WASHINGTON, THE CITY

As I said at the time …

In the Northwest quadrant of the nation, they refer to it as “Dee Cee” just to keep from confusing it with its larger namesake. Not that that really helps, mind you. It’s more an expression of derision. After all, not even the wire services or television networks make that distinction. No, everywhere else it’s simply “Washington,” and let the Evergreen State go to hell.

But is that really fair? Of course not. The name of the place is District of Columbia, which is rather cumbersome. Georgetown has a nice ring to it, but unfortunately, it’s an old neighborhood that really should be its own city, for that matter; but the District tries to be a city-state in all the negative connotations of the concept.

Why, now, they’re even trying to become an independent state! The audacity!

Listen, now, if the residents of the nation’s capital want to be represented by congressmen, they can petition to do what’s fair. And that is to return to the State of Maryland what its people had so nobly ceded to the federal government way back when the Founding Fathers, in their great wisdom, decided to seat the nation’s capitol in a teeming swamp. Just look at a map and it’s obvious the portion in Maryland is neatly squared. Part of a diamond, actually. You can see how it would have squared on the Virginia side, if the bureaucrats hadn’t decided they didn’t need that land and gave it back, instead.

So the feds have already returned to Virginia what that commonwealth had thrown into the kitty. And look what they got as booty the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery, Dulles airport, and Wolf Trap.

Not only that, but let’s remember where loyalties have been placed. Remember how Virginia turned upon Washington, sent troops to destroy it so that was back in the Civil War.

Maryland, meanwhile, dutifully stood by the Union. Oh, I know, there were a few upstarts who sent their sons off to fight for the Confederacy, and, sure, the feds had to keep cannons trained on Baltimore City just in case. But by and large, Maryland stayed put. Isn’t it time for that debt to be paid?

So the nation gives the District of Columbia back to Maryland, which then picks up a larger congressional delegation. Maryland has been a much smaller state in numbers than it ought to be, considering its influence and geographical placement.

Oh, I know there are those who retort that we don’t want Washington, not with all of its poverty and related urban problems. Just think about what it will do to our welfare costs, for starters.

Well, wait a minute. What’s to keep us from taking the existing welfare kitty and just dividing it among more people? That seems generous enough to me, and besides, it won’t cost you and my a nickel more.

And as for the urban problems, why, people said the same thing about Baltimore before William Donald Schaefer and the Citizens (Sic) got their act together. No, this seems to be an ideal opportunity for the new governor to demonstrate what he really can do while nurturing even more political talent. Make him the Dean of American Urban Renaissance. And a hot governor, toj _  boot.

There are those who say the feds should keep an essential portion as the District of Columbia. Hey, I’m not against that. I mean, the folks in the White House ought to be able to figure out how to keep all those lawns mowed and the monuments polished  although after trying to locate books in the Library of Congress, which, as you all know, is hardly open these days, I begin to wonder.

My own preference would be to place all the greenery and white marble buildings in a National Park. You know, Foggy Bottom National Park. Or Capitol Hill National Park. Or the Federal Mall National Park. We all like National Parks a lot more than we do a District of Columbia, no?

But quibbling aside, the place needs a new name, if for no other reason than basic courtesy to the Evergreen State.

Now I’ve always been told that if you’re going to criticize, you ought to at least have a positive proposal up your sleeve. So here goes.

Columbia or even District of Columbia would be nice, except for that planned community of ponds and condos between Baltimore and the Potomac. So that possibility’s kaput.

William Donald Schaefer is a nice name. He was an exemplary mayor, before he went flaky as governor. What? You say it’s even longer than Washington, D.C.? Well, listen, not if you use the whole name for Washington, District of Columbia, it’s not. Besides, Americans have a penchant for shortening names, so next thing you know, it would be William, D.S., and that’s definitely shorter. And then William and finally Billy, and we all remember fondly what a relief he was to the White House.

But would a Republican administration allow that? Probably not.

So here it is: we rename the federal area national park or district George. That’s it. George. That Yuppie cluster of Georgetown can become Junior if it wants. We have more important matters at stake. George speaks with authority. It’s regal, too.

As for the Maryland part the real city we offer a complementary name. Something to honor the founding mothers, as well: Martha.

Now doesn’t Martha, Maryland, sound like a lovely place? I can’t think of anyplace that sounds more truly Americana.

I know it will create a few difficulties at the Washington Post, for starters. Which may be exactly why a Republican White House might buy into this proposal. Nobody’s going to be quoting the George and Martha, Washington, Maryland and Virginia Post any more. They might as the Federal Post, but we’ll see.

We’ll see.

One thought on “WASHINGTON, THE CITY

  1. hello, sir Jnana… what a thoughtful, witty and informative post, one of my faves among you’ve written. love the puns, too. the article reminded me of the things about America and US govt that we’ve studied way back, ahaha. particularly like that bit about the capital being set on a swamp, clever. thank you for this wonderful read. 🙂 ~San

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