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United States Attorney General
Purposely Dividing Americans?
Earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed a group of black church leaders in Washington, DC. He used the gathering as an opportunity to express his position on state laws requiring voters to produce photo I.D. It is not the first time that Mr. Holder has addressed this issue.
The divisiveness inherent in the Attorney General’s remarks, both today and in other forums, is such that I have interrupted the normal delivery of 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama. Today, after discussing Mr. Holder’s presentation, we skip to Reason #93, which seems particularly relevant to the issue. Tomorrow’s post will return to our normal sequence, beginning with Reason #3.
During his presentation today, Eric Holder – Attorney General of the United States – told black church leaders, in part:
“[D]espite our nation’s long tradition of extending voting rights – to non-property owners and women, to people of color and Native Americans, and to younger Americans – today, a growing number of our fellow citizens are worried about the same disparities, divisions, and problems that – nearly five decades ago – so many fought to address. In my travels across this country, I’ve heard a consistent drumbeat of concern from citizens, who – often for the first time in their lives – now have reason to believe that we are failing to live up to one of our nation’s most noble ideals; and that some of the achievements that defined the civil rights movement now hang in the balance…”
“…The recent wave of changes to state-level voter identification laws also has presented a number of problems requiring the department’s attention,” said Holder. “In December, we objected to South Carolina’s voter ID law, after finding – based on the state’s own data – that the proposed change would place an unfair burden on non-white voters.” 
It is very difficult to ignore this type of rhetoric from the Attorney General of the United States. Rush Limbaugh spent a great deal of time on his syndicated radio show today, talking about Holder’s words and their use as a distraction. He also, quite correctly, called for Eric Holder to name the specific people and/or organizations that he (Holder) believes are responsible for trying to impede minority voting.
In point of fact, Holder cannot name these people and organizations, because they don’t exist. Holder’s comments and persistence on this issue are the rhetorical equivalents of the Reichstag Fire. Mr. Holder – who seems tongue tied when it comes to Fast and Furious and The New Black Panthers, is never at a loss for words when pitting one group of Americans against another. This rhetoric represents still one more shallow, transparent effort to divide Americans and to recapture the commitment of black and Hispanic voters to a desperate Obama campaign.
Let’s look, for a moment, at what’s real. How many protests do you remember in your lifetime, waged over the requirement for Drivers Licenses and their use to keep minorities off the highways? That’s right – NONE. The reason? It’s not true. The same applies for Holder’s strawman, suggesting that photo IDs are designed to keep minorities from voting. Not true.
Now, let’s take one state – the one in which I live – Florida.
In order to obtain, or renew a Drivers License in Florida, you must produce something called Primary documentation, along with proof of social security registration and two proofs of residence. Primary identification can be satisfied with an original, or certified copy of one of the following:
1) Certified U.S. Birth Certificate,
2) valid U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card;
3) Consular Report of Birth Abroad;
4) Certificate of Naturalization; or
5) Certificate of Citizenship.
In addition to one of these, you must also have a 1) social security card; 2) W-2; 3) Paycheck; 4) SSA 1099; or 5) any other 1099. Then, on top of all this, a Floridian in search of a Drivers License must produce two proofs of residence. Among acceptable proofs are Deeds, Mortgages, Voter Registration Cards, Vehicle Registration, Boat Registration, etc. There’s also special document requirements for immigrants and non-immigrants.
Consider this. The documentation required for a Florida Drivers License is apparently more than required to be inaugurated as President of the United States. The documentation sought in an effort to prevent voter fraud- a crime that could threaten our very way of life: A simple picture ID.
The Numbers in South Carolina
“In December, we objected to South Carolina’s voter ID law, after finding – based on the state’s own data – that the proposed change would place an unfair burden on non-white voters.”
These were Mr. Holder’s comments on the black voter disadvantage in South Carolina. The kindest response would be to say that he is being highly misleading. You be the judge.
According to the Heritage Foundation’s Hans Von Spakovsky, initial South Carolina data reflected that only 240,000 of 2.7 million registered South Carolina voters did not have identification issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) – picture ID. Holder’s Department of Justice produced an analysis of that data, showing that racially adjusted, 8.4% of whites and 10% of blacks had no DMV ID – a difference of only 1.6% between the two groups. Given their representation in the population (28% black) however, the apparent 1.6% advantage to whites actually results in more than twice as many whites as blacks, being without DMV issued ID. Nearly twice as many whites as blacks, if the law was enacted, would not be able to vote unless they first obtained a picture ID.
But, it doesn’t stop there. This data was determined to be grossly inaccurate when it was discovered by the Associated Press, that of the 240,000 without DMV ID, 207,000 should be eliminated because they “live in other states, allowed their ID cards to expire, probably have licenses with names that didn’t match voter records, or were dead.”  When all was said and done, only 33,000, or 1.2% of all South Carolina’s registered voters did not have DMV issued ID. Assuming a population distribution consistent with South Carolina’s overall population, 23,760 whites and only 9,240 blacks would be without DMV issued ID. For every black needing to obtain a picture ID before voting, 2.6 whites would be in the same situation – hardly representative of a conspiracy against minorities. Why then, does the Attorney General of the United States wish to make this a racial issue?
Mr. Holder occupies the highest law enforcement office in the land. He is, to be slightly melodramatic, the supposed guardian of justice. Except, he’s not. Mr. Holder’s rhetoric on voter ID is not protecting any group’s right to vote, because that right is not in jeopardy – and he knows it. He is purposely driving a wedge between Americans in order to achieve a political and arguably a personal goal. Is he creating a distraction to benefit Obama’s presidential bid? Is he doing it to protect his own position? Exactly what and how much can be gained for any person or group, by fanning the flames of hatred.
Obama: Agitating to Dismantle America?
Evidence of Obama’s position is readily seen in both of his books (Dreams from my Father and The Audacity of Hope); in the venom directed at Wall Street CEOs, automakers and innocent bondholders; in his relentless approach to Healthcare Reform against the will of the majority of Americans; in the recommended reading for aspiring community organizers; even in his comments on the handling of Hurricane Katrina.
“The agitator’s job, according to Saul Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the “realization” that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve.”  And, according to Mike Kruglik, an early Obama mentor: “He [Obama] was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation…”
Jeffrey Kuhner, in a Washington Times Op-Ed, wrote: “At his core, he [Obama] is a radical leftist who seeks to dismantle capitalism and the achievements of the Reagan revolution – low taxes, deregulation and the reassertion of American exceptionalism.”
 Paul Stanley, (May 30, 2012), Christian Post web-site, Politics, AG Attacks Voter ID Laws in Speech to Black Churches, retrieved May 30, 2012 from http://www.christianpost.com/news/ag-holder-attacks-voter-id-laws-in-speech-to-black-churches-75777/
 Media Matters, (May 30, 2012), Media Matters web-site, Research, Fox, Limbaugh Attack Holder for Speaking to Black Leaders about Voter ID Laws, retrieved May 30, 2012 from http://mediamatters.org/research/201205300023
 Rush Limbaugh (May 30, 2012), EIB Network, The Rush Limbaugh Show, WIOD 610 Radio, Miami, FL, 12pm-3pm