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Clinton fans flames of racial politics
When the FBI is investigating you and when you're poised to testify before a Congressional committee on failures during your tenure as secretary of state, the obvious political decision is to play the race card.
So presidential candidate Hillary Clinton did just that this weekend as she returned to the tired political theme that Republicans and their draconian voter identification laws are designed to keep minorities from voting.
Speaking to a Democratic gathering in Alabama, Mrs. Clinton said Republicans were discriminatory and demeaning in their efforts to monitor elections through voter identification.
She proposed early voting, weekend and evening voting and allowing felons who had "done their time" to vote.
Democrats have long contended that there is no voter fraud and thus voter IDs are unnecessary.
Yet, even here in Missouri and elsewhere there have been reported indictments over ample evidence of fraud in gathering signatures for ballot propositions, for example.
But Democrats recognize that many within their base of voters don't take the time and effort to obtain free identification cards for whatever reason.
And because of this lack of effort, Democrats want to open the voting process to any and all comers.
She uses the popular Democratic theme that Republicans want to return to the "Jim Crow" era of voter discrimination. But she fails to mention that those laws were the weapon of choice among southern Democrats to keep power in the past.
Racial politics is a popular theme though it's equally a divisive wedge driven within American society.
If you play to the fears of your base - regardless of the facts - you can virtually be assured of a higher turnout.
Let's get to the facts.
No legal voter is barred from voting in America. The ability to conduct your civic duty of voting is about as easy as anything imaginable. And in a nation where we expect and require voter identification for countless activities in life, the request for all voters to have valid identification is overwhelmingly favored by the American public.
Absent an indictment for her email shenanigans or a massive flub in her testimony before Congress, Mrs. Clinton has the headwind to win the Democratic nomination.
But we would hope she concentrates on the real issues in this campaign instead of returning to the divisive rhetoric of racial politics.
Her address this week was not an act of desperation on a sputtering campaign as some have opined. Instead she is returning to a theme that has worked in the past.
Mrs. Clinton knows above all else that the road to the White House is assured only if she receives the lion's share of the minority vote. But that much is assured. End of story.
Why she returns to the race card is because she needs a massive minority turnout like the one that propelled President Obama into office.
That turnout seems unlikely unless you fan the flames of racial politics.
And now you know why she traveled to Alabama.