But perhaps an even better example of this particular Republican hypocrisy can be found in Washington, D.C. In the last election, D.C. voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot initiative legalizing possession of marijuana. Outraged Republicans are trying to use Congress’ absolute power over the district to stop the local government from spending any of its own money on legalization, effectively overturning the measure by force.
Now, as German Lopez argues, it’s not clear they could actually do this under current rules, since simply legalizing the possession of marijuana wouldn’t cost anything (indeed, it would save money, since police would have fewer arrests to make). However, it would prevent the district from implementing any formal legalization regime, as the new mayor Muriel Bowser favors.
Still, just count the howling violations of basic conservative principles here. First, there’s the fact that the law was duly passed at the ballot box. Second, there’s the big bad federal government behaving in the most big bad way possible. Finally, there’s the larger issue of D.C.’s place in the American political system, a city with more people than Vermont or Wyoming who get no representation in Congress even though they pay federal taxes and obey federal laws. Where’s the Tea Party?