Voter ID laws, Nazis, and Jim Crow


“In my travels across this country, I’ve heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who—often for the first time in their lives—now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation’s most noble ideals,” Mr. Holder said Wednesday in a speech to the Council of Black Churches. Voter ID laws and white discrimination, he added, mean that “some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance.”

In Holder’s travels across the country, when he has heard these absurd charges, perhaps our Attorney General should have taken a leadership position and told these people they are idiots.

But, of course, there is a lie in this vignette. Because it is HOLDER and the like who have been fanning the flames of black voter disenfranchisement, and he’s probably pleased as punch to see that it’s tricked down.

I remember during the ’04 election, my husband was hauled in for jury duty. As he sat and waited amid other Detroit residents, he heard a group of black women discussing how W was going to take away the voting rights of blacks.

THESE are the same intellectual giants who are worried that voter ID laws are going to disenfranchise blacks and return us to Jim Crow. Because nothing says “get to the back of the bus” like having to show your ID to vote.

Voter ID laws today, separate water fountains tomorrow.

It’s demeaning to have to dignify this argument with facts, but here goes. Voter ID laws have been found by the courts not to be an undue burden under the Voting Rights Act and the Constitution. The landmark Supreme Court opinion, upholding an Indiana law in 2008, was written for a six-member majority by that noted right-winger, John Paul Stevens.

In 2008, both black and Latino vote grew, despite the passage of voter ID laws in Georgia and Indiana.

According to data from Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the black vote increased by 42%, or 366,000 votes, in 2008 over 2004. The Latino vote grew by 140% or 25,000 votes in 2008, while the white vote increased by only 8% from four years earlier.

No doubt Mr. Obama’s presence on the ballot helped drive that turnout surge in 2008, but then the black vote in Georgia also increased by 44.2% during the midterm Congressional races of 2010 from 2006. The Hispanic vote grew by 66.5% in 2010 from four years earlier. Those vote totals certainly don’t suggest that requiring an ID is a barrier to the ballot box.

The real reason Holder is out there making these claims is that Obama is in trouble and he needs his loyal base out in BIG numbers. An enthusiasm gap would hurt. He needs to get them fired up.

In one of the the Bush elections I received a postcard from the NAACP with the historic image of blacks being controlled with dogs and firehouses; suggesting that this would be the future under Bush. We kept it for a while, but eventually misplaced it (perhaps someday it will turn up in a file somewhere). Will Obama need to reach that low this time?

They’re just a stone’s throw, imho.

Oops, they’re already there.

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