There’s one thing that all Democrats, in this contentious presidential primary should keep in mind regarding today’s US Supreme Court Voter IDiocy ruling, it’s extremely important, no matter which candidate wins the nomination, that a Democrat is sworn in as President in January 2009.
It’s also key to remember that the kind of voter fraud that this law purports to stop is, for all intents and purposes, non-existent. For some background here’s some history on the issue and the kind of voter suppression, and partisan politics that could happen as a result of a law like this in Texas. And for a refresher on what kind of voter suppression used to happen in this country read this, Introduction: Master of the Senate – it’s long so here’s an excerpt:
The scene that had occurred in the Eufaula courthouse was not an unusual one in the American South in 1957. After the Civil War almost a century before, there had been an attempt to make black Americans more a part of their country, to give them the basic rights of citizens—which included, of course, a citizen’s right to vote—and in 1870, the Fifteenth Amendment to the Constitution had supposedly guaranteed that right, forbidding any state to “deny or abridge” the “right of citizens . . . to vote” because of their race or color. But the amendment proved to be an insufficient guarantee in the eleven southern states that had seceded from the Union and formed the rebel Confederacy; specific laws to give the amendment force and make it meaningful—federal laws, since there was no realistic possibility that any southern state would pass an effective statute—were going to be necessary. During the eighty-seven years since the Fifteenth Amendment had been ratified, scores, indeed hundreds, of proposed federal laws had been introduced in the Congress of the United States to ensure that black Americans would have in fact as well as theory the right to vote. Not one of these bills had passed. And in Barbour County, in which there were approximately equal numbers of black Americans and white Americans, out of 7,158 blacks of voting age in 1957, exactly 200—one out of thirty-five—had the right to vote, while 6,521 whites had that right. In Alabama as a whole, out of 516,336 blacks who were eligible to vote, only 52,336—little more than one out of ten—had managed to register. For the eleven southern states as a whole, out of more than six million blacks eligible to vote, only 1,200,000—one out of five—had registered. And of course, even those blacks who had registered to vote often didn’t dare go to the polls to cast ballots, because of fear of violence or economic retaliation. In 1957, there were scores of counties in the South which had tens of thousands of black residents, but in which, in some elections, not a single vote had been cast by a black.
If we don’t remember it, we’re doomed to repeat it.
BOR has more,Supreme Court Upholds Indiana Voter ID Law.
Key Point: A Republican Supreme Court backs a Republican-pushed law that has no evidenciary justification for its enactment; meanwhile, in Texas, a Republican Attorney General pursues minority and elderly Democratic voters for laws that may not even constitute illegal activity while the same Republican Attorney General ignores documented instances of Republican voter fraud on a much larger scale.
Vince has a great picture of Texas’ Axis of IDiocy.
For a national wrap-up check out this post from Crooks and Liars, More reaction to the Indiana Voter ID ruling by the Supreme Court: Video Update. This excerpt from Digby:
I have been writing about this since before I started this blog. It’s at the heart of the Florida debacle in 2000, where they illegitimately purged voter rolls and relied on arcane interpretations of the rules to deny people the fundamental right to have their votes counted. It goes all the way back to the reconstruction period and has continued right up to Ohio in 2004.
The Supreme Court has just legitimized the notion that “voter fraud” is a problem when, in fact, every study shows that it simply does not exist in any systematic way and that the voter disenfranchisement that results from such laws is a far more serious problem
The only way to keep this from happening in Texas is to elect more Democrats. Especially in the Texas Senate where two more Democrats, Joe Jaworski and Wendy Davis, would guarantee this wouldn’t happen.