PRESSURE: Vitter Offers Voter ID Budget Amendment

Why do we generally say nice things about Sen. David Vitter here on the Hayride? Because he often does things like this…

U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) today offered an amendment to the Senate budget resolution to require a valid government-issued photographic ID to vote in a federal election.

“Republicans, Democrats, conservatives and liberals should all agree that ensuring election integrity is vital to maintain an honest and healthy representative democracy,” Vitter said. “Photographic IDs are required for many day to day activities: driving, opening a bank account, getting on a plane or entering a federal building, and a citizen’s vote in a federal election should not be devalued by a fraudulent vote cast by someone else.”

Earlier this week Sen. Vitter announced opposition to President Obama’s nominee to head the Department of Labor, Thomas Perez in part because of his work at the Department of Justice related to spotty enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act in Louisiana. Mr. Perez’s Civil Rights Division has repeatedly sued states attempting to ensure election integrity including Louisiana, Texas and South Carolina.

No, that amendment won’t pass. The Democrats aren’t going to give up fighting against Voter ID, particularly when the Obama Justice Department is waging a jihad against states who have passed it.

But if Vitter can get that amendment to the floor – and you can’t get an amendment to the floor unless you offer the sucker – then he’ll be putting Democrats on the record on the question of whether you should have to show an ID to vote when you already have to show it multiple times a day when you’re out and about.

The Left’s arguments about how an ID requirement is onerous for people who aren’t white are so brazenly patronizing and racist as to make them great entertainment. We love hearing them. As Nick Searcy says, they taste like ice cream. The Right has yet to develop the proper degree of ridicule for those arguments, but hopefully that will come. Those arguments haven’t won in court and they’re not likely to persuade the public. This is a debate conservatives ought to want to have.

After all, Democrats are arguing against the majority of blacks and hispanics when they purport to be protecting them in fighting Voter ID. Particularly where the black community is involved, this is an example of how the self-appointed leadership establishment is out of touch with their own constituency.

So it’s a terrible issue for Democrats. Look forward to a vicious, howling editorial from the Times-Picayune’s resident lefty hack over the weekend on this issue.

What’s more, it’s a terrible issue for Mary Landrieu.

There is no readily available polling data for Voter ID in Louisiana, but you can imagine given the state’s conservative leanings and its history of electoral shenanigans that the national polls showing two thirds to three quarters of the public nationally supporting an ID requirement will be in force here.

Mary, who presents herself as a centrist and non-threatening Democrat, can’t come out against a voter ID requirement when we already have one in Louisiana (in this state you can substitute something like a utility or phone bill, plus an affidavit of residence, for a photo ID at the polling place). But if she were to join Vitter in backing that requirement the national Democrat Party will stroke out – because Landrieu might not be alone, and if five other Democrats join her the amendment probably passes and all hell breaks loose.

That makes for a Hobson’s choice. It exposes a Democrat politician who tries to pretend to be something she isn’t. And it paves the way for her to be beaten for re-election next year.

The chances are Vitter won’t be able to get this amendment to the floor. Harry Reid doesn’t want to march his members into that Valley of Death. But pushing these issues again and again is a good way to expose the Democrats on issues they’re completely out of touch with the public in.

And while the media might not report on those issues, votes on the record are fodder for campaign ads which can be deadly.



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