When a few right-leaning states passed laws last year mandating identification cards as proof of citizenship to participate in elections, democrats decried the laws as racist ploys designed by republicans to disenfranchise minorities and discourage them from participating in the voting process. The arguments from the left ranged from certain minority groups not being able to afford the nominal fee (at most, $25, which was analogous to a “polling tax”), to certain minority groups allegedly finding it difficult to travel to their local DMV office to apply for the appropriate identification card. No doubt, the right took a beating on this issue. So we must now ask why many of those same democrats, including President Obama, have become hypocritical on this same issue.
In the years following the 9/11 attacks, Congress passed numerous laws in the name of “national security”. One of those laws, the REAL ID Act passed in 2005, required all states to upgrade their state-issued identification and driver’s license cards to meet certain standards established by Congress. States that fail to comply with the Act face certain restrictions including restrictions on domestic travel.
Beginning Friday, January 1st, 2016, residents of Minnesota will find it harder to board a domestic flight without a form of identification approved by the federal government. Whereas a state-issued identification card will be an acceptable form today, starting Friday, that form will no longer be accepted by TSA. To meet the federal standard, a resident will now need a passport to board any flight, including a domestic flight. And, once certain waivers expire later in the year, residents of Louisiana, New York, and New Hampshire will face the same hardship (note to readers: 75% of these states lean far to the left).
Let’s explore the hypocrisy of this. When certain states passed laws requiring an identification card to vote, they were cast aside as racist moves whose only clear intention was to prevent minorities from participating in elections (presumably because said minorities vote for democrats). The $25 fee, coupled with a quick trip to the local DMV office, was simply too much for certain minority groups to handle. But if those same poor minority groups wish to travel for the holidays, they must now travel to a location offering passport photos; pay for those passport photos; travel to a passport processing office (usually the local post office); complete a mountain of paperwork to satisfy the State Department’s application process; and then pay the exorbitant fee of $110. And then wait 4-6 weeks for the passport to arrive at their doorstep. And what have democrats, most notably President Obama, said about this latest identification atrocity: nothing. Absolutely zero has been said of this latest identification-related attack against minorities. An attack which, apples to apples, is far more cumbersome than the alleged “attack” launched by a few right-leaning states.
If President Obama, and his democratic allies, are to retain any sort of credibility, then another Rose Garden intervention should be forthcoming. Anything less is just further proof of the sham attack those democrats launched to score a few political points with their base.