Ed Schultz Hyperventilates That Voter ID Laws ... 'Attack Women!'

September 13th, 2012 11:45 AM

Stay tuned as Ed Schultz describes how the massive asteroid hurtling toward earth and threatening to end all life on the planet puts women and minorities at the greatest risk ...

Sure he's a loose cannon, but Ed Schultz is a predictable one at that. (Audio after page break)

It wasn't enough for him to trot out the standard leftist trope on his radio show Tuesday that voter ID laws are racist. Schultz had to gild the lily by further claiming that such laws "attack women," specifically poor women raising children (audio) --

Look, they have a whole program that is built around anti-fraud, OK? And it's minuscule, it is minuscule. And what they're doing is borderline racism. It really is. And all of these voter ID laws attack women! Uh, in, I mean, if you look at who it, uh, directly affects is low-income women raising kids, uh, their voice is going to be taken right away by all this voter suppression stuff. It's pretty damn scary. It's almost like the Republicans have got it down to social engineering. They must have a social engineering map, knowing every county on what they have to do and what they have to accomplish to make sure that they get the political power.

As to be expected, Schultz did not elaborate on why "low-income women raising kids" are threatened by the allegedly onerous requirement for a photo ID to vote, preferring instead to let the assertion speak for itself. Presumably Schultz believes it is just as discriminatory to require poor women to submit a photo ID when making a bank withdrawal, checking it at the airport, or buying Sudafed.

Schultz's claim reminds me of a comical scene in John Fund's revised edition of his book "Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Our Democracy" (2008) in which Fund describes legal challenges to Indiana's voter ID law that were eventually decided by the Supreme Court.

The state Democratic Party in Indiana filed suit against the law, as did the NAACP, the Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis, and United Senior Action of Indiana. As was the case in an earlier federal lawsuit against a voter ID law in Georgia, Fund writes, "the Indiana lawyers were unable to find any individuals who could not meet the requirements of the photo ID law -- despite their claims that hundreds of thousands of Indiana voters did not have ID and would not be able to vote under the law."

In fact, one of the plaintiffs in the case, Fund writes, "was an employee of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles who also worked as a judge in the polls on Election Day on behalf of the Democratic Party. Although she had originally claimed she had no photo ID, this employee of the state agency that issues driver's licenses and nondriver's photo IDs had to admit at her deposition that she did in fact have a valid driver's license. When asked about the discrepancy, she said, 'I may have made a mistake there.' "

In contrast to a slew of narrowly split decisions by the Supreme Court in recent years, the high court voted 6-3 in 2008 to uphold the Indiana law. Since then, it has become a taboo subject on the left and in media coverage, though liberals show no such hesitancy in condemning the court's Citizens United ruling and gushing over its decision to uphold Obamacare.

In "Stealing Elections," Fund also describes the legal challenge to a voter ID law in Georgia, which initially passed in 1997 when Democrats ran the state legislature. It allowed for 17 different documents to be used to prove a voter's identity, such as driver's license, payroll check, or bank statement, or the voter could complete an affidavit swearing to his or her identity.

Even after this, an analysis conducted by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSB-TV in 2000 "found that more than 5,412 votes had been cast in the names of deceased voters in Georgia, sometimes on multiple occasions, over the prior twenty years, and at least 15,000 dead voters were still registered to vote," Fund writes.

After Republicans gained control of the Georgia legislature in 2004 for the first time since Reconstruction, GOP state lawmakers amended the voter ID law by narrowing acceptable ID documents to six government-issued photo IDs and eliminating the affidavit exception.

Georgia is one of several Southern states which must clear any changes to its voting laws with the Justice Department to ensure the new laws are not discriminatory. The Justice Department signed off on the new law in 2005, followed by several liberal groups filing suit against the law, including the NAACP, Common Cause of Georgia, and the League of Women Voters of Georgia.

As would be the case in the Indiana challenge, the plaintiffs in Georgia proved equally hapless in proving their apocalyptic assertions. "Despite the claims of the plaintiffs' lawyers that there were hundreds of thousands of Georgia voters who did not have a photo ID and could not obtain one," Fund writes, "over the course of the next two years of litigation they were unable to produce a single voter who was disenfranchised by the Georgia law. "

Once again foreshadowing the legal challenge to the voter ID law in Indiana, the lawsuit in Georgia provided another comical moment at the plaintiffs' expense. The judge in the case, Harold Murphy (appointed by Jimmy Carter and considered among the most liberal judges in the state) "dismissed as 'far from reliable' the large numbers of registered voters who supposedly did not have an ID as reported by the former secretary of state, Cathy Cox, who had made it very clear that she opposed the voter ID law, and noted that he even mistakenly appeared on the list."

Just as one can be sure that the Supreme Court's 6-3 ruling on the legality of Indiana's toughest-in-the-nation photo ID law will be stubbornly ignored by liberals in media, don't hold your breath waiting for Ed Schultz and friends at MSNBC to ask Jimmy Carter for his thoughts on voter ID. It took court intervention and a recount for Carter to be declared the winner of a Georgia state senate race in 1962 after a corrupt sheriff was found to have drawn votes from local cemeteries.

Several years ago, Carter co-chaired the Commission on Federal Election Reform, along with GOP elder statesman James Baker. Among their recommendations in 2005 -- "Photo IDs currently are needed to board a plane, enter federal buildings, and cash a check," the commission's final report stated. "Voting is equally important."

Which is why you never hear about this commission anymore.