The NAACP is missing the point.
The group's campaign against the new voter ID law continued Monday night at a town hall meeting in North Charleston. They talked about how this was a political ploy to disenfranchise voters, that it will create a hardship on some older voters who weren't born in hospitals and don't have a driver's license -- much less a passport.
All of that is true.
There is no proof of a voter fraud problem in the state. Anyone who thinks otherwise is drinking partisan Kool-Aid. The Election Commission says we haven't had a documented case in decades, yet we will spend hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars a year to give Republicans an edge they don't need. Which should make people mad.
But this is also true: griping about it isn't doing a whole lot of good.
The NAACP is betting the farm that the U.S. Justice Department will not approve the law. You know, when the federal government has to oversee the state's sensitive decisions because of its long history of racist policies, it ought to be embarrassing.
Perhaps the Legislature should have thought about that before jumping on the party bandwagon to get revenge for the 2008 election.
Don't just register ...
This protest is an exercise in delaying the inevitable.
If the Justice Department invalidates this law, the Legislature will just find a way to pass another one that will do the same thing.
So instead of being reactive, a regular problem for the NAACP, the group should be proactive. Don't scream injustice; put that considerable network of volunteers into action. Register folks to vote.
That's how you have a voice in politics. And having the right to vote does no good if you don't exercise it. The last election showed that, with a little effort, the Democrats -- who enjoy the lion's share of the support from the African-American community -- could have trounced some of the lame candidates the GOP offered.
In other words, if half the people complaining about this Voter ID law had cast a ballot in the 2010 election, we might not have a governor and Legislature that continues to push this partisan nonsense.
Last week, Gov. Nikki Haley said on Columbia TV that she would drive people to get an ID if that's what it took, and the NAACP should take her up on that. Call and ask where the motorcade is picking up folks.
The NAACP made one very good point on Monday: the government should do everything it can to encourage eligible residents to vote.
At the same time, the Republicans have one good point: the world is changing, and the need for a photo ID is getting more important every year. So the NAACP should get everyone an ID, maybe win some elected offices. Then perhaps they could ensure the Legislature doesn't waste as much time stacking the electoral deck.
Hey, they could even pass a law requiring voters to show proof of empathy and compassion.
Of course, that might create a hardship for the other side.
Follow Brian Hicks on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.