UPDATE: Fox News guest Kirsten Powers made the mistake of thinking for herself. A must-see video:
Several of you have clamored for me to say something about the alleged voter intimidation case in Philadelphia, which involves a thuggish group who call themselves the “New Black Panthers.” (While I was no fan of the original Black Panthers, they don’t deserve to have their reputation further befouled by this group. The two groups are in no way related.)
I was loathe to comment since I know that no rational discussion will follow. How could it? It was clear from the beginning that this was not a case of voter intimidation against anyone who might vote for John McCain. As many observers noted on that day, no matter how badly those two New Black Panters were behaving (and the police were called and responded), it’s a HEAVILY DEMOCRATIC PRECINCT. As blogger Ben Smith noted way back then, “You don’t typically intimidate your own voters.”
But solid reporting from Media Matters and Adam Serwer of The American Prospect ought to put this nonsense to rest (it won’t, but it should). The charges against the New Black Panthers were downgraded by the Bush Department of Justice:
This means that the case was downgraded to a civil case 11 days before Obama was inaugurated, 26 days before Eric Holder became attorney general, and about nine months before Thomas Perez was confirmed as head of the Civil Rights Division.
From Media Matters:
# Adams has admitted that he does not have first-hand knowledge of the events, conversations, and decisions that he is citing to advance his accusations;
# The Bush administration’s Justice Department — not the Obama administration — made the decision not to pursue criminal charges against members of the New Black Panther Party for alleged voter intimidation at a polling center in Philadelphia in 2008;
# The Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party carrying a nightstick outside the Philadelphia polling center on Election Day 2008;
# The Bush administration DOJ chose not to pursue similar charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom allegedly carried a weapon while harassing Hispanic voters in Arizona in 2006;
# No voters have come forward to claim that they were intimidated from voting on account of the New Black Panthers standing outside the polling center in 2008;
So, no matter how many times J. Christian Adams declares that the Obama administration refuses to protect the rights of white people — and no matter how many times Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh repeat it — it’s not true.
(See my first post of the day about facts before you respond.)