Kris Kobach: Kansas’ Republican secretary of state is pushing a two-tiered voting system that would let those who provide proof of citizenship vote in all elections, while restricting those who don’t to federal elections. He’s also leading a data-sharing effort among states that’s aimed at finding improperly registered voters—typically an error-prone process that critics call a purge mechanism.
Photo by Ed Zurga/AP

Kansas’ Kobach breaks new anti-Obama ground

In recent years, we’ve all heard some pretty outrageous allegations surrounding President Obama, and we’ve all heard Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) throw around some pretty ridiculous rhetoric.
 
But Right Wing Watch catches the two phenomena coming together in one bizarre story.
Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, one of the chief architects of the anti-immigrant movement’s legal and legislative strategies, told a caller to his weekly radio program last week that while he thought it was “unlikely,” it would not be a “huge jump” to predict that the Obama administration could call an end to the prosecutions of African Americans for any crime.
 
Claiming that “it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws,” Kobach told listeners that “I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”
It really is as bad as it sounds. Kobach fielded a call from a listener to his radio show, who raised the specter of the president announcing that no African American would be prosecuted for any crime. “We’ve already seen it from Eric Holder in his failure to prosecute the Black Panthers,” the caller said, probably referring to the New Black Panthers and the ridiculous Fox-inspired conspiracy theory.
 
Obviously, Kobach isn’t responsible for comments raised by those who call into his show. But Kansas’ Secretary of State, a notorious national figure for his anti-immigration and voter-suppression efforts, is responsible for how he responded to this caller’s concerns.
 
And in this case, Kobach responded ridiculously, falsely arguing that Attorney General Eric Holder “basically made it clear….that the civil rights laws were only to protect minority races, and he was not going to be enforcing them to the benefit of white people who were discriminated against on the basis of their race. So, that’s basically what you’ve described.”
 
When the caller predicted that “there just won’t be any prosecutions of black criminals,” Kobach told his audience, “Well, it’s already happened more or less in the case of civil rights laws. So I guess it’s not a huge jump, I think it’s unlikely, but you know I’ve learned to say with this president, never say never.”
 
In other words, as far as Kansas’ Republican Secretary of State is concerned, it’s at least possible that the president of the United States may shield all black people from all prosecutions in all instances.
 
A columnist for the Kansas City Star, highlighting the ridiculous comments, added, “It’s just another case of Kobach being Kobach, further embarrassing the good people of Kansas.”
 
Though some polls suggested last year that Kansans were tiring of Kobach’s bizarre antics, the right-wing official was nevertheless re-elected last November in a landslide.
 

Kansas and Kris Kobach

Kansas' Kobach breaks new anti-Obama ground