Two weeks after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) approved the most sweeping voter-suppression law seen in the United States in a generation, the political world is taking note of the disaster in growing numbers. Last week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell condemned the state's new voting restrictions, and yesterday, pundit Cokie Roberts said, "[W]hat's going on about voting rights is downright evil."
But don't worry, the Eagle Forum's Phyllis Schlafly, a prominent leader of the religious right movement for decades, has a new defense. In a WorldNetDaily column, the right-wing activist offered an unexpected explanation of why some of North Carolina's new restrictions are worthwhile.
The reduction in the number of days allowed for early voting is particularly important because early voting plays a major role in Obama's ground game. The Democrats carried most states that allow many days of early voting, and Obama's national field director admitted, shortly before last year's election, that "early voting is giving us a solid lead in the battleground states that will decide this election."
The Obama technocrats have developed an efficient system of identifying prospective Obama voters and then nagging them (some might say harassing them) until they actually vote. It may take several days to accomplish this, so early voting is an essential component of the Democrats' get-out-the-vote campaign.
Have you ever heard a political figure accidentally read stage direction, unaware that it's not supposed to be repeated out loud? This is what Schlafly's published column reminds me of.
For North Carolina Republicans, the state's new voter-suppression measures are ostensibly legitimate -- GOP officials are simply worried about non-existent fraud. The response from Democrats and voting-rights advocates is multi-faceted, but emphasizes that some of these measures, including restrictions on early voting, have nothing whatsoever to do with fraud prevention and everything to do with a partisan agenda.
And then there's Phyllis Schlafly, writing a piece for publication effectively saying Democrats are entirely right -- North Carolina had to dramatically cut early voting because it's not good for Republicans.
Remember, Schlafly's piece wasn't intended as criticism; this is her defense of voter suppression in North Carolina. Proponents of voting rights are arguing, "This is a blatantly partisan scheme intended to rig elections," to which Schlafly is effectively responding, "I know, isn't it great?"