Debbie does demagoguery

Floridians love controversy, whether it’s centered on South Beach’s self-indulgence, Key West’s kookiness or the butterfly ballot’s brouhaha. We love controversy so much that we’ll create it where none exists. A 2007 forum question posted on asked, “Why is there so much racism in Florida?” Florida’s “racists” later chose a Cuban-American U.S. senator, a black female lieutenant governor and an African-American U.S. House member. Go figure.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, likes controversy. She’s an uber-liberal congresswoman. She often ridicules conservative Republicans (I know, I’m getting redundant here).

Most recently, she accused Republican-controlled state legislatures of racism for enacting election reform, which she likened to Jim Crow laws.

Perhaps no one told Debbie that Jim Crow laws were the near-exclusive product of her Democratic brethren, including Klansmen Robert Byrd and J. William Fulbright (Bill Clinton’s mentor). Moreover, Al Gore Sr. fought tooth and nail against the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

She later apologized for the Jim Crow remark, but added, “I don’t regret calling attention to the efforts in a number of states with Republican-dominated legislatures, including Florida, to restrict access to the ballot box for all kinds of voters, but particularly young voters, African Americans and Hispanic Americans.” Some apology.

Wisconsin’s recently enacted voter ID law requires that voters present photo identification at the polls. It’s one of 13 states (including Florida) requiring photo identification.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz argues that disadvantaged black and Hispanic voters are least likely to possess photo ID, but most likely to vote for Democratic candidates. Numerous instances of voter fraud, especially in 2008, tilt the scale the other way. Also, essentially everyone today has some form of photo ID, and it’s frighteningly easy to produce legitimate-looking phony identification using personal computers.

Florida’s new voter reform law is also on the congresswoman’s radar. It changes early voting from 14 eight-hour days to eight 14-hour days, and provides that voters making address changes at the polls cast provisional ballots. Its purpose is clear — to eliminate voting in multiple precincts.

83% of Americans say each vote matters, but it would matter less if diluted by the votes of illegal residents, the deceased, or those casting multiple ballots. “Vote dilution” should be a particular concern to those who gained their suffrage late in our nation’s history. You know, women like Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the African-Americans she’s so concerned about. Clearly, she values partisan politics over the integrity of the ballot.

Then again, maybe she just likes controversy.


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