“Everybody’s gone completely crazy on this voter ID thing,” Paul said during his exchange with the Times. “I think it’s wrong for Republicans to go too crazy on this issue because it’s offending people.”
Before the Republican National Committee’s spring meeting in Memphis, Tenn., the Kentucky senator sat down for a discussion about voting rights, education, and poverty with a group of black pastors. But it was his comments on voting issues that have sparked the most controversy.
The NY Times reports:
Mr. Paul becomes the most prominent member of his party — and among the very few — to distance himself from the voting restrictions and the campaign for their passage in states under Republican control, including North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin, that can determine presidential elections. Civil rights groups call the laws a transparent effort to depress black turnout.
It’s very unfortunate to hear that Sen. Paul now considers fair elections a “crazy” idea, especially since the Democrats are actually the ones who have gone crazy by shamelessly inflaming racial tensions over voter identification. They have insistently told minorities that voter ID is a sinister, racist voter suppression scheme. However, the real disenfranchised members of the electorate are those who have their legitimate ballots cancelled out by fraudulent votes. So, although Paul referred to Republicans being “tone deaf” on this issue, he appears to be the one who is out of touch with the genuine concerns for electoral integrity.
Most Americans have no problem with acquiring proper identification, such as a driver’s license, and find no undue burden in meeting such common sense minimum requirements — to buy alcohol or cigarettes, rent a hotel room, get a bank loan or attend the Democrat National Convention. This is at best, the soft racism of low expectations or at worse, a Democrat ploy to corrupt election outcomes in their favor. And the NT Times’ repeated description of voter ID laws as “restrictions” is nothing less than a disingenuous attempt to negatively portray the Republican Party’s serious efforts to ensure the legitimacy of the electoral process. The only thing these laws are intended to restrict is the stealing of elections.
There are certainly rare anecdotal examples of individuals experiencing difficulty during the process of obtaining a voter ID, but there are thousands of documented examples of serious voter fraud that represent a much greater threat the validity of the democratic process (See here and here and here and here for examples.) Moreover, in 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court in their Crawford v. Marion County Election Board ruling upheld the constitutionality of voter ID laws. The liberals apparently think — actually feel, not much thinking going on — that the nation should only abide with the high court’s Obamacare decision. Any other pesky legal inconvenience that stands in the way of their Leftist agenda should be discarded on a whim.
Sen. Paul went further, however, during his interview with The NY Times:
In the interview, Mr. Paul also stressed his commitment to restoring voting rights for felons, an issue that he said black crowds repeatedly brought up during his speeches.
“The bigger issue actually is whether you get to vote if you have a felony conviction,” he said. “There’s 180,000 people in Kentucky who can’t vote. And I don’t know the racial breakdown, but it’s probably more black than white because they’re convicted felons. And I’m for getting their right to vote back, which is a much bigger deal than showing your driver’s license.”
John Hayward of Breitbart had this to say about Sen. Paul’s published statements:
Say what you will about the notion of restoring the franchise to convicted felons, but it’s a reasonable discussion for society to have. Opposition to common-sense voter identification and ballot security is ludicrous, especially given how gigantic our government has become. Legitimate voters have little enough influence over our impenetrable bureaucracy as it stands. We must at least insist on using the best available information technology to ensure that every ballot is valid.
Despite his comments on Friday, The NY Times noted that Paul did not “denounce voter ID laws as bad policy or take back previous statements in which he had said it was not unreasonable for voters to be required to show identification at the polls. He says these laws should be left to the states.”
One thing is for sure, Sen. Paul may think he’s winning some points by tipping his hat to the race-baiting rhetoric of the Left, but he is far off base from the concerns of many Republicans who will be voting in the 2016 primaries. The senator really did himself no favors by dissing the importance of ballot integrity. And the conservative base may yet hold him accountable for his reckless words.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.