Over the weekend I wrote a post critical of Senator Rand Paul’s assessment that Republicans are “going crazy” over Voter ID laws.
A short time ago, it was brought to my attention that Senator Paul’s office had read my post. Doug Stafford, Senior Advisor to the junior Senator from Kentucky, offers the following reply:
Senator Paul was having a larger discussion about criminal justice reform and restoration of voting rights, two issues he has been speaking about around the country and pushing for in state and federal legislation. In the course of that discussion, he reiterated a point he has made before that while there may be some instances of voter fraud, it should not be a defining issue of the Republican Party, as it is an issue that is perhaps perceived in a way it is not intended. In terms of the specifics of voter ID laws, Senator Paul believes it’s up to each state to decide that type of issue.
I appreciate Stafford’s reply on behalf of Rand Paul. However, it does nothing to alter my critique in the least. With this in mind, I would like to make the following two points.
1. I don’t see any evidence to support Paul’s contention that voter ID is “a defining issue of the Republican Party” much less something the GOP has “gone completely crazy” about. It’s certainly not a defining issue for the Republican Party in the way something like Obamacare has been. To the extent voter ID has been an issue for Republicans, it has been on the state level which is the forum where Paul believes it should be sorted out.
2. The statement issued on Paul’s behalf goes on say that voter ID laws “is an issue that is perhaps perceived in a way it is not intended.” Well, that’s quite an understatement. Senator Paul went further than that in his NY Times interview claiming that Republican support of voter ID laws is “offending people.”
So why is voter ID supposedly “offending people”? Consider that back in February, Vice-President Biden equated voter ID laws with “hatred.” Biden said, “These guys never go away. Hatred never, never goes away.” And just who are these guys? I think we know exactly who Biden is talking about and it is a bunch of garbage. Rand Paul would be better served by calling out Biden’s demagoguery on voter ID laws than by feeding into it.