27 February 2012

Dick Durbin compares voter ID laws to poll taxes

In related news, Dick Durbin is a craven, opportunistic, lying scumbag

Politicians say an awful lot of stupid things, but my very own Senator Durbin is easily one of the worst. A few years ago he compared our interrogation techniques at Camp Gitmo to the tactics of Stalin, the Nazis, and Pol Pot.

Now comes the clueless dipshit once again, to make this ridiculous comparison: the sensible and integrity-protecting requirement that voters must show ID, to the quite despicable use of poll taxes by Jim Crow-era racists which were invented solely to disenfranchise blacks for a hundred years.

Because those are like totally the same thing.

The details:
Senators ask GAO to probe voter ID laws as poll tax
Four senators have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate state laws that leave voters “unreasonably hindered or burdened” while trying to prevent voter fraud.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sens. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) asked GAO Comptroller Gene Dodaro in a letter today to conduct the study on an “alarming number” of voter laws — 19 — that have sprung up in 14 states.

The senators cite an unspecified study that found “the enactment of strict voter identification laws directly impacts the 21 million citizens who do not have access to a government-issued ID, the majority of whom are young voters, African Americans, Hispanics, those earning $35,000 per year or less, and the elderly.”

"Unspecified study". And with good reason, I'm quite sure.

Do we really need to go into why requiring ID to vote is not a "poll tax", and why comparing it to one is insulting to each and every Jim Crow era victim of racism?

And are we really sure that "citizens" is the right word there? Or am I supposed to believe that the 10-20 million illegals now living here somehow--it's a miracle!--have proper legal identification, and that this whole discussion is not actually about them? 'Cuz I'm having a hard time with that one.

And 21 million people, WOW, that is a lot of no-ride-having folks! What is the problem here, for these people, exactly? Can somebody help them out, maybe a friend or relative? Is asking them to have legal ID really that big a burden? Maybe government should fetch their pipe and slippers, too?

Also, should we expect voting to be completely effort- and hassle-free for the voter? But wouldn't that, I don't know ... encourage fraud?

Regarding the use of the loaded phrase "poll tax", Durbin, Nelson, Sanders, and Leahy ought to be ashamed of themselves. Poll taxes were imposed by racist Southern Democrats in positions of power, like police and election judges and the like, to prevent blacks from voting. These were the very same people who, in many cases, donned white robes and murdered blacks for fun on Saturday nights. So that, friends, is a hell of a long way from expecting somebody to spend a couple of hours, on a Saturday, once every few years, acquiring a basic form of ID that the law requires them to have anyway, especially if they expect to cast votes in our elections. If it costs a few bucks, well, life is like that sometimes. If you can't afford to pay for basic identification, I think you probably have bigger problems than voting. And people in Iraq risked their lives to vote in their first elections in the post-Saddam Hussein era.

More of this insanity from Durbin, et al:
The letter adds that state measures requiring proof of citizenship place “extreme burdens on third-party registration efforts.”

“We know that many hard-working Americans cannot afford the costs associated with complying with these laws, from the hundreds of dollars in documentation fees required in one state to register, to the time an individual living in a rural state needs to take off from work to travel to the nearest DMV which is hours away and is no longer open late or on weekends,” the senators write. “It is clear that these state requirements can and do become de facto poll taxes for many low-income individuals.”

The senators call “voter impersonation fraud — the purported justification for these unnecessarily burdensome requirements — reportedly minimal.”

In order for Congress to “take the action necessary” against voter-ID laws, they need “an accurate picture” from the GAO, the letter states, including what percentage of eligible voters have necessary documents, broken down by race, gender and socioeconomic status, and which states have curtailed early voting to comply with new laws.

If we absolutely must run some damn taxpayer-funded program to allow legal residents of the United States to get proper ID -- that they are legally required to carry anyway -- then reduce these so-called "exorbitant" fees, and encourage friends and family to help, and just get the damn thing done. For crying out loud, it's a friggin' ID card, it's not like we're asking them to crawl forty miles over broken glass.

But we all know this is really just a dog and pony show, and these are mere excuses cooked up by the unbelievably craven and cynical Dick Durbin, who wants the illegal alien vote, and the vote of people too addled or confused to manage to acquire an ID, and they want to make fraud as simple as possible, so they use stupid arguments like this to pretend it's about all those "21 million citizens" -- again, wrong word -- "who do not have access" -- again, wrong word -- "to a government-issued ID".

via The PJ Tatler » Senators Ask GAO to Probe Voter ID Laws as ‘Poll Tax’.