Eric Holder Is Using Race to Demonize Republicans

The Attorney General's opposition to voter ID laws is unnecessarily racial motivated.

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Eric Holder

Is Eric Holder really up to the job of being U.S. Attorney General? Or is he presiding over the radicalization of the U.S. Department of Justice for the benefit of President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party?

In a speech Tuesday before the NAACP, Holder likened efforts to combat voter fraud to the illegal, unconstitutional poll taxes used throughout the Jim Crow era by segregationist Democrats to keep blacks from voting. Referring to a new Texas law requiring a voter to show a valid photo ID before casting a ballot Holder said, "Under proposed voter ID laws, many would struggle to pay for IDs needed to vote. We call this a poll tax."

Texas is the second state to have its photo ID requirement rejected by the Justice Department under authority granted it by the federal Voting Rights Act. In December, the department blocked South Carolina from going ahead with a similar proposal arguing, as it did with Texas, that the new requirement would have a disparate and therefore unfair impact on minorities.

[See a collection of political cartoons on the 2012 campaign.]

Rather than being sterling constitutional scholarship, what Holder and the Department of Justice are saying, in effect, is that it is too hard for minorities to get photo IDs so a mandate that they produce them before voting amounts to government-sponsored disenfranchisement. This is, of course, utter nonsense. No one can operate successfully in contemporary America without a photo ID. It's needed to cash a check, drive a car, board an airplane, or even to be admitted to the Justice Department in order to meet with the attorney general. In fact, a photo ID will even be necessary in order to participate in many of the new healthcare programs anticipated under Obamacare.

It is not unreasonable to ask someone to prove their identity before receiving a government service or being permitted access to a government building. Why, therefore, is it unreasonable—even discriminatory—to ask someone to prove their identity and their legitimacy before being able to vote, as Attorney General Holder apparently believes? In the last 10 years there have been voter fraud convictions in 46 states.Over the last year Indiana, New York, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Minnesota have all had voter fraud cases in their courts.

The illegal activity states are trying to prevent is wholesale registration of ineligible voters who then show up and vote without legal ID. 

In the best case, what Holder is doing is shamefully pandering along racial lines to demonize the Republicans in the minds of blacks and Hispanics. In the worst case, he is laying down cover fire for those who commit voter fraud by labeling efforts to stop them from doing so as race-based disenfranchisement and failing to take the whole issue seriously.

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