MSNBC Panel Hits GOP 'War on Voting Rights,' 'Trying to Make It Illegal'

On the Monday, April 14, PoliticsNation, host Al Sharpton squeezed more mileage out of President Obama's Friday visit to the MSNBC host's National Action Network as Sharpton devoted another segment to the President's words criticizing new laws against voter fraud, with Sharpton accusing Republicans of "waging a war on voting rights." The PoliticsNation host had previously highlighted Obama's speech on Friday's show.

Ryan Grim of the Huffington Post soon joined Sharpton in going over the top as he accused Republicans of engaging in a "concerted effort" to "disenfranchise a vast block of voters," and of "trying to make" voting "illegal."

After a clip of President Obama addressing Sharpton's National Action Network on Friday, the MSNBC host recalled:

We had some laughs, but the President's larger point was a very serious one. In some of his strongest language to date, he called out Republicans for waging a war on voting rights.

Grim continued the hyperbole as he began:

I think it actually goes back to that old cynical bumper sticker that a lot of people have seen which says, it says something like, "If voting could change anything, they'd make it illegal." Well, voting can change things, and so they are actually trying to make it illegal.

He soon added: "It's a scandal. This is a concerted effort by one party to disenfranchise a vast block of voters."

Below is a transcript of the relevant portions of the Monday, April 14, PoliticsNation on MSNBC:

AL SHARPTON: That was President Obama having a little fun while speaking at my civil rights organization, National Action Network, on Friday. We had some laughs, but the President's larger point was a very serious one. In some of his strongest language to date, he called out Republicans for waging a war on voting rights.

(PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA)

SHARPTON: It is wrong, but that  hasn't stopped lawmakers in 19 states from introducing bills to scale back voting rights. In key swing states, they're pushing strict voter ID laws, they're limiting early voting, they're even making it more harder to register people to vote.

The President called this effort "deadly wrong," but the RNC certainly doesn't see it that way. Their spokesman said, quote, "Democrats want to create an issue out of nothing. The only way they can win is by scaring their base into voting."

Democrats are creating an issue out of nothing? That's almost as laughable as what Governor Huckabee said this weekend.

FORMER GOVERNOR MIKE HUCKABEE (R-AR): When I go to the airport, I have to get in a surrender position. People put their hands all over me, and I have to provide a photo ID in a couple of different forms and prove that I am not going to terrorize the airplane. But if I want to go vote, I don't need a thing.

SHARPTON: What's he suggesting? That people should be patted down when they want to vote? These new laws are brazen, and so is the right's defense of them.

(...)

RYAN GRIM, HUFFINGTON POST: Well, I think it actually goes back to that old cynical bumper sticker that a lot of people have seen which says, it says something like, "If voting could change anything, they'd make it illegal." Well, voting can change things, and so they are actually trying to make it illegal.

I'd even quibble with the phrase Reince Priebus was using calling it an "issue." You know, it's not really an "issue." It's a scandal. You know, this is a concerted effort by one party to disenfranchise a vast block of voters.