The Corner

The Hypocrisy of the Liberal War on Voter ID

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People took to the streets of North Carolina Saturday. The NAACP staged the Moral March, in part, to “defeat discriminatory proposals to mandate photo ID for all people exercising their right to vote.”

How odd, then, that the NAACP’s written instructions to demonstrators told them: “DO bring photo identification (driver’s license, passport, or other valid photo id [sic]) with you and keep it on your person at all times.”

Hypocrisy rarely gets purer than this.

The same NAACP that demanded photo ID from those in this march is the same NAACP that, last May, called North Carolina’s voter-ID bill “egregious legislation that chips at the very fabric of our democracy.” The NAACP claims that millions of voters — especially blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities — either do not possess photo IDs or are incapable of securing them in time to vote. Not since the days of whites-only water fountains have people of color been depicted as this dimwitted. It is especially galling to see blacks so badly disparaged by an organization that claims to represent “colored people.”

“I find it extremely hypocritical that when nearly 70 percent of North Carolinians across all political spectrums support the idea that one present photo identification when going to the polls, the North Carolina NAACP has filed suit in court to block this common-sense idea,” State Representative David Lewis (R., North Carolina) told The Daily Caller. “The idea that [Tarheel NAACP] Chairman William Barber and his followers find it more important to carry their photo identification with them when marching than when electing the President of the United States is reprehensible.”

This is hardly the first case of liberals’ gross hypocrisy on photo ID. Obama’s Justice Department is openly hostile to photo ID for elections. Picture ID for voting is like a modern “poll tax,” Attorney General Eric Holder told the NAACP in July 2012. At that event, by the way, the NAACP required journalists to show “government-issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license).” Holder also called North Carolina’s new voter ID rules and other election reforms “aggressive steps to curtail the voting rights” of black Americans. Of course, as the Federal Register meeting notice above demonstrates, Holder expects Justice Department visitors to display the same dreaded picture ID that he and his boss consider the reincarnation of Jim Crow.

The Moral March’s “coalition partners” included the AFL-CIO, Teamsters Local 391, and Working America. These unions presumably support the NAACP’s anti-photo-ID crusade, which is part of its 14-Point People’s Agenda for North Carolina.

But when it comes to union elections, Big Labor is much, much more comfortable with picture ID cards. Just last Thursday, Baltimore educators voted on a new labor contract. “We have seven voting places,” union boss Marietta English told talk show host Marc Steiner. “And all you need is your picture ID. And you must be a member of the Baltimore Teachers Union.”

The photo above shows a site for an International Association of Machinists contract vote. Here, too, union members had to show photo ID before casting their ballots on their labor deal with Boeing. Racism charges, strangely enough, did not ring from sea to shining sea.

Democrats even forced little old black ladies, among others, to show picture ID before buying cold-and-flu medicine. The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 compels consumers to present “an identification card that provides a photograph and is issued by a State or the Federal Government.”

After the House passed this bill on December 14, 2005, the Senate endorsed it on March 2, 2006. The current and former senators who voted to subject blacks, and others, to this drug-store indignity included such Democrats as Nevada’s Harry Reid, New York’s Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton, and Illinois’s Obama.

People — colored or otherwise — who lack photo ID truly are undocumented citizens. Good luck borrowing library books, cashing checks, boarding airplanes, or even riding Amtrak. If the NAACP really cared about these disconnected Americans, they would work with the GOP to get a photo ID for every adult who lacks one. As conservatives argue, this would be good for America on Election Day. And as liberals should understand, this would be good for ID-free Americans the other 364 days of the year. The fact that the NAACP and other liberals fight photo ID for those who need it unmasks their true agenda: to elect Leftists, not to integrate minorities into the American mainstream.

As predominantly Democrat vote-fraud activity illustrates, Leftists appear to benefit from a slippery election system riddled with absentee-ballot abuse, early-and-often voting, ineligible-felon voters, medical personnel who “assist” Alzheimer’s patients with mail-in ballots, and even Deceased-Americans who remain politically active, thanks to those who pull vote-machine levers on their behalf. Asking electors for photo ID to prove that they are who they say they are would dull this Democratic edge. Consequently, they hate photo ID at the polls and demand it nearly everywhere else. If this inconsistency makes Democrats and their NAACP allies look like fools, that is a small price to pay for power.

Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor and a contributing editor of National Review Online, and a senior fellow with the London Center for Policy Research.


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