BASEHOR, Kan. - The August 3 Wall Street Journal opinion piece Bill Clinton Does 'Jim Crow', seems to present a straw issue with little substance in the larger scheme of things.
I realize that some on the Left see any attempt by charlatans like Kris Kobach to impose voter identification as un-American, but is this really an issue that Progressives want to go to the mat on?
If I have to produce ID to set up a bank account, write a check at a retail store, get on an airplane, rent a car, stay in a hotel, or even obtain a library card, I can't for the life of me see why I shouldn't have to produce identification if I'm going to exercise my most fundamental right as a citizen. I understand the argument that, as a fundamental right of American citizenship, the right to vote should not be infringed.
I'm adamantly opposed to any kind of national ID law or a requirement that I have ID on my person at all times. Or that I produce ID on demand to law enforcement (not required at this point, unless I'm driving a car).
Fraud by individual voters is largely non-existent. Voter ID requirements are a blatant attempt by the Right to suppress voter turnout by minority groups who vote largely Democratic. I understand the tortuous logic of Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, and all of the other Democrats who are supposedly trying to protect the franchise. But I think this issue is one where, in order to take the bluster out of the one-trick Kris Kobach crowd, we let them have their hollow victory. Using precious political capital and time on voter ID seems a fool's errand. Even liberal justice John Paul Stevens, writing for the 6-3 Supreme Court majority in 2008, said that voter ID requirements are not unconstitutional.
If Progressives really want to put their principles to work, let's get behind helping those without ID (photo or otherwise) to get ID. How difficult would it be for each of us to assist one person - just one - without an ID to obtain an ID?
Let's beat the bigots and voter suppression bunch at their own game.