Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Voter ID, Campaign '08 & Iraq

Here's a great post but I can't take any credit for it. Blog friend Mike Williams put it together. Someday I may convince Mike to start blogging himself. He'd be a great one. Now Mike:

Many of you will remember allegations that, with the help of voter fraud in Illinois and Texas, John Kennedy stole the 1960 presidential election from Richard Nixon. Yesterday, the Supreme Court upheld Indiana’s voter identification law, which requires voters to present a valid photo ID at the polls. The ruling was 6-3, with Justices Ginsburg, Souter and Breyer dissenting. (They argued that the law “threatens to impose nontrivial burdens on the voting rights of tens of thousands of the state’s citizens.”)

Most pundits were surprised that Justice Stevens voted with the majority. John Fund, opining in the WSJ Online:

But this case…also revealed a fundamental philosophical conflict between two perspectives rooted in the machine politics of Chicago. Justice John Paul Stevens, who wrote the [majority] decision, grew up in Hyde Park, the city neighborhood where Sen. Barack Obama – the most vociferous Congressional critic of such laws – lives now. Both men have seen how the Daley machine has governed the city for so many years, with a mix of patronage, contract favoritism and, where necessary, voter fraud.

That fraud became nationally famous in 1960, when the late Mayor Richard J. Daley's extraordinary efforts swung Illinois into John F. Kennedy's column. In 1982, inspectors estimated as many as one in 10 ballots cast in Chicago during that year's race for governor to be fraudulent for various reasons, including votes by the dead.

Mr. Stevens witnessed all of this as a lawyer, special counsel to a commission rooting out corruption in state government, and as a judge. On the Supreme Court, this experience has made him very mindful of these abuses. In 1987, the high court vacated the conviction of a Chicago judge who'd used the mails to extort money. He wrote a stinging dissent, taking the rare step of reading it from the bench. The majority opinion, he noted, could rule out prosecutions of elected officials and their workers for using the mails to commit voter fraud….

Jonathan Adler, at the Volokh Conspiracy:

With this experience Justice Stevens was quite ready to accept that the state had sufficient interests in election integrity and voter confidence to justify the Voter ID rule. Thus, Stevens was unwilling to void the Indiana law on the basis of speculative claims about the law's potential impact. As Stevens' opinion stressed, "on the basis of the record that has been made in this litigation, we cannot conclude that the statute imposes 'excessively burdensome requirements' on any class of voters." (Slip. Op. at 18, emphasis added).

Further, Stevens had little patience for his colleagues who were more willing to rely upon speculative claims or evidence that was not before the Court, writing in a Footnote (that responded to Justice Souter's dissent): "Supposition based on extensive Internet research is not an adequate substitute for admissible evidence subject to cross-examination in constitutional adjudication." (Slip Op. at 19, FN 20).

To some it may be obvious that requiring photo identification to vote is an undue burden on the right to vote. To Justice Stevens, that is a claim that has to supported with record evidence, and such burdens need to be weighed against the state's interests….

And Michelle Malkin adds this little gem: “You may recall that the woman who challenged the voter ID law in Indiana was, um, fraudulently registered to vote in two states.

As Hot Air’s Allahpundit notes, “Republicans on one side, Democrats — forever vigilant about the integrity of the electoral process except when it’s inconvenient — on the other.” At Big Lizards, Dafydd has an interesting theory on why the Dems are so opposed to this law. As Fund mentions above, Obama certainly is.

Speaking of Obama, remember this gaffe from last August?

Asked whether he would move U.S. troops out of Iraq to better fight terrorism elsewhere, he brought up Afghanistan and said, "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there."

Earlier this month, Obama drew criticism when he said he would send troops into Pakistan to hunt down terrorists even without local permission, if warranted.

Now, courtesy of The Boston Globe [H/T Instapundit], we have – drum roll please – “Hillary Strangelove”:

AMERICANS have learned to take with a grain of salt much of the rhetoric in a campaign like the current Democratic donnybrook between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Still, there are some red lines that should never be crossed. Clinton did so Tuesday morning, the day of the Pennsylvania primary, when she told ABC's "Good Morning America" that, if she were president, she would "totally obliterate" Iran if Iran attacked Israel.

This foolish and dangerous threat was muted in domestic media coverage. But it reverberated in headlines around the world….

The editorial concludes:

While Clinton has hammered Obama for supporting military strikes in Pakistan, her comments on Iran are much more far-reaching. She seems not to realize that she undermined Iranian reformists and pragmatists. The Iranian people have been more favorable to America than any other in the Gulf region or the Middle East.

A presidential candidate who lightly commits to obliterating Iran - and, presumably, all the children, parents, and grandparents in Iran - should not be answering the White House phone at any time of day or night.

Wow! Moving right along, if you’re wondering how the MSM is going to “protect” Obama from his self-destructing spiritual mentor, Ed Morrissey has your answer:

It appears that the Reverend Jeremiah Wright may have officially crossed over from partisan target to widespread embarrassment between the hours of 6 pm ET Sunday and noon ET yesterday. In response to the new media offensive (in every sense of the word) launched by Wright, the nation’s pundits on the Left have blown a big raspberry back in his direction. Finally, it appears, the audacity of lunacy has come to their attention….

Here Ed cites some examples from the likes of Bob Herbert , Eugene Robinson, and E.J. Dionne. He continues:

Amazing how this Road to Damascus moment all came at the same time, although to differing degrees. All of these commentators came to see Wright as a narcissist, egotist, provocateur, and a shameless self-promoter in the last 48 hours. Why? In reading the pieces, their ire and scorn come exclusively because of the damage he does to Barack Obama, and with the exception of the Post editorial, not because what he says is ridiculous….

Not one of these columnists mentions his defense of Louis Farrakhan as misunderstood and his anti-Semitism as misreported. Not one of them mentions his strange views on neurology and the supposed synaptic differences between white and black brains. None of them offer even a questioning sentence on Wright’s theories on “tonality” or on the purportedly racial differences between marching bands, let alone his silly and offensive demonstrations of them on stage. Only the Post mentions his repeated assertion that the American government created AIDS as a means for genocide against people of color.

Why not? Because to point these out would be to confirm Wright’s status as a racial demagogue and borderline lunatic, which would really damage Obama….

Ya think? And finally, yes, Virginia, Iran is killing Americans in Iraq. From Hugh Hewitt, Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division:

You see, what we’re trying to do, Hugh, is to trace the rat line back where it came from. See, I’ve lost 147 soldiers under my command since I’ve been here in the last fourteen months. Many of those soldiers were killed by explosive foreign penetrators that are all traced back to Iran, or by Iranian rockets. So what we do, in everything that we do, for example, we found so many weapons caches over the course of the last month, and in those weapons caches we found Iranian rockets and Iranian mines. So we’ve got detailed biometrics. We check for fingerprints, and we traced those back to where they started. We’re following the money back to Iran, we’re following the munitions back to Iran, and then looking for those people that are trained in Iran as well. So it’s a major piece of our operations, to block that Iranian influence.

Maybe Clinton’s not so far off the mark, after all.



Anonymous said...

John -

With respect to voter ID, I think the rules a state sets for voting is purely a state issue, so long as the law conforms to the state's own laws and to Federally legislated laws. The Supreme Court should not ever intervene on such issues.

Jack in Silver Spring