What do you do when your administration is overseeing an economy that's "enjoying" the worst recovery ever? When your AG has a scandal going on where people were murdered? When under your watch the debt and spending has increased as never before? When "green" companies you've given tens of billions to are failing - over and over?
Speaking to the NAACP in Houston on Tuesday, Mr. Holder assailed the Texas law that requires voters to show some identification, using terms redolent of Deep South racism before the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. "Many of those without IDs would have to travel great distances to get them—and some would struggle to pay for the documents they might need to obtain them," he said. "We call those poll taxes."
The nation's first black Attorney General knows exactly what he is doing by citing the fee that some Southern states used after Reconstruction to disenfranchise blacks. Poll taxes were made illegal by the 24th Amendment in 1964. Yet faced with the prospect of a close re-election battle, and fading support from independents, Team Obama is trying to rekindle its 2008 coalition by using the race card to drive up black voter turnout. Texas and Florida, both with GOP Governors, are the election-year foil.
Mr. Holder knows his charge is buncombe. The Texas law stipulates that voters can use several kinds of ID to vote, including a driver's license, passport, a U.S. military ID and (this being Texas) a handgun permit. As for the "poll tax" canard, the law says the Texas Department of Public Safety will issue a free Election Identification Card if requested.
He also knows, or should know before he throws around racially incendiary language, that the poll tax charge was raised and rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court when it upheld a similar Indiana voter ID law in 2009.
But, I guess when that's all you've got - that's what you use.
Jim Crow and poll taxes were disgusting and shameful. And it is shameful that our attorney general would resort to such lies to slime others.