The Daily Caller asked Bill Scher of the Campaign for America's Future to offer conservatives some advice on how they can be taken seriously when they talk about poverty. Here's one of Scher's recommendations:
3. Give Up The Voter ID NonsenseBrilliant! Stop trying to make it difficult for poor people to vote and maybe the next pious poverty speech from a Republican like Paul Ryan will be given real consideration.
So, um ... how likely is that advice to be taken? Not likely:
Today a federal court decided Kobach v. United States Election Assistance Commission. The upshot of this opinion, if it stands on appeal, is that states with Republican legislatures and/or Republican chief election officials are likely to require documentary proof of citizenship for voting, making it harder for Democrats to pursue a relatively simple method of voter registration.More:
Judge Eric F. Melgren of United States District Court in Wichita ruled that the federal Election Assistance Commission had no legal authority to deny requests from Kansas and Arizona to add state-specific instructions to a national voter registration form. The states sued the agency to force the action after it had turned them down.Republicans don't really want poor people and non-whites to think of them as friends. Republicans know that poor people and non-whites can see exactly what they're up to. Republicans don't care.
The Supreme Court ruled last June that Congress holds full power over federal election rules, but indicated that states could require proof of citizenship in state and local elections. Federal rules require prospective voters only to sign a form attesting to their citizenship, a procedure favored by Democrats who want to increase participation of minorities and the poor in elections, but that Republican officials say fosters voter fraud....
There has been little evidence of in-person voter fraud or efforts by noncitizens to vote, but the poor and minorities are likely to be affected. Studies have shown that the poor and minorities often lack passports and access to birth certificates needed to register under the laws in question.
The fake poverty talk is aimed at two groups of not very bright people: swing voters and mainstream journalists, nearly all of them white. The point of the poverty talk is to persuade both groups, in the run-up to 2016, that Republicans are genuinely compassionate and eminently reasonable and wouldn't hurt a fly. (The talk is also aimed at partisans, the hope being that liberals will respond with attacks and the attacks can then be added to GOP base voters' long list of grievances, because grievance drives GOP base voters to the polls.)
Republicans know that swing voters don't see the problem with voter ID -- they can't imagine having difficulty obtaining proper identification, so they figure it's easy for everyone, and so voter ID talk doesn't make them look at Republicans with suspicion. They don't see the problems with Paul Ryan's poverty talk, either. The people who are actually affected by these Republican policies, on the other hand, know better. But Republicans aren't talking to them. They're talking to white voters, with an eye toward 2014 and 2016.