Juan Williams: Legitimate ID Is a Good Thing

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Georgia Rally – O’Reilly/Williams

Talking Points Memo:

Over the weekend thousands of people showed up for a Jesse Jackson-sponsored event that brought attention to the Voting Rights Act and protested Georgia’s requiring a picture ID before allowing someone to vote. Talking Points admires the Voting Rights Act and wants the act extended forever – on this we agree with Jackson and his supporters. But Jackson and others are objecting to voters having to produce picture IDs in Georgia. This is an anti-fraud measure, and the state says it will actually come to your house and give you an ID if you don’t already have one. Sounds reasonable, but far left pundits such as Cynthia Tucker, editorial page boss of the Atlanta Constitution, say asking for IDs will disenfranchise some minorities. The truth is this – valid picture IDs will cut down on fraud. Elderly and sick people can easily acquire them, and the whole issue is a fraud. But it serves the purpose of ideologues like Jesse Jackson and Cynthia Tucker, and that’s what this is really all about.

Ian at the Political Teen has the video of the remarks made during the march.

Bill O’Reilly spoke with Juan Williams last night regarding the Voting Rights Rally in Georgia

O’Reilly: Joining us from Washington, Fox News Analyst Juan Williams. I had to slow down because we had all this fancy gadgetry and I wanted people to see you and not the graphic… Now look Juan, we disagree on a lot of things, respectfully always, you know you’re one of our favorite guests here. But you’ve gotta agree with me on this, this is simply bogus, this is nonsense and Belafonte and Mathis and Tucker should be ashamed of themselves.

Williams: Without a doubt. I was stunned at what you just played. I have such respect for especially Cynthia Tucker I just, I don’t know what’s going on there. This is clearly a case, where it seems to me, you have people reenacting things that happened forty years ago, but they’re reacting to devils that have been slain forty years ago. Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t have the voting right. In fact, the Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, has said that he thinks he’s going to support the continuation/extension of the provisions 2 5 and 203 that expire in 2007. So what you have here is exactly what you just said, Bill, which is an opportunity for them to bash President Bush, to go after republicans, to make it out as if republicans don’t want black people to vote. This is, you know given what’s going on here with Ken Mehlman, the chairman of the Republican Party having extensive outreach to black voters, I think they’re out of step and out of date.

O’Reilly: But it’s more than that, it’s dishonest. That’s what, that, you see, look. We expect Harry Belafonte to say dopey stuff. Alright? He’s Fidel Castro’s biggest fan. Alright? Judge Mathis, I don’t know who this is, I don’t know what he does, he has some little TV show. I don’t know what he’s talking about, I don’t really care. But the editorial director of the Atlanta Constitution, the largest newspaper in the south, to be as blatantly dishonest as she was, and the Cox newspaper chain, it’s gotta be embarrassing. But this whole thing is contrived as you said to make an issue that doesn’t even exist. Everybody wants the voting rights act…

Williams: Exactly.

O’Reilly: …extended and the ID’s for voting in every state, I have to show my ID on Long Island, I gotta show it. That’s so people can’t show up, sign somebody’s name who’s been given money and vote five times. Everybody knows that.

Williams: This is good stuff. And you know what, here’s the thing, people forget that you flip the scenario here and these kinds of fraudulent tactics, you know dead people voting, were used against minorities and to keep minorities out of political office and away from the polls for years. The idea that you would have legitimate identification is a good thing. Now the contrary position coming from a lot of these people who were in the march, you know who are, I mean they’re clearly democrats, they don’t have any illusions about that. Their argument is if you go back to Florida in 2000 there were people who were wrongly pushed off polls because they were identified as felons, people who were asked for ID and didn’t have ID. But I’m telling you ID is a good thing. We want a credible electoral process in this country for everybody.

O’Reilly: And look. And this is the thing that I want everybody to understand. We’re not coming at this from an ideological point of view. The republicans have done bad things in elections, but so have the democrats. The St. Louis polls stayed open for three hours past polling times so they could ram in everybody they could ram in in the last election. Duval county in Jacksonville in the 2000 election, they had vote buying and selling there like crazy. These are documented. On the record. So we want everybody to stop and run honest elections and one way you do that is to know who is voting. And this bogus stuff about there’s an old guy, somewhere in… And I’m not a big fan of Sonny Purdue, the governor of Georgia, which stems back to my trying to get those, I don’t know whether you remember this Juan, these high school proms where they were having them segregated.

Williams: Oh yeah, yeah. That was ridiculous.

O’Reilly: And I said, no that’s unacceptable, we can’t have this.

Williams: It is unacceptable.

O’Reilly: It is. And Sonny said “I’m not going to do anything about it.” Thank God we don’t have those anymore in Georgia that we know of. But anyway, I’m not a big Sonny Perdue fan. But Sonny actually said look if you don’t have and ID and you live in Skunkwat, Georgia somewhere, we’ll come to your house and give you one. Yet they still are pulling this game about disenfranchisement.

Williams: Well here’s what they’re saying Bill. They’re saying that, in fact, if you look at minority communities, especially poor, black communities, there are fewer driver’s licenses, fewer of these kinds of IDs. There are only going to be six kinds now accepted as opposed to the 17 previously accepted in the state of Georgia and therefore, they’re saying, it will have a discriminatory impact. You know what…

O’Reilly: {laughs} You know, they’re coming to your house, Juan, and they’re giving it to you. It doesn’t get any easier than that.

Williams: But the record actually backs them up. There are fewer drivers licenses, fewer of these kinds… But I’m telling you in service to having no-fraud elections, I think you can say to people go and get a legitimate ID, go register to vote. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

O’Reilly: If you’re 96 and have emphysema you can’t really do that, but again, Georgia will go to your house.

Williams: They’ll come to you.

O’Reilly: Juan, thanks very much, we appreciate it.

Williams: You’re welcome Bill.

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