Eight months ago, on Election Day 2008, two members of the fringe “New Black Panther Party” stood outside of a Philadelphia polling place. They wore quasi-military garb and waved nightsticks, then they were shooed away by cops. A lawsuit was brought against them, and President Obama’s Justice Department later dismissed it. But Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), who represents a district that voted for Obama over Sen. John McCain, is not letting it go. He’s demanding congressional hearings into why the administration won’t investigate the Panthers.
- *Upon his installation as attorney general, Eric Holder declared, “We will protect the civil rights of our fellow citizens, all of our fellow citizens – in the workplace, in the housing market, in our educational institutions and in the voting booth, as well as in their day to day lives.” I believe that the House Judiciary Committee has an obligation to determine whether Mr. Holder’s deeds match his words, especially in light of the many unanswered questions posed by the Commission on Civil Rights and members of Congress.
The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to the Department of Justice is currently dominated by George W. Bush appointees like Peter Kirsanow, who excitedly blogged about a letter from the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to the Department of Justice concerning the incredibly important case.
How flimsy is this story? Both Wolf and Kirsanow quote “civil rights activist Bartle Bull” to prove that the actions of two fringey activists, who made no perceptible impact on the election, represented “the most blatant form of voter intimidation I have encountered in my life in political campaigns in many states, even going back to the work I did in Mississippi in the 1960s.” But Bartle Bull has an ax to grind; he endorsed McCain for president (