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Why a top Democrat who once called voter ID laws ‘suppression’ does a complete 180

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The about-face Democrats are doing on voter identification laws is beginning to rival the rapid flip seen from the media on the possibilities that COVID-19 escaped from a Wuhan, China lab.

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn has unequivocally dismissed voter identification requirements in the past, insisting that efforts to properly identify voters amount to voter suppression.

However, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., suggesting that in order to get on board with the Democratic Party’s “For the People Act,” a voter ID law be added, suddenly Clyburn is singing a different tune.

Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, the South Carolina Democrat claimed he was “always for voter ID,” as he warmed to Manchin’s proposal. This being perhaps the best tell yet that the For the People Act, which the media is billing as voter reform, is not more than a power grab that will give the federal government far greater power over state and local elections.

“When I first registered to vote as a 21-year-old – back then, 18-year-olds could not vote – I got a voter registration card and I always present that voter registration card to vote. And that’s voter ID,” Clyburn said. “We are always for voter ID. We are never for disproportionate voter ID.”

(Video: CNN)

“When you tell me that you got to have a photo ID, and a photo for a student or an activity card is not good, but, for a hunting license, it is good, that’s where the rub is,” he continued. “I don’t know of a single person who is against ID-ing themselves when they go to vote. But we don’t want you to tell me my ID is no good.”

This coming from the same politician who just tweeted in October that voter ID laws are “voter suppression.”

Turns out, Clyburn also flipped on Manchin proposing a voting reform compromise, having previously rejected any such effort.

“I’m insulted when he tells me that it’s more important to maintain a relationship with the minority in the U.S. Senate than it is for you to maintain a relationship with the minority of voters in America,” Clyburn told HuffPost in April. “That’s insulting to me.”

What’s insulting is trying to sell a power grab as voter reform, although Democrats know the media is a willing accomplice here.

Then again, they’re used to dictating the narrative, as seen last week when the Biden White House boldly declared that it wasn’t Democrats who want to defund the police, but Republicans — despite what your lying eyes tell you.

The media’s flip on the origins of the coronavirus coincided with reports that China’s vice-minister of State Security defected to the United States and gave up information about the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

Perhaps, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll is behind Clyburn’s 180. According to the poll, 79% of Americans believe government-issued photo identifications should be required before casting a ballot.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter that suggest as much:

Tom Tillison

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