Still Waiting for Conservatives and Republicans Repudiating Voter Suppression

I’m gratified that Sean Hannity and other conservatives have gotten the post-election memo on immigration reform. (In Hannity’s case, this may literally be true.) But there’s still another piece of unfinished business.

I want to repeat a good question asked by Timothy Noah back in September: Where are the leading Republicans and conservatives repudiating voter suppression?

The GOP voter suppression effort was so blatant, so dishonorable, and so nearly successful that it deserves response. In too many states, GOP governors and secretaries of state sought to manipulate the mechanics of the voting process to hinder low-income, African-American, and Latino voters from casting their ballots. If Republicans had a working gaydar detection technology, they might have bothered LGBT voters for photo ID, too. The details and tactics varied. Everyone in the media and on both sides understood (a) exactly what was going on, and (b) that the supposed problem of in-person voter fraud invoked to justify these efforts was virtually non-existent.

Of course, both Democrats and Republicans practice various shenanigans in redistricting and other matters. Partisan control over the electoral process disfigures our democracy. This last election season we witnessed something beyond the tawdry business as usual.

So hey, Sean Hannity, Ross Douthat, David Brooks, William Kristol, George Will, Charles Krauthammer, and every opinion writer at the National Review and the Wall Street Journal: Do these tactics represent your values?

If not, it’s time to step up.

[Cross-posted at The Reality-based Community]

Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is the Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago.