Voter ID laws and straw man arguments

A brief perusal through the facebook comments on a recent Politico.com piece on Voter ID laws uncovers some of the usual straw man arguments that are either intentionally used to confuse the opposition, or simply come from a lack of understanding.

Listen, it’s not unreasonable to expect that, when voting, people prove who they are and they are in fact eligible to vote.  This protects the sanctity of the system.  It is in no way meant to be some kind of return to the poll tax or preventing some one from voting.  But there are a great many people who would like to cloud the issue with easily refutable arguments.

A brief perusal of some of the facebook comments that were there when I looked at it uncovered these examples:

[responding to a discussion of why Democrats fight voter ID laws] He knows the only way Obama gets elected is from illegals.

This comment elicited this response from another user:

illegals can’t vote so what is your point?

First off, call me a racist, but based on the respondent’s profile picture, I’m quite sure this is an Obama supporter (and if you think that’s “racist,” then you need to be educated on what that word actually means).  I’ll tell you the point.  That response is exactly why Voter ID laws exist – to prevent people who are not in fact eligible to vote (such as an illegal alien) from being able to do so.

So “Diane,” it’s not that illegals “can’t” vote; it’s that they are not “eligible” to do so.

Here’s another example that proves my point.  One commenter posted the following:

Can you get a passport, driver license or get on a plane without ID? No. but the Dems want to allow people to vote without it, so they can rig the election.

To which someone known as “Emmet Moore Jr.” responded:

Guess how many people 80+ actually have a valid ID? You will be surprised at the percentage…my father is a 91 year old vet and has not had an ID since he lost his ability to drive. My father, with 2 purple hearts from WW2 and Korea bled so your fat ass could enjoy freedom. You want to deny him the right to vote? Go ahead, you want his phone number? Want an earful from a cranky old man?

OK.  Perfect example of a straw man.  Listen, Emmet; no one is saying they want to deny your father the “right” to vote (even though there isn’t a Constitutional “right” to vote, but that’s another conversation).  Also, no one suggested that a driver’s license be required to vote.  What we are talking about here is presenting proper identification that you are who you say you are and that who you say you are is eligible to vote.

The original comment actually puts that out in the open – you can’t board a plane without proving who you are, but you don’t have to do that to influence the outcome of who becomes the most powerful man on the planet?

I notice that Emmet also invokes his father’s service to our country (for which we are all grateful), but he doesn’t mention his own.  Does he think that making it easier to commit voter fraud by not requiring identification at the polls is worthy of his father’s sacrifice (noting here that the man is a two-time Purple Heart recipient)?  Seriously, I would think that would make some one more likely to protect the sanctity of the franchise rather than cheapen it.