Voter ID Laws Are A Bad Way To Steal An Election, Ctd

Douthat suggests the GOP rethink its voter ID push:

[P]recisely because the liberal outrage over voter ID laws is disproportionate — for understandable historical reasons and cynical political reasons alike — to their actual impact, it is quite possibly self-defeating for Republicans to keep pushing them.

In exchange for a marginal benefit to their candidates on election day, the G.O.P. is handing Democrats a powerful symbolic issue for mobilizing minority voters, and sending a message to African-Americans that their suspicions about conservatism are basically correct, and that rather than actually doing outreach to blacks the right would rather not have them vote at all. At best, the political benefit to the G.O.P. might outweigh the cost in non-presidential election cycles, for the House and for state offices, when minority turnout already tends to be depressed. But in that case, these kind of laws are just a way of consolidating the G.O.P.’s position as the new 1970s/1980s Democrats: A party that wields enough power in the states and Congress to postpone the kind of outreach it needs to be competitive at the presidential level. And as such, they’re another case of the G.O.P. playing a factional role in our politics, rather than trying to represent the nation as a whole.