Black voter suppression? No. Exploitation? Yes

David Limbaugh

6/24/2005 12:00:00 AM - David Limbaugh

Based on Florida 2000 and Ohio 2004, it is incontrovertible that Democrats will not be deterred by the evidence from promoting the incendiary propaganda that Republicans engage in systematic intimidation and suppression of black voters.

 Will we ever be able to have a presidential election again without Democrats claiming they've been robbed? All it takes is for some Democrat bigwig or race activist like the Rev. Jesse Jackson to make an unsubstantiated allegation of black voter suppression. Henceforth, the truth of such allegations will be accepted and believed by large numbers of people, including many blacks, who trust Democrat bigwigs and the Jesse Jacksons not to lie to them.

 It doesn't seem to matter to race baiters that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights could find no evidence of actual black voter intimidation in Florida, despite an exhaustive investigation specifically targeted to prove that very charge.

 Following the 2004 election, Democrats toyed for a while with the idea of soul searching to determine why they had fallen out of step with the majority of Americans. But it took no time for them to revert to form, denying the legitimacy of the vote and scapegoating alleged GOP chicanery for their losses.

 They took it upon themselves to conduct an investigation (actually, it was more like a glorified poll) into possible voter fraud in Ohio, comforted by the knowledge that sometimes even a blind sow finds an acre. Lo and behold the report failed to corroborate their claims, finding there was no proof of GOP voter fraud.

 There was also no finding of black voter suppression by Republicans, though the "investigators" did permit the vague complaints from black voters about problems they experienced voting to hang in the air to create some element of doubt about whether it occurred. The report stated that disproportionately high numbers of blacks and young people had complained about long lines, intimidation and malfunctioning machines.

 The absence of evidence of GOP misconduct did not prevent Democratic National Committee Chair Howard Dean from again publicly blasting Republicans while exhibiting the same level of righteous indignation one might expect if an independent, objective, legitimate, untainted investigation had actually revealed a clear pattern of electoral abuse.

 Dean said, "This is bad for America. We need to repair and restructure the way we conduct elections in America." Let's rephrase the quote to better capture Dean's intended meaning: "It is bad for America that Republicans keep on winning national elections. We need to repair and restructure the way we conduct elections in America to reverse this trend."

 Dean also said, "It's been widely reported over the past several years that Republicans do target African-Americans for voter suppression. It's very clear here while there was no massive voter fraud, and I concur with the conclusion -- it's also clear that there was massive voter suppression."

 Dean's unwarranted inference -- that the investigation found black voter suppression by Republicans -- prompted Cornell University professor Walter Mebane Jr., who was involved in the study, to contradict Dean's claim.

 Mebane said, "Where the partisan bias came from, where it went, we really have no basis for making any assertion about that and I don't believe the report makes any statements about that."

 Dean, predictably, was hardly fazed by the correction. "While we certainly couldn't draw a proven conclusion that this was willful, it certainly has the appearance of impropriety," he said.

 Let me just say this flat out. I don't believe Howard Dean believes Republicans try to suppress the black vote. I don't believe Al Gore believed it when he said it. I don't believe John Kerry believes it. I don't believe liberal black activists believe it.

 What I do believe is that the Democratic leadership fosters the poisonous notion that Republicans are, by definition, racists. That this charge so routinely and readily falls off the lips of Democrat leaders demonstrates the ugly arrogance that afflicts their party.

 To be sure, the intentional suppression or intimidation of black voters (or any other group) would be horrendously unconscionable. But so is the intentional perpetuation of the false charge that Republicans are racists, merely because they have philosophical and ideological differences with Democrats.

 It is hard to imagine the damage that such reckless claims by Dean and others -- based on wishful thinking at best -- do to race relations. If these Democratic leaders were truly sensitive to race relations, they wouldn't dare make such baseless assertions. That they repeatedly do shows that they value race hustling more than race relations.

 I have to wonder whether more and more blacks aren't beginning to realize the extent to which the Democratic machine takes them for granted. If the day ever arrives when they come to trust Republicans, Democrats will doubtlessly rue the day they were so exploitive.