I blogged about this this morning, but the real scope of the ruling is just now being fleshed out, and a few things have occurred to me.
First of all, as I said earlier, this is a complete victory for common sense. It just makes simple sense that if voting is the precious right and responsibility we think it is, it should be protected and cherished, and one facet of that is to ensure that only those eligible are allowed to vote, lest the franchise be corrupted by people who are not.
Some say that is exclusionary, but the fact is that voter criteria exists to protect the validity of the votes of all. Protecting it by what seems to be the simplest method, checking ID, is a complete no brainer.
And yet there are the critics who decry this as unfair, as disenfranchising people, and targeted to eliminate minorities, also known as the race card.
They claim fraud is a myth, and that there is no compelling reason to protect against it. Sure. There is also no compelling reason your care will be stolen, so feel free to leave the keys in.
Locks and laws serve the same purpose: To protect against criminals. Voter fraud laws close the door on the easy loopholes and make it less likely. And in doing so they once again show how valuable the right to vote is, such that we want to be sure you are you before you cast your vote.
The requirements are not a burden. Since when is it odd to expect people to be able to prove their identity?
The ACLU opposes such laws which frankly puzzles me, though I admit it is hardly a shock. They often take a contrary position to civil rights and common sense.
Note to the ACLU: Committing a crime is not a right. Look it up.
Even less shocking is the opposition to ID laws by groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). Ironically the advocates of reform seem to have nasty habit of committing voter fraud. Those who claim voter fraud is a myth and organized voter fraud even more so look no further.
ACORN has been indicted numerous times for committing incredibly blatant voter fraud, such as false addresses, false IDs and other perpetual tricks of the fraud game. Yes...true reform at work.
The fact is that the reason they oppose the laws is that they count on the loopholes these laws close. Sad.
But the ACORN connection brings with it a slightly more troubling connection:
But this case, Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, also revealed a fundamental philosophical conflict between two perspectives rooted in the machine politics of Chicago. Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the decision, grew up in Hyde Park, the city neighborhood where Sen. Barack Obama - the most vociferous Congressional critic of such laws - lives now.
Well isn't interesting. It gets even more so:
In 1995, then GOP Gov. Jim Edgar refused to implement the federal "Motor Voter" law. Allowing voters to register using only a postcard and blocking the state from culling voter rolls, he argued, could invite fraud. Mr. Obama sued on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, and won. Acorn later invited Mr. Obama to help train its staff; Mr. Obama would also sit on the board of the Woods Fund for Chicago, which frequently gave this group grants.
Acorn's efforts to register voters have been scandal-prone. St. Louis, Mo., officials found that in 2006 over 1,000 addresses listed on its registrations didn't exist. "We met twice with Acorn before their drive, but our requests completely fell by the wayside," said Democrat Matt Potter, the city's deputy elections director. Later, federal authorities indicted eight of the group's local workers. One of the eight pleaded guilty last month.
In Seattle, local officials invalidated 1,762 Acorn registrations. Felony charges were filed against seven of its workers, some of whom have criminal records. Prosecutors say Acorn's oversight of its workers was virtually nonexistent. To avoid prosecution, Acorn agreed to pay $25,000 in restitution.
Despite this record - and polls that show clear majorities of blacks and Hispanics back voter ID laws - Mr. Obama continues to back Acorn. They both joined briefs urging the Supreme Court to overturn Indiana's law.
And yet Mr Obama's hands get a bit dirtier:
Last year, he put on hold the nomination of Hans von Spakovsky for a seat on the Federal Election Commission. Mr. von Spakovsky, as a Justice Department official, had supported a Georgia photo ID law.
In a letter to the Senate Rules Committee, Mr. Obama wrote that "Mr. von Spakovsky's role in supporting the Department of Justice's quixotic efforts to attack voter fraud raises significant questions about his ability to interpret and apply the law in a fair manner." Of course, now an even stricter law than the one in Georgia has been upheld by the Supreme Court, removing Mr. Obama's chief objection.
The hold on the von Spakovsky nomination has left the Federal Election Commission with less than a quorum. As a result, the FEC can't open new cases, hold public meetings, issue advisory opinions or approve John McCain's receipt of public funding for the general election. Now Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid claims that, even without the von Spakovsky hold, filling the FEC's vacancies will take "several months."
And despite his partisan maneuvering, Obama claims to be the guy who will end partisan politics and bring change.
Change, like ACORN brings reform?
So we have the irony of two liberal icons in sharp disagreement over yesterday's Supreme Court decision. Justice Stevens, the real reformer, believes voter ID laws are justified to prevent fraud. Barack Obama, the faux reformer, hauls out discredited rhetoric that they disenfranchise voters.
Acorn's national political arm has endorsed Mr. Obama. And its "nonpartisan" voter registration affiliate has announced plans to register hundreds of thousands of voters before the November election. An election in which Mr. Obama may be the Democratic candidate.
And yet, we are not to dare mention that their history of fraud makes their efforts suspect, nor is anyone asking Mr Obama to to take a stand against a crooked organization.
So in the end, this ruling is a victory for common sense, and anathema to Obama and his friends at ACORN.
I asked this question this morning and I ask it again: Why are only liberals upset about this?
The answer is really just common sense.
Posted by guitarplayr at April 29, 2008 01:18 AM | Email This