Well, OK. That's not what they said, but that's clearly what underlies their nonsensical arguments and complaints.
According to the tag line under the headline, "Advocates Say Constitutional Concerns Smack of Politics." Here's what one advocate said:
"Our supporters are disappointed in this White House where you have a president who talks so much about voting rights abroad but can't do it two blocks from the White House," said Ilir Zherka, executive director of D.C. Vote, a nonprofit advocacy group. "The White House opposition is just going to fire up our folks."
Compare what the White House spokesman said:
Alex Conant, a White House spokesman, said Friday that the Bush administration opposes the bill because of constitutional concerns. The Constitution states that only "people of the several states" elect representatives to the House, and the District is not a state, he said.And who is it who's "smack[ing] of politics"? Indeed, it is only the current proposal which "smacks of politics":
The current bill, introduced last year, would expand the House of Representatives from 435 to 437 seats, adding a seat for the District, which is predominantly Democratic, and for Utah, a Republican stronghold. Currently, the District has a non-voting delegate in the House and no representation in the Senate.Advocates for congressional representation for the District of Columbia would be taken a lot more seriously if they had the courage of their convictions, and simply proposed a constitutional amendment to achieve that end. Or, God forbid, the same thing that gave congressional representation to residents of what is now Arlington County: retrocession of the non-Federal portions of the District to Maryland.
Of course, the latter course is a nonstarter for many advocates for D.C. congressional representation because, put simply: (1) Maryland doesn't want the District and its problems; and (2) D.C. as part of Maryland wouldn't give Democrats what they want, i.e., another reliably Democrat seat in the House.
Like I said, who is it who's "smack[ing] of politics"?
UPDATE: Doug Mataconis has a good post on the subject, entitled "The D.C. Voting Rights Crybabies." Couldn't have said it better myself.