October 21 2013
The newest crackpot conspiracy theory propagated by the Left is that Texas Republicans have found a way to disenfranchise Texas women. They allege that Republicans are suppressing women’s voting rights to prevent them from voting for Wendy Davis, Democrat candidate for Texas governor.
You remember Wendy Davis, the state legislator, much lauded by the press, who filibustered a bill to prohibit late term abortions and hold abortion centers to the same health standards as other surgical facilities.
Just what is this ruthless method of disenfranchisement? It’s the Texas law requiring voters produce photo identification with their legal name. “They’ve targeted Blacks, Latinos and college students,” The New Civil Rights Movement blog claims, “Now Texas has come up with a Voter ID law that will disproportionately affect women – the constituency they most fear will support Wendy Davis.” Women are more likely than men to change their names following a marriage or divorce, their argument goes, so they may not have current identification on hand this November. Republicans are therefore deliberately using the law to suppress the female vote.
Let’s unpack this allegation. Regardless of sex, ethnicity, or college enrollment status, one must have a current ID to cash a check, order a glass of wine, board a plane, use a credit card, drive a car, rent bowling shoes, see a doctor, or enter a school building. Requiring an ID for voting, however, is a direct effort aimed at disenfranchising women, people of color, and college students. These victimized groups lack the wherewithal possessed by white men to go to the DMV. Clearly dark Republican forces are at work.
Women must not only have trouble getting a current photo ID before Election Day, they must also break disproportionally for Wendy Davis in order for the suppression conspiracy to work. Texas women must support Wendy Davis either because they share the same double X chromosome or because of Davis’ support for late term abortion or perhaps both reasons. Davis is quite stylish; perhaps that’s enough of a reason for women to support her.
Then again, maybe not. According to the latest Gallup poll, nationally 43% of women and 44% of men consider themselves prolife. Southerners and Republicans are more likely than Democrats and northerners to be prolife. Most people (80%), prolife or prochoice, oppose late term abortions. Since Texas is a southern, Republican state, the percentage of prolife women is likely to be higher than the national average. If Texas women don’t vote en masse for Davis, will it be because 1) many of them disagree with Davis on abortion or the thousand other issues people consider when voting or 2) because many of them forgot to update their driver’s licenses and dark Republican forces wouldn’t let them vote?
Democrats are still fuming over the recent Supreme Court decision (Shelby County v. Holder) striking down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act which determines how states and local governments are selected for federal preclearance of changes to voting laws. Liberals believe, despite abundant evidence to the contrary, that the South is stuck in the early 1960s and has done nothing to redeem itself.
Since the Supreme Court’s decision, several states, including Texas, have moved to adopt voter ID laws previously blocked by the federal government. Despite the ruling, the Obama Department of Justice is suing to stop some of the laws from going into effect. It is doubtful they will prevail. The courts will note, as they did recently in Tennessee, that voter ID laws are not an undue burden to voters.
That hasn’t stopped liberals from spinning conspiracy theories about dark Republican forces disenfranchising voters. Perhaps they figure if they can’t win in the courts, they’ve got a shot in the court of public opinion. It’s going to be an uphill battle. According to a recent Rasmussen Poll, 72% of Americans support voter ID laws.
Although the newest liberal conspiracy theory regarding voter suppression lacks evidence and logic, that’s not its main flaw. Frankly, it lacks imagination. According to liberals, dark Republican forces are always at work doing this or that. In order to differentiate this particular shadow act of evil, conspiracy mongers should add an international angle. A cabal of international financiers, the Illuminati, or the cat from SPECTRE could really add interest.