Politics & Policy

Holder’s Chutzpah

Voter-ID laws are not about denying access to blacks.

Attorney General Eric Holder recently told a group of black clergymen that the right to vote was being threatened by people who are seeking to block access to the ballot box by blacks and other minorities.

This is truly world-class chutzpah, by an attorney general who stopped attorneys in his own Department of Justice from completing the prosecution of black thugs who stationed themselves outside a Philadelphia voting site to harass and intimidate white voters.

This may have seemed like a small episode to some at the time, but it was only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. The U.S. attorney who was prosecuting that case — J. Christian Adams — resigned from the Department of Justice in protest and wrote a book about a whole array of similar race-based decisions on voting rights by Eric Holder and his subordinates at the Department of Justice.

The book is titled “Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department.” It names names, dates, and places around the country where the Department of Justice stopped its own attorneys from pursuing cases of voter fraud and intimidation, when it was blacks who were accused of these crimes.

If Mr. Adams is lying, he has taken a huge risk in citing individuals by name and quoting them directly. Yet, despite the fact that most of those he accuses are lawyers, apparently no one has sued him. Moreover, Adams has also testified under oath before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the racial double standard at the Department of Justice, when it comes to voting rights.

What Attorney General Holder has been complaining loudly about, and launching federal lawsuits about, are states that require photo identification to vote. Holder calls this blocking minority “access” to the voting booths.

Since millions of black Americans — like millions of white Americans — are confronted with demands for photo identification at airports, banks, and innumerable other institutions, it is a little much to claim that requiring the same thing to vote is denying the right to vote. But Holder’s chutzpah is up to the task.

Attorney General Holder claims that the states’ requirement of photo identification for voting, in order to prevent voter fraud, is just a pretext for discriminating against blacks and other minorities. He apparently sees no voter fraud, hears no voter fraud, and speaks no voter fraud.

Despite Holder’s claim, a little experiment in his own home voting district showed how easy it is to commit voter fraud. An actor — a white actor, at that — went to a voting place where Eric Holder is registered to vote, and told an official that he was Eric Holder.

The actor had no identification at all with him, either with or without a photo. He told the voting official that he had left his identification in his car. Instead of telling him to go back to the car and get some identification, the official said that that was all right, and offered him the ballot.

The actor had the good sense not to actually take the ballot, which would have made him guilty of voter fraud — and, being white, he would undoubtedly have been prosecuted by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice.

But the actor had made his point. When a white man with no identification can go to a voting site, impersonate a black man who lives in that district, and get his ballot offered to him, then it is far too easy to commit voter fraud.

Does not Attorney General Eric Holder understand that? Of course he understands it! The man is not stupid, despite his other failings.

Holder’s pooh-poohing of voter-fraud dangers, and hyping the “threat” of denying minorities “access” to the voting booth, are completely consistent with his drive to (1) maximize the number of votes by black Democrats and (2) spread as much fear as possible among minorities that they are under siege, and that the Democrats are their only protection and salvation.

It is a political protection racket, with payoffs in votes.

Nor can Holder’s boss, Barack Obama, be unaware of voter fraud. After all, he comes from Chicago, where voting officials refuse to discriminate against dead people.

— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. © 2012 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

Thomas SowellThomas Sowell is an American economist, social theorist, political philosopher, and author, whose books include Basic Economics. He is currently senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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