The very day after Pennsylvania’s tough new voter ID law was upheld in court, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit alleging it was discriminatory, a 93-year-old African-American woman named Viviette Applewhite, who had sued the state claiming that the requirement of a picture ID effectively disenfranchised her, walked into her local Department of Motor Vehicles branch. Though she had neither a birth certificate nor a Social Security card, she was duly issued a photo ID.
But of course. The accusations cynically and dishonestly adopted by Democrats and the Obama administration claiming that voter ID requirements are a thinly-veiled attempt to rob African-Americans and other minorities of their right to vote have always been nothing but a particularly scurrilous component of the 2012 campaign strategy of tarring Republicans as racist for opposing Barack Obama. Because the mainstream media has been willing to give the myth credence, it has had more staying power than blatant lies deserve. When challenged to show that their claims are real, however, Democrats and civil rights advocates have been exposed as frauds.
For example, in the Texas trial where the Justice Department’s use of the civil rights statutes to block voter ID laws was challenged, the only individual called to testify by the government as an alleged victim of disenfranchisement was Victoria Rodriguez, who claimed to be one of the 1.5 million Texans the Justice Department says would be discriminated against by the Texas law requiring a picture ID to vote. She testified under oath that she lacks a photo ID as well as the documentation needed to obtain one, and Democratic State Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer testified that requiring her to pay to obtain those documents would be the equivalent of a “poll tax.” Under cross-examination, however, the teen admitted that she has a birth certificate, a voter registration card, and a Social Security card. With just two of these three documents, she could a obtain a free voter ID card. “Yes but…”, Rodriguez protested, she “doesn’t have time” to obtain the free voter ID card. She did, however, have the time to fly from San Antonio to Baltimore, catch a train to Washington DC, and spend hours in a federal courtroom to testify how the Texas voter ID law won’t allow her to vote.
Like Rodriguez, Viviette could have gone ahead and gotten an ID before the trial, but then race-baiting opponents of a completely reasonable and responsible law would have had to find another dubious “victim.” The ease with which she was able to get her ID exposed the unethical basis of the trial: if the lead plaintiff claiming that the law disenfranchises the elderly and minorities because people like her can’t get picture ID’s can get one the day after the trial ends, then she could have gotten one before that trial began. If opponents of the various state laws have to resort to fake victims like Rodriguez and Applewhite to prove their case, why are Obama supporters, Democrats and journalists taking their accusations seriously?
It’s pure conformation bias. They want to believe that Republicans are racist, because their side’s candidates will be bolstered if the American public believes it too. Requiring identification in order to vote is natural, logical, reasonable, and was upheld as such in a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court in 2008. In that case, the Court acknowledged that some Republican lawmakers might favor the requirement of voter ID’s in part based on the theory that it might suppress the participation of some Democratic voting groups, but that the fact that some may have unethical motives for passing a fair and reasonable law does not make the law less fair or reasonable. A legitimate state purpose “should not be disregarded simply because partisan interests may have provided one motivation for the votes of individual legislators,” the opinion said.
The official logic behind opposition to making the vital process of a citizen’s vote in a democracy at least as secure as the process of entering a government building, renting a car, checking into a hotel or getting on an airplane is based on statistics showing that identity theft in voting is rare, thus any inconvenience to potential voters in pursuit of integrity is too much. This is the “reverse barn door” fallacy: since the horse hasn’t escaped the barn while the door has been unlocked and wide open, why bother closing the door now? The rebuttal is obvious. You close the door because it is foolish and irresponsible to leave it open, and because after the horse has fled, it will be too late.
Democrats and Holder’s Justice Department have been calling responsible legislators racists for trying to close an open door that common sense dictates belongs shut. They have a heavy burden of proof to show that their accusations aren’t just more election year race-baiting, and to demonstrate that minorities, the poor and the elderly are really being targeted. That requires finding some citizens who really want to vote and can’t, because they can’t get identification. If the best the ID opponents can find are the likes of Viviette Applewhite, and we must presume that is the case, then their attempts at proof have boomeranged. The accusation of Republican racism for seeking legislative passage of a reasonable measure approved by the U.S. Supreme Court certainly appears to be another in a chain of divisive tactics being used by desperate Democrats to energize the so-called Democratic “base” at the cost of dividing the nation and sowing discord between races, ethnic groups, and socioeconomic divisions.
ADDENDUM (8/26/12 ): I happened upon an NPR report on this topic yesterday. As you might expect. NPR’s position was crystal clear though unstated, and while the reporter skeptically cross-examined the GOP state legislator attempting to defend her support of voter ID measures, the same interviewer uncritically allowed an academic to go unchallenged with his contention that while “nobody can know the motives behind such legislation,” it was unconscionable for politicians to “interfere with access to the voting franchise for political gain.” My question: “But sir, when you characterize voter ID requirements this way, aren”t you doing exactly what you just said you would not, which is to presume bad faith motives for the legislation?” But then, I’m not a trained journalist—or a trained journalist who works for a government-funded, left-biased radio network.
As the report continued, it focused, as such things usually do, on the plight of one woman, a lower middle-class Hispanic-America citizen who did not have identification and who felt oppressed by her state’s voter ID law, which she, like the prof, believed was intended to stop people “like her” from voting. At the end, the reporter told us that the oppressed woman was going to get someone to drive her to the DMV to get her free ID, but that she deeply resented the inconvenience. So NPR also couldn’t locate a citizen who both intended to vote and would not be able to do so because of voter ID laws….if it could, it certainly would have done so. “The Republicans are stopping minorities from voting” was the report’s thesis, yet the most it could show is “Republicans are annoying minority voters by requiring them to be like everybody else.”
That’s hardly news.
Facts: Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Source: Mega 949
Graphic: Luxury Homes in Denver
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