Open Thread: Obama AG Holder Rails Against Voter ID... To Audience That Had to Show ID to Get Into Hall

Yesterday in an appearance at the NAACP's annual convention, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder lashed out against voter ID requirements as a form of "poll tax" that threatens to disenfranchise black voters. He insisted that the Obama administration would "not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right."

He was, of course, warmly and enthusiastically received. But in order for journalists to exercise their "most precious" First Amendment rights to cover the speech, they, you guessed it, had to have valid, government-issued photo ID on top of their press credentials, reported News Editor Katie Pavlich yesterday:

Earlier today, Attorney General Eric Holder addressed the NAACP Nation Convention at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas. What did media need in order to attend? That's right, government issued photo identification (and a second form of identification too!), something both Holder and the NAACP stand firmly against when it comes to voting. Holder's DOJ is currently suing Texas for "discriminatory" voter ID laws. From the press release:

All media must present government-issued photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license) as well as valid media credentials. Members of the media must RSVP to receive press credentials at For security purposes, media check-in and equipment set up must be completed by 7:45 a.m. CDT for an 8:00 a.m. CDT security sweep. Once the security sweep is completed, additional media equipment will NOT be permitted to enter and swept equipment will NOT be permitted to exit.

Ironically, NAACP President Ben Jealous railed against voter ID just before Holder took the stage.

Presidential candidate and Secret Service protectee Mitt Romney will address the NAACP convention today. Given that Secret Service security requirements often entail checking photo ID (and getting the Social Security number) of attendees of a protectee's public events, it's highly likely that convention-goers as well as media members will be required to furnish ID this morning.

A few months ago, our friends at MRCTV hit the streets of Washington, D.C., which, suffice to say is very liberal and very Democratic. They talked to African-American voters about the question of voter ID, and most of those asked said they support the measure.