The Washington Times ran an editorial on February 26th, 2010 about the current House bill to hold a plebiscite or referendum or straw poll vote or chimichanga laxative festival concerning Puerto Rico's status. The point: Stir up the issue and maybe, according to The Washington Times, "back dooring" statehood for the Island.
Yes, I said "back dooring."
Here's the editorial with My incisive remarks in [brackets]. Parentheses are from the original.
Puerto Rican run
The deck is stacked for statehood
Rigging an election is nice work if you can pull it off. [Ask the murderous moron, you Dubya-sycophantic twits.] [Nothing like a fast start, I say.] That's what the Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives appears to be trying to do as it votes next week on the misleadingly named Puerto Rico Democracy Act, [Not as misleading as The Patriot Act.] which is designed to confer statehood on the island commonwealth by hook or crook. The bill is wrongheaded on so many levels that opponents in the Senate ought to filibuster it to death if it passes the House, as expected. [Filibuster being a Republican term for "debate."]
Since being formed as a commonwealth in 1950 [Actually, 1952.] under a self-drafted constitution, [Heavily edited by Congress, i.e., anything deemed "progressive" or "socialist"...shades of the present, huh?] Puerto Rico has enjoyed a special status with a degree of autonomy. Since 1976, it has enjoyed the unique advantage of offering tax-free profits to American companies that do business there. [You lie! Not all companies and not that many tax benefits anymore, as you well know.] Occasional plebiscites have been held asking island residents if they wanted statehood instead of their special status, but voters rejected change each time. [Never in an either/or fashion, as this phrasing implies.] The statehood option garnered just 46.3 percent and 46.5 percent of the vote in the last two attempts, the most recent in 1998. But because Puerto Rico leans heavily Democratic, congressional Democrats pine after the two new senators and perhaps six new House members who would be added to their caucus if statehood passed. [Pathetic, seeing as how Democrats can't run Congress even with a majority in both chambers.]
The Democrats' solution is ingenious - and underhanded. The new bill would call for a two-stage vote rather than a straightforward one. [Oh, you no likee the two-option system? You likee the "My option pretend-vote system," no?]
Past elections have shown that commonwealth status is favored directly over statehood, directly against independence and directly against some sort of hybrid arrangement. [Not true... Commonwealth candidates have been favored on most occasions.] Yet among all four options, commonwealth support appears to enjoy only a strong plurality, but maybe not an absolute majority. [Bingo! Ya got that right.] Presto: The Democrats' scheme is to first hold a vote with just two options: commonwealth on one side, anything else on the other. If supporters of all three other options ban together, they might vote to rule out the commonwealth without knowing what would replace it. [That's not bad in and of itself: what's bad is having no certainty that another option, when chosen, will be directly implemented.]
Only if and when that first vote succeeds would a second vote be held to determine which of the other three options would apply - with commonwealth status off the table. [So what's your point? That this would force the U.S. of part of A. to really look at Us politically?]
To stack the deck even more, the House bill would explicitly allow people to vote in this election who were born in Puerto Rico but no longer live there. Nothing appears to bar somebody from voting on statehood while being a registered voter of, say, New York or Rhode Island or even the District of Columbia. [Score one for your side. That's like Us letting people in jail vote: it's ridiculous. The deciders--you love that idiotic word, right?--should be the current residents of Puerto Rico for whom any change is directly material; the rest can lump it.]
To be sure, if Congress passes this bill and the Puerto Rican (and former Puerto Rican) voters choose the statehood option, Congress still would control the ultimate decision to make the island a state. ["And that ain't gonna happen ever never ever in a million years! Hahahachortle."] But the thought is that if Puerto Rico sends a full delegation claiming official status and the (false) legitimacy of a (tainted) popular vote, a Democrat-majority Congress would seat the delegation in an instant. [And what, serve them tea? Play Vivaldi while they cool their heels for another, say, 58 years?]
From the standpoint of the rest of us mainlanders, major problems present themselves. [No! Reaallly?] Most important, Puerto Rico does not consider English its sole official language of government, and islanders predominantly speak Spanish. No non-official-English state has ever joined the union, and for good reason. ["Because We don't want 'em!"] As Canada's experience shows, official bilingualism almost inevitably leads to discord and balkanization. [Here's a list you should read, numbnuts: Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Finland, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Peru and Hong Kong. Oh, and Hawai'i. Officially bilingual or multilingual. How much "discord and balkanization" there?]
There's nothing wrong with letting a free people occasionally reanalyze their governing status. Everything is wrong with dishonoring that free people by rigging the very democracy statehood is meant to celebrate. ["Free"?! Free as in speech or free as in "allowed to"? Free as in "Check with Us first"? Free as in "Only as far as We let you"? That kind of free? Here's some free advice: Don't stick your nose in what you don't know anything about and don't try to write smart editorials when your IQ and outlook are limited to the Roaring Twenties.]
The Jenius Has Spoken.