Watching Meet the Press this past Sunday was a remarkable experience. Among the roundtable contributors were Peggy Noonan, Al Sharpton, and Rep. Marsha Blackburn. The show was fairly enjoyable throughout most of the program – including a very civil discussion about women.
Then right before the close of the program, moderator David Gregory asks Al Sharpton about his recreation of the old Selma to Montgomery march (1965). Sharpton launches into a tirade about how we need to do this march again because our government is trying to disenfranchise millions of people.
REV. SHARPTON: The message is that with the new voter ID laws being proposed in over 30 states, the Brennan Institute says it will disenfranchise five million people. There has been no established reason to change the laws. There’s no widespread fraud that has been in any way documented. And we do, do not believe that we should have these millions of peoples disenfranchised. This is–has a disproportionate impact on young people, seniors and minorities. And immigration laws in Alabama are horrendous and we think they violate the civil rights of people. And we sought to dramatize, not just to commemorate 47 years ago, but to continue today to fight those issues.
Incredibly, this ludicrous and partisan comment goes unanswered. David Gregory just nods along and doesn’t even respond, and neither does Peggy Noonan. Gregory switches topics and wraps up the program with a quick analysis of the upcoming primary on Tuesday, March 13.
Watching this unfold made the whole program seem like a set-up. Everything was quite civil earlier on, so when Sharpton made his outrageous remark, no one batted an eye or refuted the absurdity. It allowed the program to pretty much end with Sharpton’s statement out there to the audience.
Therefore, I was jaded enough to not even be surprised when, the following morning (Monday), the Department of Justice announced the following:
The Justice Department’s civil rights division on Monday objected to a new photo ID requirement for voters in Texas because many Hispanic voters lack state-issued identification.
Texas follows South Carolina as the second state in recent months to become embroiled in a court battle with the Justice Department over new photo ID requirements for voters.
Should I even be surprised? Sharpton’s Meet the Press commentary seemed to coincide with the announcement of government decisions effecting voters in an election year. There is absolutely no reason why we should not have fair and free elections by requiring identification at the polls. We already require IDs for so many other things that to somehow cry discrimination when it comes to IDs for our sacred electoral process is nothing more than sheer political poppycock.
UPDATE: The United Nations is now investigating American laws, as the NAACP is presenting their case to the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva. Really, should we even be surprised?