Voting rights activists in the District are justifiably pissed off by the budget compromise, and the District's general lack of Congressional representation. Some reasons why:

"Nothing runs more deeply in American ideals than the promise of self-government and voting rights," said American University law professor Jamie B. Raskin, a Maryland state senator from Montgomery County. "But nothing runs more deeply in American politics than the idea of keeping some people from voting and participating." 

What might be required to enact change, Raskin said, is a "mass movement of protest to test the conscience of the nation. It's clear that President Obama does not intend to be the personal leader of a liberation struggle. He's dealing with multiple crises. . . . This is not a crisis until the people of Washington make it one."

Yet, Raskin added, the city's traditional role and demographics "make it tricky." While longtime residents make up a sizable portion of the population, many are transients, as has been the case since the District was established as the nation's capital.

I think that point about transience is key. There's long been split between those who hold the most political and economic capitol in the city, and those who deeply identify with local Washington. 

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to