Racebaiting is nothing new for Attorney General Eric Holder. He's the most partisan, political, racialist Attorney General in history. Who can forget that under Obama's Department of Justice, no voting rights violations by blacks will be prosecuted. Even glaring examples of a Black Panther in militia garb wielding a club outside a Philadelphia polling place wasn't enough to draw Holder's attention.
So, few will be surprised that A.G. Holder spoke to a gathering of black pastors. Here's what Politico reported:
Attorney General Eric Holder told a council of African American church leaders Wednesday that the "sacred" right to vote is under assault nationwide, with federal lawsuits and at least a dozen state laws that could weaken — or block — minority access to the ballot box this fall.Holder's prime concern appears to be the new voter I.D. laws that states have adopted to cut down on fraud. Also, some states are purging their voter roles of convicted felons and illegal aliens.
[Holder said]"For the first time in our [lifetimes], we are failing to live up to one of our most noble ideals" - the right to equal access to the vote.
One of the states that is tightening voter I.D. laws is Virginia. A recent editorial from the Richmond Times Dispatch described the controversy this way:
Every registered voter in Virginia will soon receive a new ID card, thanks to a savvy and sensible order by Gov. Bob McDonnell. The governor issued the directive as he signed a new measure that slightly tightens voter-ID requirements.The lack of eligible voters being denied the right to vote contrasted with the clear evidence of vote fraud would lead sensible persons to suggest that the Attorney General should focus foremost on where actual crime is being committed.
That didn't mollify partisan Democrats and liberal activists, who blasted the measure as nothing less than the return of Jim Crow. They should take a few deep, calming breaths — because it is actually more like a return to the administration of Gov. Mark Warner. Virginia first adopted a voter-ID requirement in 2000, not long before Warner took office, and it has remained in effect since. Liberal Democrats screamed bloody murder then, too. "Let's not erect barriers!" insisted Del. Jerrauld Jones, joining a chorus led by then-Del. Donald McEachin and others.
Then, as now, they argued that there was little evidence of need for such a measure. It's a fair point — but it cuts both ways. Voter-ID measures have now been on the books for a decade. Where is the evidence of voter suppression? If the law thwarted anyone who should have been able to cast a ballot from doing so, then groups such as the ACLU and the NAACP would have brought them forward, held press conferences, and sued for the violation of voting rights faster than you can say George Wallace. That hasn't happened.
During legislative debate we opposed the voter-ID measure, citing a lack of evidence of any voting fraud that suggested a need for it. But a Virginia State Police investigation into felons voting illegally showed, after the session had ended, that fraud does exist — at least on a limited basis. The voter-ID measure does not address that problem directly, but it does go to the broader problem of voting integrity.
The consequence, or perhaps the design, of Holder's remarks is to continue to stir up racial animosity in the run up to the fall election. But using scaremongering and false Jim Crow straw men is reprehensible in an Attorney General whose job it is to enforce the law, not engage in the lowest form of gutter politics!