Last week, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke to the NAACP convention in Houston, criticizing Texas and other states currently being sued by the U.S. Department of Justice for enacting voter ID laws in an attempt to combat voter fraud. Comparing voter ID laws to Jim Crow-era “poll taxes,” Holder more or less accused Texas, et al of overt racism as the primary motivation for their laws:
“Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them,” Holder said in a speech to the NAACP on Tuesday, referring specifically to a law being implemented in Texas. “We call those poll taxes.” …
“Especially in recent months, Texas has – in many ways – been at the center of our national debate about voting rights issues,” Holder said. “Let me be clear: we will not allow political pretexts to disenfranchise American citizens of their most precious right.”
Man, the Obama administration really knows how to set an example for measured discourse and even-handed rhetoric, don’t they?
Straight-shootin’ Texas Gov. Rick Perry was not pleased with the attorney general’s less-than-generous comments about Texans working to prevent the very real problem of voter fraud. Prior to President Obama’s visit to the Lone Star state for a fundraiser earlier today, Perry fired off a missive demanding an apology from President Obama and his rhetorically reckless administration:
“Perhaps while the President is visiting Texas, he can take a break from big-dollar fundraisers to disavow his Attorney General’s offensive and incendiary comments regarding our common-sense voter investigation law,” Perry wrote in the statement.
Perry continued: “In labeling the Texas voter ID law as a ‘poll tax,’ Eric Holder purposefully used language designed to inflame passions and incite racial tension. It was not only inappropriate, but simply incorrect on its face.”
“The president should apologize for Holder’s imprudent remarks and for his insulting lawsuit against the people of Texas,” Perry concluded.
Hmm — something tells me Gov. Perry won’t be getting the apology for which he’s hoping. President Obama did find the time, however, to tell the Texans assembled at his fundraiser that he has plans for making the traditionally very red Texas into a battleground state in the future…? What the what?