Each week seems to bring a new assault on the Constitution from Attorney General Eric Holder. When will Congress decide enough is enough and launch a full-on impeachment probe?
Holder’s arrogance has no parallel in politics today. Halting the prosecution of New Black Panther Party voter intimidation activities, subverting immigration law enforcement and stonewalling a congressional investigation into the Fast and Furious scheme are not enough for Holder and the Obama administration. Now they are taking aim at state laws designed to prevent vote fraud in the 2012 election.
Holder announced recently in a speech in Austin, Texas, that he thinks requiring a person to show a photo ID to cast a ballot is a reincarnation of Jim Crow laws that obstructed black registration and voting. Citing the 1965 Voting Rights Act, Obama’s Attorney General threatens to use the full powers of the federal government to overturn any state law that can be shown to have a “disparate impact” on minority voting.
Liberals like Holder who make such arguments have a couple of formidable obstacles. First, those words – “disparate impact” – do not appear in the 1965 voting rights legislation. Those words and that standard are an addition to the law created by federal judges as an extension of the original meaning and purpose of the act.
A second big obstacle for Holder is that the U.S. Supreme Court has more than once upheld state laws requiring photo ID to vote and similar voter integrity measures. If administered fairly and in a color-blind fashion, they are legal.
Holder and Obama already know this. They know that in the short term, they will probably lose such cases. But their real plan as far as 2012 is concerned is not litigation. It is intimidation. They only have to win this one election. If they do, all future elections will be different.
Their motives and long-term goals are revealed in another of Holder’s ideas – the vast expansion of voter rolls. His idea is not yet a legislative proposal, but we can expect to see it in full bloom if Obama wins a second term.
Attorney General Holder does not believe it is enough to prohibit racial discrimination in voter registration or voting procedures. It is not enough for each state to guarantee that any person legally eligible to vote may register to vote, and if they choose to do so, can vote in an election. Holder believes we must stretch the concept of non-discrimination to guarantee equal outcomes at the ballot.
Holder believes that since minorities do not turn out to vote in the same percentages as Caucasians, the present system is discriminatory on its face. In his view, the system must be redesigned to assure equal turnouts by all racial, ethnic and gender classes.
Holder suggests two radical changes in how we fulfill our “civic obligation” to vote. Since it is a civic obligation, Holder wants active government measures to insure each person fulfills that obligation. How? He wants automatic voter registration for every person who turns 18, and he wants to see energetic government efforts to guarantee that every person registered to vote actually casts a ballot. States that do not enact such measures will be held in violation of the law.
Now, you may object that such a radical redesign of our voter registration and voting practices is nowhere mandated under the U.S. Constitution, and you would be right. But you would also be missing the point. If the Constitution is what five of nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court say it is on any given Monday, then anything is possible. If you propose it, and somehow get Congress to enact it, you may eventually find five judges to agree with you.
How will election outcomes be different under Holder’s vision of 100 percent voter registration and 100 percent guaranteed turnout? Instead of the usual pattern of differing Republican and Democrat turnout and usually lower unaffiliated voter turnout, differences based on candidates and issues, we would have 100 percent “turnout” from all registered voters in every election. Bear in mind that “turnout” no longer means what it meant for 200 years. Now a voter can cast a ballot from home – or from a homeless shelter, hospital bed or church parking lot – three weeks ahead of Election Day.
Are you wondering how an enlightened, progressive government will encourage and facilitate this “100 percent participation” in elections? Well, use your imagination. Never mind that such “total participation” for total community happiness is achieved only in totalitarian regimes.
To achieve this sublime state of participatory cohesion will require an army of “community organizers” and “civic participation advocates” – funded by government grants. That army will help the less informed and less motivated amongst us fill out our ballots correctly and put them in the mail. No one must be allowed to shrink from his civic duty, even if they are abysmally ignorant of the issues and have to be coached and “assisted” in casting a ballot. As I said, use your imagination and get your grant application ready.
Through such measures as Holder is proposing, the “progressive state” will move a giant step closer to its ultimate aim: manipulation of elections to prevent any interruption or change in direction of “public services.” Elections will no longer be permitted to subvert or obstruct the progressive agenda.
It does seem odd that minorities have no problem meeting the requirement for a photo ID when driving a car, cashing a check or passing through security at an airport. Yet, somehow, to Eric Holder, the act of voting is different. We are asked to believe – and judges are being asked to interpret the law to say – that requiring a photo ID to vote has discriminatory motives.
In one sense, Holder is right. Requiring a photo ID to vote does indeed discriminate: It discriminates against fraud.
Unfortunately, to Eric Holder and his progressive allies, fraud, like racism, is only wrong if perpetrated by the bad guys and never wrong when practiced by the good guys. The Catch-22 is this: Citizens at large do not get to decide who are the bad guys or the good guys. That would be an excess of democracy. Only activist judges committed to our “living Constitution” get to decide that.