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Rule of Law

Voter ID Has Broken Leftist Containment

April 11th, 2012 - 6:00 am
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Things are not going well for voter ID opponents. The latest James O’Keefe video is the most recent problem for the left. The bigger problem is that the voter ID debate has broken leftist containment, and the left has made an enormous strategic miscalculation by elevating the voter ID fight.

I was on the Darby/Stranahan show yesterday explaining why. (I start at minute 35; “breaking containment” starts at 47). The left didn’t count on voter ID becoming a national issue among Republicans and independents. Instead, the left wanted to keep the issue contained.

What do I mean by “broken leftist containment”? Travel back to 2005 for a successful leftist voter ID strategy. In 2005, Georgia passed a voter ID law. Because Georgia was subject to Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, the Justice Department had to preclear the law. The left activated their public relations machine to either stop the law inside DOJ, or take a pound of flesh after the Bush administration precleared the law. It was a win-win situation for the left.

After a bitter internal fight (that remains a subject of an ongoing internal DOJ inspector general investigation), the Bush DOJ precleared the Georgia voter ID law.

But the most important thing for the left was to keep knowledge of the voter ID anger and opposition contained within Democrat, left-wing, and civil rights circles. If the 80% of Americans who support voter ID learned about the leftist mobilization, it would hurt the effort to block the law. A counterattack from the right might follow.

The left overestimated their enemies in 2005. The counterattack never materialized, and the left kept containment on voter ID. The right was silent through this fight. There was no counter-mobilization in support of voter ID.

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