To hear former Attorney General Eric Holder talk, you would think that Republicans are the worst people to have ever walked the face of the earth. In order to voice his concerns about election reform legislation currently making its way through the Texas state legislature, he flat-out demonizes Republican lawmakers. The reforms are meant to “cripple people from getting to the polls and get there in a really easy way.”
It sounds dramatic, right? That’s the point. Eric Holder is a master of the use of hyperbole to make a political point. Remember when he said, “When Republicans “go low,” Democrats should “kick them” in response? That was in 2018 and he said it during a campaign rally for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. It was his way of inciting the crowd to get tougher, to be as committed as Republicans. In the case of his history with Texas election law, Holder has been thumping Texas since 2013 over voting rights and election law.
A Supreme Court decision removed a provision in the 1965 Voting Rights Act that required 16 jurisdictions, including Texas, to seek pre-clearance from the Department of Justice before making changes to election laws or redistricting maps. Holder claimed that a state exercising its right to make election law reforms is racist in nature. It is meant as a way to suppress the votes of black and brown people. A U.S. Supreme Court decision, which effectively removed a provision of the 965 Voting Rights Act (VRA) requiring 16 jurisdictions, including Texas, to receive pre-clearance from the DOJ before making changes to election laws or redistricting maps. The DOJ claimed discrimination in past and present elections and asked a federal court to impose a required pre-clearance period of at least 10 years. Holder also promised to fight voting id law in Texas. That was a sop to the growing Hispanic population and the hopes of the Democrat Party that they will all be Democrat voters. Apparently, though, Eric Holder thinks they are not capable of obtaining personal identification. Sounds kind of racist, right?
So, fast forward to 2021. Eric Holder is still accusing Texas lawmakers of the same old, same old. He told the Dallas Morning-News that Republicans in general and in Texas specifically are waging a “multi-pronged war on democracy” through bills at state legislatures that would make voting harder.
Holder, who served as attorney general under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2015, took issue with Texas bills that would limit voting hours, restrict the number of voting machines at countywide polling places, ban election officials from sending out unsolicited mail ballot applications to voters, and provide more access at election sites to poll watchers.
“What the hell does that have to do with election integrity?” Holder told The Dallas Morning News. “They’ve come up with diabolical ways in which they’re trying to cripple people from getting to the polls and get there in a really easy way.”
Gosh, Republicans sound like really bad people, don’t they? You’ll note that the newspaper quote includes the reporter’s description of the voting law reforms in the worst possible light. The fact is, the reforms that the Texas lawmakers are trying to make are to tighten up uniformity in the laws statewide. During the pandemic, Democrats who run the large cities in Texas took advantage and took the voting process into their own hands. In Harris County (Houston), for example, the rookie County Clerk, a Democrat, decided he would mail out ballots to every registered voter in the county, solicited or not. That’s not how it works, though. Mail-in ballots must be requested and a reason must be given for not voting in person. Mail-in voting is allowed if the voter will be out of the county on election day, is over the age of 65, disabled, or confined to jail but eligible to vote. There is no universal mail-in voting in Texas. The state legislature is now cleaning up the laws on the books and clearly defining them. The same goes for drive-in voting which had never been done before the 2020 election.
Black business leaders are pressuring lawmakers. They call the attempt to provide clarity and uniformity to state law “voter suppression laws”.
Black leaders in Dallas-Fort Worth also turned up the pressure this weekend, taking out a full page ad in The Dallas Morning News calling on corporate leaders from Dallas-Fort Worth to “use their power and influence” to block the passage of the bill. The bill was signed by nearly 50 leaders, including former Dallas Mayor Ron Kirk, Beck Group CEO Fred Perpall, Axxess CEO John Olajide, MW Logistics president Randy Bowman and Dallas Mavericks CEO Cynt Marshall.
“The voter suppression laws before the Legislature are discriminatory and say to our residents and our local officials that everyone’s voice and vote is not needed or wanted,” they wrote. “It is a known fact that this new set of proposed laws will disproportionately affect Black and Brown voters. We are calling upon the corporate leaders of the Dallas-Fort Worth area to remind our state legislature why you chose Texas.”
Charges of racism are the default position for Democrats. When all else fails, cry racism. They do this to shut down the discussion. It’s a bad faith gesture. Yet, old school race-baiters like Eric Holder keep doing it and the younger Democrats are taking up the same torch as they cry, victim. Perhaps Holder should have a chat with Joe Biden about Delaware’s voting laws.