Monday, December 12, 2005

"Jim Crow" Metcalfe Says "Get Out" to Black Vote


Promising to protect the integrity of voting in Pennsylvania, Daryl Metcalfe (R-Cranberry) wants to restrict the right of an ex-convict to vote. The legislation Metcalfe proposes restricts ex-con's from voting during the term of their probation, even after they are released. This disporportionally affects urban communities, particularly African American ones, where statistics show youth are sent to prision rather than College. Another neat fact about this law... it requires an ID card of some form at the poll. Unlike suburban districts like Metcalfe's, many people urban neighborhoods dont drive and never had a need for a driver's licence or ID card. The only thing missing from Metcalfe's law is a provision for a poll tax.

Why would Daryl Metcalfe of Cranberry Township take such an interest in the voting integrity of poor, urban, predominantly black districts? Gerrymandering in 2000 solidified Republican majorities in Congress and the state house, but Republicans have no defense against voters in state-wide elections. In 2004, ACORN and the Urban League registered and mobilized thousands of urban voters to the detriment of Mr. Bush. Metcalfe doubtless has an eye towards 2006, where Rick Santorum faces an uphill battle against Robert Casey. Casey will doubtless benefit from the urban vote.

As if to highlight just how stupid Metcalfe is, Rendell will doubtless veto this legislation, leaving Republicans explaining to the black voter why they work so hard to supress the urban vote and Democrats crowing about another victory for Civil Rights. Metcalfe really hit a home run with this: not only is it bad legislation, its bad politics. I would say something about how disgustingly immoral and undemocratic such a transparent attempt at voter supression is, but such moral judgements have ironically little standing with good, God-Fearing men like Daryl Metcalfe.

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