Even hard-bitten writer-researchers like me get suckered by the left-wing media every once in a while.
It happened yesterday.
Huffington Post reported that GOP campaign consultant Scott Tranter admitted that voter ID laws and long lines help Republican candidates:
Republican campaign consultant Scott Tranter appeared on a panel Monday hosted by the Pew Center on the States to discuss the long lines and voter ID controversies that plagued the 2012 election. In his comments, Tranter seemed to imply that he believed these issues were helpful to Republicans and should be pursued for that reason.
“A lot of us are campaign officials — or campaign professionals — and we want to do everything we can to help our side. Sometimes we think that’s voter ID, sometimes we think that’s longer lines — whatever it may be,” Tranter said with a laugh.
The HuffPo’s unstated premise is that Tranter was saying Republicans favor voter ID requirements because they supposedly discourage Democrats from voting and this is a terrible thing. From what I can ascertain, Republicans favor voter ID laws because they discourage in-person voter fraud. Such laws “suppress” the vote of those who should not be voting. Deterring fraud may coincidentally help Republicans since most voter fraud seems to be perpetrated by Democrats.
The HuffPo’s haughtiness reminds me of the leftist apoplexy that followed Pennsylvania GOP House Leader Mike Turzai’s open-ended statement earlier this year that a newly enacted voter ID requirement in Pennsylvania was “going to allow Governor Romney to win” the state. Turzai didn’t elaborate at the time but anybody who follows Pennsylvania politics knows that cities like Philadelphia generate vast quantities of fraudulent votes every election. For all anyone knows Turzai was thinking about voter fraud hotbeds like Philadelphia when he was speaking. Turzai may have been thinking that eliminating fraud might ensure a Republican victory.
Note also Tranter’s use of the first person plural “we” and the phrase “a lot of us.” Again, a vague, open-ended assertion rather than a definitive pronouncement. Even though it’s not clear who “we” and “a lot of us” are, the HuffPo (and Salon) jumped all over Tranter because liberals assume all Republicans are hell-bent on preventing the other side from voting.
Ditto regarding Tranter’s “longer lines” comment.
Viewed in proper context, Tranter’s anecdote isn’t the smoking gun those on the left are making it out to be.
Although I initially condemned Tranter, now I think the whole thing is much ado about nothing.