The nation’s capital is a militarized zone with barriers erected, roads closed, businesses shuttered and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered people to watch the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Wednesday from home while she is at the Capitol to celebrate in person.
News of the hypocrisy is not easy to find, but the Washington Post did mention the fact in a story entitled “From a median on Pennsylvania Avenue. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser will welcome visitors soon — but not now.”
In fact, the story focuses on Bowser’s stay-at-home order and briefly mentions the mayor’s plan to violate her own order:
Downtown D.C. has become so difficult to navigate that Mayor Muriel E. Bowser held her last pre-inauguration news conference Tuesday standing on a median in the middle of a busy road, many blocks from the secure perimeter around the U.S. Capitol and much of downtown.
As beeping buses unloaded passengers, and garbage trucks rattled by on Pennsylvania Avenue SE, Bowser made one last pitch for Americans to avoid coming to her city for President-elect Joe Biden’s swearing-in on Wednesday. The mayor also asked people to consider visiting D.C. later, once the inauguration is over.
Bowser said that although she has urged others to watch Biden’s inauguration from home, she will be a guest at the Capitol as Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala D. Harris take their oaths of office.
Chief Executive from D.C., Virginia and Maryland issued a statement on January 11 warning people about the necessity of staying away from the inauguration:
“January 6, 2021 is now a seminal moment in American history. We are grateful for the courageous efforts of every law enforcement officer, Guard member, and first responder who heroically worked to secure the Capitol and ensure our nation’s democracy prevailed.
“On January 20, there will be a transition of power, and we will work together, and with our partners in the federal government, to ensure the safety of the National Capital Region. Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, DC and to instead participate virtually.
“In this very trying time, January 6 was a dark moment for our nation. But we know that we will get through this period because American ideals are stronger than one extreme ideology. Together, we will overcome extremism and get back to the work of our residents.”
At the press conference, Bowser indicated she is looking forward to a Joe Biden presidency because he supports giving statehood status to the District.
“Today, more people than ever before have joined in our fight for D.C. statehood,” she said, noting Biden is a proponent.
“On a phone call recently, Bowser recalled, the incoming president said something to her along the lines of: ‘Kid, I’ve always been there with you. I’ve always supported statehood,’” the Post reported.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter or send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org