Obama Mentions Voting Rights At Selma, Conservatives Outraged Of Course
On Saturday, your blackest president ever, Barack Obama, traveled to Selma, Alabama, to speak at the 50th anniversary commemoration of "Bloody Sunday," when civil rights protesters were beaten by police when they walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The events of Bloody Sunday and other protest marches in Alabama led directly to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, so this is an excellent event to solemnly celebrate, and we are very happy that both Republicans and Democrats joined in attending the event, including former President George W. Bush and many congressional Republicans.
But not all Republicans came, of course. House Speaker John Boehner ditched, as did Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, plus all Republicans who currently appear to be running for president. Tons of Democrats attended, obviously, because for Democrats, it's not viewed as a liability to be seen at a civil rights commemoration, yay!
In his remarks, President Obama said:
Right now, in 2015, fifty years after Selma, there are laws across this country designed to make it harder for people to vote. As we speak, more of such laws are being proposed. Meanwhile, the Voting Rights Act, the culmination of so much blood and sweat and tears, the product of so much sacrifice in the face of wanton violence, stands weakened, its future subject to partisan rancor.
If you are a progressive, you read that and thought, yes, that is terrible, we already know this. But if you are a conservative, that is A Outrage! How dare the president speak about voter ID laws at a Selma event that commemorates black Americans' struggle against restrictive voting laws? On Fox News Sunday, Wall Street Journal columnist Kim Strassel complained:
But he just felt compelled and he had to throw in this argument that there’s still a big problem because of voter ID laws across the country.
Yeah, don't you hate it when Obama makes everything about race, like when he's at a civil rights event commemorating an actual victory for black people, and he "throws in" that crazy argument that there's some "big problem" out there about voter ID laws? Why won't progressives just give it a rest, this idea that voter ID laws are some kind of "barrier" to voting?
Well, maybe it's an issue because, according to the ACLU, 21 million Americans don't have the ID that voter ID laws require. And maybe it's an issue because those people are disproportionately poor, minorities, and elderly. Oh! And maybe it's also an issue because the stated purpose of voter ID laws is pretty openly to prevent minorities from voting. You know, stuff like that. We think it's actually probably easy for the president to feel "compelled" to "throw in this argument" that voter ID laws suppress minority votes. The New York Times Editorial Board wrote in October 2014:
[Voter ID laws] have been aggressively pushed in many states by Republican lawmakers who say they are preventing voter fraud, promoting electoral “integrity” and increasing voter turnout. None of that is true. There is virtually no in-person voter fraud; the purpose of these laws is to suppress voting.
Wouldn't it be great if someone would introduce a bill to reaffirm the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965? Cool, they already have, it is called the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2015, and it is sponsored by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and John Conyers (D-MI). They introduced it in February 2015 in response to the Supreme Court's decision in 2013 to strike down key preclearance provisions of the Voting Rights Act. This bill sounds awesome, plus a House Republican is even cosponsoring it! Who else is on board? No Senate Republicans. None! When asked about the new bill, Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), on his way to a Selma event, hadn't even heard about it. He said:
This day is about more than just tweaks to the Voting Rights Act. This is about ensuring equal justice and learning from the lessons of the past.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) said:
I think we’ve had so much improved voting rights in Alabama that the Court was probably correct [to strike down part of the Voting Rights Act].”
Can you even believe how dumb progressives are? All they care about is "tweaking" the VRA to make sure states are once again required to preclear their prejudiced-ass voting laws with the Justice Department. As if that has anything to do with equal justice and learning from the past! Plus, look how we sometimes totally let black people vote these days! It's clear that the lesson that Rob Portman and Jeff Sessions have learned from the past is that way too many black people are voting.
Fortunately, our favorite Massachusetts Senator, Elizabeth Warren (D-Kicks Ass), saved us from the horrible mood we were sinking into while reading all about the terrible things Republicans said at Selma. She said:
It is a sin that we have not in the U.S. Congress re-invigorated the Voting Rights Act and gotten it back to the President for a signature. That’s what we ought to be talking about in Selma today.
Yes, it is A SIN! We love that kind of talk, it is very sexxy, in a civil rights type of way. Another mood-saver was the National Review's Charles Cooke, opining that Selma was "every bit as important a moment in American History as Yorktown." Hooray! There is hope! Except for how, when Twitchy covered Cooke's statement, by printing the responses of a bunch of twitter trolls who disagreed with him, they concluded with this thought: "If you think Cooke's national origin colors his perspective (he's from Britain), you're not alone." And then they crossed it out and apologized for being rude and calling him British. So, actually, there's no hope for anyone, the end.