Brave Dem Supports Voter ID Law in Alabama
Isn't it news when a black former Congressman from Alabama announces his support for that state's voter ID law, on the ground that widespread fraudulent voting suppresses legitimate voters' voting rights? Artur Davis, who represented Alabama's 7th Congressional District, a black majority gerrymander required by federal civil rights laws, has done so, with barely anyone on the right lifting an eyebrow.
Writing in the Montgomery Advertiser on the 17th of October, Davis admits:
I've changed my mind on voter ID laws -- I think Alabama did the right thing in passing one -- and I wish I had gotten it right when I was in political office. (snip)
The truth is that the most aggressive contemporary voter suppression in the African American community, at least in Alabama, is the wholesale manufacture of ballots, at the polls and absentee, in parts of the Black Belt.
Voting the names of the dead, and the nonexistent, and the too-mentally-impaired to function, cancels out the votes of citizens who are exercising their rights -- that's suppression by any light. If you doubt it exists, I don't; I've heard the peddlers of these ballots brag about it, I've been asked to provide the funds for it, and I am confident it has changed at least a few close local election results.
Hallelujah! First hand testimony from one who knows.
Davis credits Alabama's law with providing for voters who for whatever reason cannot get a driver's license. And he even chastises those who demagogue the voter ID issue:
I was disappointed to see Bill Clinton, a very good president and an even greater ex-president, compare voter ID to Jim Crow, and it is chilling to see the intimidation tactics brought to bear on African American, Democratic legislators in Rhode Island who had the nerve to support a voter ID law in that very liberal state.
So who is this guy?
Well, for one thing, he shares Barack Obama's elite educational background. He attended Harvard College, graduating magna cum laude, and Harvard Law School, cum laude. His career path followed a familiar elite law track into politics, featuring stops interning at the left wing Southern Poverty Law Center, practicing civil rights law, and serving as an assistant US attorney. He ran against anti-Semitic US Rep. Earl Hilliard in the 2000 Democratic primary, and lost badly. But thanks in part to support from Jewish and pro-Israel groups, Davis made a successful try for the Democratic nomination in 2002, and won his seat. He distinguished himself in Congress, getting a coveted seat on the Ways and Means Committee, and was the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to speak against Charlie Rangel keeping his chairmanship, and the only member of the CBC to vote against ObamaCare, among other maverick stands for a Democrat in Congress.
He was also the first congressman outside of Illinois to endorse Barack Obama for the presidency, and seconded Obama's nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.
Davis announced he was leaving politics following an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2010. His vote against ObamaCare and other maverick stances generated criticism in his district that he was seeking white votes statewide. In other words, that he had the potential to be a crossover candidate, attracting a substantial white following, as opposed to a CBC lockstep leftist representing a majority-black district and beholden to the black political establishment locked into an adversarial posture on race.
Davis is now (surprise!) practicing law in Washington, DC, and no doubt successful at it. He remains a gutsy guy, honest, smart, and able to see the bigger picture. I certainly hope he continues to make his political views known. May his thinking continue to be independent.
Hat tip: Richard Baehr