Reasonable people can disagree on whether U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is a good man, but probably few would argue that Columbia Law School-educated Holder isn't at least a fairly learned man.
So it defies common sense to think that he is unaware of the sometimes gruesome violence and other oppression that were used to prevent black Americans from voting or exercising other civil rights in the Jim Crow era.
And yet he and the Obama administration in general persist in not-so-subtly suggesting that blacks today face the same sort of vicious suppression of their rights that they faced decades ago.
What gives? Anyone who witnessed that suppression or who has even casually read up on it knows that claim to be not only patently false but an indirect devaluation of the sacrifices that so many made to obtain equal rights.
What, therefore, could have prompted Holder to declare during a recent meeting of the Conference of National Black Churches that "Despite our nation's long tradition of extending voting rights, a growing number of our fellow citizens are worried about the same disparities, divisions and problems that -- nearly five decades ago -- so many fought to address"?
We might take a clue as to the motivation behind those bogus remarks from the fact that the meeting was convened by the unapologetically left-wing Congressional Black Caucus. What seems obvious is that Holder's comments about voting rights and similar comments by other leaders in the Democratic Party are not rooted in the faintest sense of reality but are a ploy to frighten black Americans and to increase their turnout for President Barack Obama in November.
The Democrats are furious that state after state has enacted -- or attempted to enact, when activist courts don't intrude -- laws to reduce voter fraud and protect the integrity of the election process. Those laws, including requirements that valid photo identification be presented at the ballot box, protect the votes of all Americans, minorities included, from being diluted by fraudulently cast ballots. And where allowed to take effect, the laws have not proved to suppress minority voter participation.
Absent evidence that such rules deny voting rights to any significant portion of the population, there is something telling and untoward about the lockstep Democratic opposition to the laws.
But the cynicism of that opposition pales next to the administration's grotesque expectation that the American people will buy the notion that modern-day minority voters face the same dangers as their forebears faced.
If your political strategy rests on the hope that voters are ignorant of even the basics of recent history, it's time to take a long look at just what it is you hope to accomplish if you gain or maintain power.