South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn joins a growing chorus of Democrats who say they support voter ID after previously claiming that it was “suppression.”
In a weekend interview on CNN, Clyburn flat-out lied that he has “always” supported voter ID.
The issue forcing Clyburn’s hand is H.R. 1, a House bill that would subvert constitutional guarantees recognizing the states’ power to run their own elections.
H.R.1 stalled in the Senate on June 22 on a 50-50 party line vote. Two Senate Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema — have so far refused to “nuke” the filibuster to get H.R.1 and other hard-left legislation through on slender majorities.
Among other advantages for anyone willing to cheat, as passed by the House, H.R.1 would ban any voter ID requirements in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
As Senate Democrats continue looking for ways to get H.R. 1 passed, some (like Clyburn) are turning to embrace voter ID, which polls extremely well with voters.
A Monmouth University poll last month revealed just how well:
The survey asked respondents whether “in general” they “support or oppose requiring voters to show a photo ID in order to vote.” Among respondents, 62 percent of Democrats said they support requiring photo ID, while the number rose to 87 percent among Independents and 91 percent among Republicans.
Additionally, 84 percent of non-white respondents said they supported requiring photo ID, along with 77 percent of white respondents.
But the real reason that Clyburn lied to CNN viewers (who probably neither knew nor cared) is that Manchin has floated sticking voter ID into the Senate version of H.R.1 as a compromise measure.
As recently as April — when it looked like the Senate might somehow get the bill passed — Clyburn had been on the attack against Manchin and voter ID.
Back then, Clyburn said he was “insulted” by Manchin’s compromise efforts, and played the race card for good measure. “I’m insulted when he tells me that it’s more important to maintain a relationship with the minority in the U.S. Senate than it is for you to maintain a relationship with the minority of voters in America,” he told HuffPo.
Days before H.R.1 failed in the Senate, Mock Georgia Governor Stacey Abrams performed a similarly shameless about-face, telling CNN that “no one has ever objected to having to prove who you are to vote.”
This was after months — years? — spent calling voter ID “racist.”
Another Georgia Democrat, Senator Raphael Warnock, pulled the same trick late last month:
For years, then-Pastor Raphael Warnock, now a senator from Georgia, claimed ID laws were a form of “voter suppression” so “unnecessary and unjustifiable” that they amount to “dismember[ing]” Martin Luther King Jr.
Now he lies, “I have never been opposed to voter ID. And in fact, I don’t know anybody who is.”
More than the glee you get from watching Democrats embrace a commonsense measure is this little thought: If their own constituents support voter ID so much that top Dems are doing backflips to support it, maybe that means they haven’t yet corrupted our elections as badly as we’ve feared.