Yesterday the US Senate authorized a vote in Puerto Rico: for the first time in the island's history, residents will be asked what they want their status with America to be. Congressional approval of this referendum is seen as a big victory for statehood advocates. If I jump ahead a couple years... when this might actually reach the point of an up or down statehood vote in Congress, the measure may lose because of a lack of bipartisan support. That is, Republicans will see Puerto RIco as a Democratic state--and block statehood. If statehood advocates are smart, they will do what I suggested in my Wall Street Journal article a week ago--find a dancing partner. That is, encourage a Republican-leaning statehood proposal to balance things out. This worked with Alaska-Hawaii in 1959... and with Missouri-Maine in 1820. America likes to add states in twos. So who should be Puerto Rico's date? I suggest Lincoln, an oft-proposed idea that makes a lot of sense. (For more on Lincoln, get the book.)
Labels: New states?