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PITTS: Columnist mischaracterizes conservatives

Letter by Kurtis D. Spitzer, Lakewood on Jan. 18, 2012 at 9:12 am with 49 Comments »
January 18, 2012 11:28 am

Does the TNT editorial board read what you print? Leonard Pitts Jr., a black liberal columnist has a penchant for blatantly mischaracterizing conservatives, from writing that conservatives have never helped or stood up for blacks (column, 9-6) – which is preposterous when the Republican Party in 1854 proposed abolishing slavery – to saying conservatives do not want blacks’ votes to be counted (column, 1-7).

Citing South Carolina’s new law requiring photo ID to vote as just a pretense for the GOP-controlled state to suppress black voting is dishonest, and his argument that many blacks cannot afford to get IDs is wrong. Any qualified citizen in South Carolina can obtain a valid voting ID at no cost, and the state will provide transportation if needed.

If history is correct, it was the Democrats who initiated the poll tax and reading tests to suppress black votes and colluded with the KKK to intimidate voters.

Pitts, like most liberals, claims vote fraud is not a problem. So does ACORN.

Here is a question: Since the Gregoire/Rossi triple-recount reversal of the 2004 governor race, do people feel their vote is safer now that the Democrat-controlled state has made mail-in voting mandatory?


Leave a comment Comments → 49
  1. SandHills says:

    Which is why states like SC, which only wants to require a valid picture ID to vote is getting sued by the Obama administration.

    I have to show my ID card for many things way less important than my vote. Other than illegal aliens, or those with an intent to defraud the system, who would object to having to show their ID in order to vote?

  2. tree_guy says:

    Of course you are correct Kurtis. But for Pitts and others employed in the industry of race baiting there’s no future in racial harmony. Better to stir the kettle of racism into a frothy brew and proclaim for all who will listen that an elaborate racist scheme underlies every social or political endeavor.

    For Pitts, a boogie man in the door means money in the drawer.

  3. BlaineCGarver says:

    The ‘Crats commit voter fraud, and Pitts would be out of a job if Racial Hammony ever came about.

  4. Haven’t read the article yet but I really liked this bit in the above letter: “Republican Party in 1854 proposed abolishing slavery”

    Yo, Republicans, what have you done for the Blacks lately?

    Oh yah, Gingrich said to get the Blacks off of food stamps and into paychecks, and Santorum said don’t give the Black welfare. As if to say that only black Americans need to use food stamps and need help from welfare these days. Got news for you, there are a lot of other American of all races needing the help of welfare and food stamps thanks to some of the things done by some of those same Republicans that Kurt is playing his tiny violin for.

  5. redneckbuck says:

    Increased foodstamp enrollment = more bought votes

  6. ManuelMartini says:

    Kurtis – are you a black person living in South Carolina? Are you a black person?

    Since the court case in Chelan County overturned Rossi’s concerns about the 2004 election, are you worried that conservative counties in Washington might create voter fraud?

    Can you cite ONE EXAMPLE of VOTE FRAUD, not a screen registration?

  7. ManuelMartini says:

    Blaine, is your idea of racial harmony the day when black people quit talking about it?

  8. sandblower says:

    Dear Mr. Spitzer,
    The Republican party of 1854 was nothing like the republican party you seem to be supporting today. With that simple mistake, your letter is total and complete nonsense.
    Increases in food stamp use are directly related to the Republican generated recession. End of story.

  9. sandblower, that’s kind of what I said in my comment, but you said it better!

  10. ManuelMartini says:

    Isn’t it cute how the Republicans put the tag of “Food Stamp President” on the first black man in office?

    Of course they don’t “race bait” – MUCH.

    Try this:


    New Jersey has a caucasian, Republican Governor. Is he the “food stamp governor”?

  11. Food stamp recipients are 37.2 percent Black and 46.2 percent White

  12. writing that conservatives have never helped or stood up for blacks (column, 9-6) – which is preposterous when the Republican Party in 1854 proposed abolishing slavery

    from xavierob82:

    I find it extrememely hard to believe that Abe Lincoln would be a Republican today since the Republican Party of the 1860s was a completeley different animal than today’s conservative GOP. Even though he was a moderate, his party’s base of support was in the Northeast/New England and was made up of former Whigs, Free Soilers, Radical Republicans and abolitionists (i.e., America’s first “bleeding-heart liberals”). The Democratic Party was the party of “states rights”, wealthy plantation owners and slave-holders, and rather arch-conservative elements.

    Abe Lincoln first made a name of himself by speaking out against the Mexican-American War in the Illinois legistlature, as a war that was only meant to expand slavery westward (can you say “ANTI-WAR LIBERAL”)

    Abe Lincoln was also hated in the South (he didn’t recieve a SINGLE VOTE in the South!), was even accused to being half-black, even though he was not as radical as some other Republicans.

    My question is this: if Abe Lincoln were alive today, what contemporary politician is he most like? I’m guessing a rather mainstream liberal from the Midwest like Russ Feingold….or perphaps even Barack Obama

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/politics-other-controversies/236992-would-abraham-lincoln-liberal-democrat-today.html#ixzz1jqlO78j1

  13. SandHills says:

    beerboy – good stat, if you add the other side of the same coin that blacks only make up 12% of the population.

    But I would most certainly challenge any conservative spouting too much about welfare to the poor – given the welfare to the rich all these bailouts have cost, not to mention all the untold billions wasted or lost on rebuilding Iraq (of which Halliburtons’s KBR got a great giveaway by charging over $30 per meal – even if it was only a cup of coffee – and all the rent charges for all those trailers in our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan).

    The truth cuts both ways. But those entrenched in either their repectivd red or blue camps can on,y see their own version of the truth.

  14. Again, as posted at another letter you need to read history. Not getting into the merits of whether a picture ID should be required, the political party positions evolved over the years. The Republican Party of Lincoln is not the Republican Party of 2012 or 1964, etc.

    Just stick to the issues without putting a name to it.

  15. SandHills says:

    Reading history one obvious fact stands out: “The Party of Lincoln” never won an election in the South ( with the exception of Reconstruction enforced by Federal troops) until those like Strom Thurmond left the Democrat Party and became Republican.

    Using the term “Party of Lincoln” has to stick in the craw of Southern Republicans whose fathers and grandfathers were staunch Democrats (as well as staunch segregationalists).

    Even national pollsters still misread this, and a Gingrich victory in the upcoming SC will come as no surprise to those who know their history.

    Overall though, the GOP is largely seen as the party of choice for the wealthy and wealthy wannabes (it has a central platform plank as the party who lives by the ideal of the capitalist carrot for those who aspire to wealth) – just as the Democratic Party has to live with its central theme seen as redistribution of wealth socialists. Only a viable middle class can serve as an bridge (or equalizer) between the vast and entrenched chasm between those who view each party in those generalized definitions. Sadly the middle class is suffering – the big question is will enough of them retain the middle ground rather than signing on lock, stock, and barrel, for either party. In my eye I see one as overly committed to big business and the other just as committed to big government, with each compromising with the other for the benefit of those entities rather than the average citizens who vote them into office.

  16. ManuelMartini says:

    Want picture ID for all voters?

    Simple. Each state starts a department that provides picture ID for free. Voting is not supposed to be available to only those who “can afford it”.

    You’ll probably need those ID offices in every neighborhood, city, township etc, because not all legal voters have access to private transportation. Or – the government could provide free transportation to the ID Centers.

    Have we reduced the cost and size of government yet?

    Remember, this state voted to eliminate the ability for the state to make money on liquor sales. Can you imagine those people endorsing the investment in creating the Washington State Department of Voter IDs and the costs of adminstrating same?

  17. SandHills says:


    Are you that naive? The vast majority of citizens already have a valid photo ID. I would suspect many of those you champion alredy does as well – or at least a social security number or birth certificate to get one at an alrady established government entity to get a photo ID – the DOV. Only invalids who never go anywhere are left on your list, and I would suspect even they have some contact with a government entity sor some sort of services.

    To try and inject some inane over-the-top argument against photo IDs lends me to believe you don’t object to having a valid ID to vote so much as you just object to having a valid ID period. Which really. Egs the question why?

  18. There have only been 311 cases of voter ID fraud in the last ten years. Pitts accurately observes and points out what the facts show. The poor, the elderly, and students are least likely to have an ID. These people also vote heavily democratic. Thus, republicans introduce the bogey man that is the voter-imposter.
    Our elections simply ARE NOT defrauded in a way that having an ID could correct.
    Look at rossi. look at bush in florida. these have not a single thing to do with voter ID.
    By the way, VOTING IS A RIGHT!
    Renting a movie, or getting on an airplane is not a constitutionally guaranteed right in this country.
    Voting is.

  19. SandHills says:

    So if only one case of election fraud was found, what is still the objection to prove you are a resident of the State, Legislative, or School District, you are voting from?

    I believe it is much more behind the objection than just countering that so few cases of election fraud makes it logical not to have to prove you are who you claim to be.

    Just come out and state you don’t believe in any need for ID at all, why stop at something as critical as who we elect to represent our views in government?

    I turn your own inane statement around jellee – if something as unecessary as renting a movie requires an ID (I suppose you will actually be liable for loss or damage to a $15-$20 DVD), what value do you place on one of the most important aspects of a democracy as your vote? If knowing who is renting a DVD is important, why not knowing who is legally eligible to cast a vote? Voting is a right – for legal residents, not just anyone passing through e state or school district.

  20. tommy98466 says:

    mukibir… all I can say about your post is that you are totally ignorant of the facts on what people say. Gingrich did not say get the black folks off of food stamps. He didn’t mention blacks at all. You are ignorant & pathetic.

  21. took14theteam says:

    For the love of gawd. A stupid ID card is, what, $20 for 5 years. That is $4 year, $0.33 month, $0.011 per day. That is 1.1 cents per day. If those “poor___” people cannot afford that, then maybe they need to examine their lifestyle choices. And maybe they shouldn’t be voting. Because if you are that stupid, you are going to pull the D lever. And look where that has gotten WA state and the country.

    Not racist Larry, just stereotyping…..

  22. tommy98466

    Gingrich: Blacks Should Demand Paychecks Not Food Stamps

    Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich said Thursday he is willing to go before the NAACP and urge blacks to demand paychecks, not food stamps.


    Awaiting your APOLOGY.

  23. tree_guy says:

    “The poor, the elderly, and students are least likely to have an ID.” jellie

    Read more here: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2012/01/18/opinion-vs-honesty/#comments#storylink=cpy

    I don’t understand this problem they have with the ID in South Carolina. Voters there are entitled a FREE voter registration card w/photo.

  24. Vox_clamantis_in_deserto says:

    There were “only” 152 murders in Washington State in 2010. Maybe we should repeal murder statutes.

  25. “A stupid ID card is, what, $20 for 5 years. That is $4 year, $0.33 month, $0.011 per day. That is 1.1 cents per day. If those “poor___” people cannot afford that”

    … then they don’t get to vote, proving that this is a poll tax. Which is illegal.

  26. ManuelMartini says:

    “The vast majority of citizens already have a valid photo ID. I would suspect many of those you champion alredy does as well – or at least a social security number or birth certificate to get one at an alrady established government entity to get a photo ID – the DOV.”

    SandHills – if I was a libertarian, I’ll object to IDs. I’m not.

    What picture ID do the “majority of people have”? If you are going to say “driver’s license” you’d better ask New York City, where many people don’t drive because the cost of parking is more than auto ownership. Social Security cards have no picture and are not being accepted as ID for photo ID for voting. Birth certificates are not always available (I can’t tell you where mine is) and to get a copy costs money.

    Other photo ID’s are at a cost – which is illegal in terms of voting.

  27. ManuelMartini says:

    Let’s equate murder to voter fraud. That’s adult and rational.

    Oh wait….it was Vox.


  28. ManuelMartini says:

    Who died when someone committed voter fraud?

    Sorry. I can’t help myself.

  29. sandblower says:

    MM, I am happy to see that you recognize the Vox syndrome. It is truly something to guard against. There is irrationality in it that is very troubling. Many researchers have tried to discover the cause to no avail. The conundrum is that it does not strike those who favor democracy and equal rights for all. That is so simple a cure.

  30. Neither of my parents had birth certificates. My mother never had a driver license and my father’s expired when he was 76 and he never renewed it. They did not have passports. They voted in every election for life.

    Neither of them would be eligible to vote under the new ID laws. I was born at home and did not have a birth certificate until I went into the Army, and it took about six months and a lot of money in court costs to get one. My first voting was done using affadavits from people in the small town where I was born.

    Any law that denies even one person the right to vote due to cost is unjust. Even with free ID’s, people still have to have a birth certificate or a court to develop equivalency, and those are not free.

    The new laws do not allow student ID’s, expired driver licenses or state ID’s or other mthods of establishing identifty that were used in the past. So, the arguments that some use saying one just provide proof of residency are false. The conservative states are going much further and demanding unecessary and sometimes costly methods of proving identifty and citizenship.

  31. concernedtacoma7 says:

    This is 2012, not 1912. That was a cute story though. My grandmother remembered the guy lighting the street lamps.

    I, and everyone I know, have an ID. Old people need to show an ID to cash a SS check or open a bank account. So let’s not pretend the elderly do not have IDs.

  32. The letter writer wrote, “If history is correct, it was the Democrats who initiated the poll tax and reading tests to suppress black votes and colluded with the KKK to intimidate voters.”

    But as current reporting proves, it is the Republicans who are attempting to to reinstitute voter suppression by implementing new laws that essentially amount to a new poll tax, to keep low income Americans from being able to vote.

    You’re right, this is not 1912, and somebody should explain that to the Republicans.

  33. ManuelMartini says:

    “Old people need to show an ID to cash a SS check or open a bank account.”

    Old people I know already have a bank account and autodeposit their check.

    Bottom line – banking isn’t voting.

  34. concerned, the issue is getting birth certificates and specific IDs that many elderly do not have. Social Security cards are not valid for voting under these new laws. Bank cards are not valid for voting. Almost all banks will take student IDs and driver licenses from other states, voting will not. Manuel already explained about cashing SS checks. My mother cashed her SS checks just fine without any ID. People knew her on sight, as did people at the voting booth where she voted all of her life.

    Students should be able to vote where they reside. If they have a driver license from another state they are not able to use that to vote and must pay for a new license. Most states exempt college students from having to obtain a new license for driving while they are in college, but these new laws require it for voting.

  35. “This is 2012, not 1912.”

    Despite the best efforts of the wrong wing to turn back the clock.

  36. ehill, very very clever turn of phrase! You are to be commended!

  37. menopaws says:

    It really doesn’t matter what they do in South Carolina—they can pass whatever laws they want…..Texas too…..These states have a long past history of voter intimidation during the civil rights era and due to those court cases—any laws they pass must clear the legal muster of the Justice Department……It wouldn’t matter if McCain had won and was the President—it would still undergo review by our Justice Department………You play dirty and refuse to let minorities vote and it does carry a price……..So, since the Republicans are such big proponents for “states rights”, except of course, in the case of the Keystone Pipeline (never met an oil lobbyist who couldn’t buy them)—we shall see how they choose to spin this piece of history……..It flat out doesn’t matter what Ms. Haley or Rick Perry pull—once upon a time, it was proven in court they violated the civil rights of voters……..now, their laws must undergo stringent review. Can’t wait!!!!!

  38. sandhills — again…voting is a RIGHT. not a privilege. a right. bestowed and guaranteed in the constitution. unlike purchasing a movie or opening a bank account.
    your reason for requiring these specific kinds of ID is totally ignorant. voter ID fraud simply does not exist.
    a whopping 0.0000005% of all votes cast in the last decade resulted in voter fraud. while a full 11% of voters do not have the new IDs that u wish to require.
    we register to vote; we get a voter registration card; we vote.
    the only fraud that exists is what we saw in florida in 2000. rossi from 2004. iowa 2012. the christians and catholics in texas last week who voted three times and had no clear winner.
    the fraud that IS committed could not possibly be addressed by voter ID laws.

  39. which is why mr. pitts points to the only plausible explanation for these republican actions.

  40. MarksonofDarwin says:


    Regarding xavierob82’s question. No doubt both of you believe the answer would be that Lincoln would be a Democrat without question.
    Hmmm. Not so fast.

    The qualities that he attributes to the Republican party way back in the day actually more closely resemble the Libertarian party than the “Republican lite” Democratic party of today.

    At any rate, nobody really knows what Lincoln, or Washington, or Adams would think about today’s politics…but it is fun!

  41. MarksonofDarwin says:


    Excellent post from yesterday at 3:10pm.


  42. MoD – Nope – don’t believe anything about what Lincoln’s Party affiliation would be. Just grabbed something off the internet quickly to respond to all this historical nonsense being spouted off as somehow being relevant to today’s sorry excuses for major political parties.

    I do, however, think that Reagan would be dismissed as a RINO by some of the extreme Tea folks if he were active today.

  43. the historical nonsense needs to be taken in historical context. southern dixiecrats turned to the republican party and then nixons southern strategy set the parties’ current paths regarding race seemingly in stone. or the stone-age in the case of a certain party.

  44. You really want to know what Lincoln would be if he were alive today?

    He’d be really really old, and really really p-o’d at today’s Republicans and The Republican Party!!!

  45. I wonder what JFK would be thinking about his former party.

  46. Both JFK and RFK would be right there beside BHO cheering him on to fix for the GOP FUBARed.

  47. “to fix WHAT the GOP FUBARed.”

    Sorry for the typo. Again!!!

  48. Somehow I doubt it. But, we have no way of knowing.

  49. villager98 says:

    Mr. Spitzer should consider doing a little objective research into the areas about which he makes statements which are entirely factually incorrect.

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