan calls attention to the federal taxation of more than 600,000 city residents despite their lack of voting rights in Congress. The protest plates are symbolic, but their appearance on the president’s limo turned his motorcade into a rolling billboard for the District’s plight.
Mr. Obama plans to use the tags for the remainder of his term, continuing a practice that President Clinton embraced when the license plates were introduced during his second term. President George W. Bush opted against the plates.
The sitting president’s decision followed intense lobbying from city lawmakers, including a pair who visited the White House this month.
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray and other leaders said they hope his embrace of the “taxation” plates portends more aggressive efforts on their behalf in his second term.
But hopes for a gradual march toward full voting rights or even D.C. statehood will have to fight for attention among Mr. Obama’s crowded agenda, which includes immigration reform, gun control and restoring the nation’s fiscal footing in the face of a divided Congress.
“I think he has some bigger fish to fry at this point, but he’s been a man of his word so far,” inauguration attendee Jermaine Somerset, of Springfield, Va., said of Mr. Obama’s intentions to help the District.
Mr. Somerset’s fiancee from Atlanta, Brenessa Matthews, said voting rights is something that D.C. residents “need to have.”
“It’s kind of unbelievable to us,” Ms. Matthews said, referring to her fellow Georgians.
Mr. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama rolled by City Hall in their limousine, but city officials and their guests had no chance to interact with the leader of the free world from behind the glass of their heated reviewing stand. Mr. Obama sat on the farther side of the limo while Mrs. Obama offered enthusiastic waves and two thumbs up to the cheering crowd in front of the seat of D.C. government, formally known as the John A. Wilson Building.
For his first inauguration, Mr. Obama disappointed local leaders by opting against the “taxation” tags. Although they consider Mr. Obama a natural ally, leaders in the heavily Democratic city have been disappointed by the president’s lack of support for their efforts to increase home rule, particularly when his party held a majority in both chambers of Congress at the start of his first term.
Mr. Obama forcefully referenced gay rights, immigration reform and climate change in his inaugural speech, yet did not provide the shout-out to the District for which some had hoped.
In front of City Hall, Mr. Gray and city lawmakers posted a message for the president on its reviewing stand that reads, “A More Perfect Union Must Include Full Democracy in D.C.” They also flew a version of the city’s red-and-white flag that, once again, reads “Taxation Without Representation.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Tom Howell Jr. covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius calls for review of Obamacare rollout woes
- More than a quarter million sign up for Obamacare in November
- Harry Reid, David Vitter spar over Obamacare 'exemptions'
- Oregonians likely to rely on paper Obamacare enrollment into January
- Oregon fails to sign up single person on health care website as states struggle
Latest Blog Entries
- Calif.: Give 'gift of health' by pledging cash for the uninsured
- Tensions hit boiling point over Obamacare enrollment figures, error rates
- Young, uninsured adults vital to Obamacare are not keen on enrolling: New Harvard poll
- Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox will promote Obamacare at Mall of America
- HealthCare.gov employs a new look once again
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Obama administration blasts GOP for criticism of Castro handshake
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow