Federalism? What’s that?

So let’s say you bought a house out in Virginia near a Metro station. It would be clear to you from the purchase price of your house that housing is at a premium, particularly near Metro stations. And let’s further say that you’re involved in the local politics of the area surrounding your new home. You would be especially familiar with the difficulties of developing Northern Virginia from the sleepy little towns prevalent in the 70s to the three-piece-suit-and-Red-Bull havens for the entire micro industry surrounding the business of government that they are today. You would further be painfully aware of the difficulties Metro has in funding itself, and how that contributes to poor service throughout the region, especially on the Orange and Red lines.

Now let’s further say that the largest homebuilder in the country wants to develop some spare land near that Metro station from WMATA and add a bunch of high-density, smart-growth new housing. What do you do?

If you’re Congressman Tom Davis (R-NIMBY NoVa), you try to legislate the development out of existence. Because you don’t want all that smart-growth, high-density housing near your house.

And really, God forbid The Honorable Congressman Tom Davis shoud live so close to so many new constituents. I mean, doesn’t he deal with enough of those people at the office? Does he have to actually run into them at the grocery store?

Is it not the sworn responsibility of Congressman Davis (whose office phone number is (202) 225-1492 and office fax is (202) 225-3071) to intervene in local land use matters in order to maintain his personal lifestyle? It’s not as though minor matters like the federal budget or the war in Iraq are demanding his attention. And certainly he knows what the development needs of the area are better than Fairfax Board of Supervisors does. After all, why should Fairfax have the same level of autonomy that Davis wants to give the District? And if the federal government doesn’t fund Metro, why should Metro try to find new revenue sources with which to expand service?

This post appeared in its original form at DC Metblogs

Tiffany Baxendell Bridge is an Internet enthusiast and an incurable smartass. When not heckling the neighborhood political scene on Twitter, she can be found goofing off with her ukulele, Bollywood dancing, or obsessing about cult TV. She is That Woman With the Baby In the Bar.

Tiffany lives in Brookland with her husband Tom, son Charlie, and two high-maintenance cats. Read why Tiffany loves DC.

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