Wednesday, Aug 20, 2014
Columns

Reiniers: Much ado about nothing


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The brouhaha over voter intimidation recently heated up because of two lower court rulings in Wisconsin and Arkansas holding the states’ Voter ID laws are unconstitutional. These rulings couldn’t have come at a better time for Democrats ginning up the vote for 2014 by avoiding any references to jobs, the economy and Obamacare.

Barrack Obama’s penchant for patronizing minorities goes beyond the pale. He panders to all the low knowledge followers in his coalition. At the same time one would have to believe his clever divisive rhetoric must be jaw dropping to even educated minorities.

It is a matter of record that a larger percentage of blacks voted in the 2012 election than whites (According to the Census Bureau, 66.2 percent vs. 64.1percent). USA Today reported that one demographer exulted: “That’s a landmark in American history.”

Facts don’t mean anything to our president. They really aren’t necessary.

So last month in a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, instead of applauding the progress we have made as a country, Obama declared that voter repression has “been led by the Republican Party.” He went on to say that, “voters have been turned away because they didn’t have the right identification or because they needed a passport or birth certificate to register.” Now what does he focus on for spin? Passports! About two-thirds of Americans do not have passports, yet he said “just because you can’t have the money to travel abroad doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to vote here at home.” (“Can’t” have the money? Why not use the contraction ‘don’t’?)

And who do you know who used a passport to register to vote?

The progressive Atlantic magazine got it so wrong in an April commentary when they referred to “tens of millions of … citizens who have the right to vote cannot afford cars, or cannot otherwise drive because they are too ill or too old and thus don’t have the need for the sort of photo ID that some states would now require;” and then link this evil to Republican voter suppression. Do they literally mean “Tens of millions?” That means units of 10. So at least 20 million Americans are denied the right to vote? What hyperbole.

One thing the Atlantic got right: It is not a racial or ethnic issue, yet Obama predictably and regrettably characterizes this as a black or Latino vs. white issue, part of his strategy to keep the country divided. Why doesn’t he applaud the 2012 milestone of more blacks voting than whites? His demeanor is anything but presidential and an embarrassment to our country.

One only needs to look at the man’s career. He quit the private sector to become a community organizer – “A defining moment of his life.” The founder of modern community organizing, neo-communist Saul Alinsky, taught, “In the war against social evils there are no rules of fair play.” (Liberal progressives often characterize the Republican Party as a social evil.) The president taught a class on Alinsky’s “Power Analysis” and was considered by his peers to be a “master of agitation.”

So the strategy behind Obama’s campaign speeches, like the one cited above commemorating the Civil Rights Act, is to create class warfare and incite resentment.

Consider voter registration in Florida which mirrors other states. In order to complete the registration form you must provide your “driver’s license or identification number. If you have neither, instead write the last 4 digits of your Social Security number.” You don’t need a passport or birth certificate to register as the president said. The absentee ballot form is equally as easy with the same requirements as the registration form, or the option of sending in a copy of just about any government or business document that shows your name and current address.

As for the photo ID requirement to vote in Florida, there are nine options. Even “public assistance identification” will do the job. There are only seven states which have photo ID requirements similar to Arkansas.

Any rational interpretation of the law shows no evidence of voter suppression “being led by the Republican Party,” to use Obama’s words.

There is an interesting comparison between Obama’s rhetoric about voter suppression of minorities and Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing.” As the title to the play suggests, it’s about a big fuss over nothing because of phony evidence planted by the villain in the play. And get this: It too is a comedy – more accurately a typical Shakespearian tragi-comedy.

Will the Obama years be described as a tragi-comedy?

John Reiniers is a retired lawyer and regular contributor who lives in Spring Hill.

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