I’ll give Pennsylvania Republicans credit for one thing: when it comes to voter-ID laws, they appreciate candor.
After some jaw-dropping quotes from state House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R), Gov. Tom Corbett (R), and Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele (R), we now have this extraordinary line from Republican state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe.
For those who can’t watch clips online, Metcalfe was asked during a radio interview about the prospect of a Republican-imposed, state-ID law disenfranchising eligible voters.
“I don’t believe any legitimate voter that actually wants to exercise that right and takes on the according responsibility that goes with that right to secure their photo ID will be disenfranchised,” Metcalfe said. “As Mitt Romney said, 47% of the people that are living off the public dole, living off their neighbors’ hard work, and we have a lot of people out there that are too lazy to get up and get out there and get the ID they need. If individuals are too lazy, the state can’t fix that.”
So, in the mind of this state Republican lawmaker, folks living in a nursing home, for example, deserve to be condemned for “living off the public dole,” and if they lack the means to jump through procedural hoops to overcome the most burdensome voting restrictions with Jim Crow laws, they also deserve to be condemned for being “lazy.” The same goes for students, the disabled, veterans, and everyone else in the “47 percent.”
Indeed, as far as Metcalfe’s concerned, Mitt Romney has his back on this ridiculous position.
And who’s Daryl Metcalfe? Ari Berman reports, “Like many Republicans, he’s been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council for over a decade. The conservative group drafted mock voter ID legislation that is remarkably similar to the bill that Melcalfe introduced in the legislature. He says that, ‘I was a Tea Partier before it was cool,’ and is best known for introducing ‘birther’ legislation requiring presidential candidates to produce their birth certificate before running for office. He’s been linked to right-wing anti-immigrant hate groups and has been dubbed the legislature’s ‘most prominent critic of gays.’”