On Eve of Clinton Speech on Early Voting, MSNBC's Chris Matthews Charges GOP with 'Voter Suppression' Charge

June 3rd, 2015 9:13 PM

On the night before Hillary Clinton's scheduled speech in Houston wherein she will call for a nationwide standard of 20 days of early voting, MSNBC host Chris Matthews subjected viewers to not one but two biased segments on the issue of "voter suppression." Additionally, he capped off his June 3 program with a "Let Me Finish" commentary slamming the GOP as the architect of "voter suppression" laws. 

At no point, of course, did Matthews find time to mention that a new poll shows that a majority of Democrats are fine with requiring a government-issued ID for voting. The same poll shows nearly 80 percent of all Americans are fine with requiring an ID to vote in person on Election Day. 

In both segments on the matter, Matthews treated his interview subjects, Marc Elias, a "voting rights attorney and counsel to the Hillary Clinton campaign" and NAACP Legal Defense Fund director Sherrilyn Ifill -- who happens to be the "brilliant baby cousin" of PBS's Gwen Ifill -- to softball interviews aimed at helping them hit their talking points out of the park.

Putting a bow on his present to the Hillary camp at the close of his program, Matthews started his closing "Let Me Finish" commentary by insisting that, "We learned tonight that the Republican Party is out to win in 2016 by a strategy of winning the most votes of those who they, the Republicans, permit to vote."

What followed that statement was a predictable screed from Matthews about the racially-charged evils of Republican "voter suppression," which seeks to deny the demographic destiny of long-term Democratic rule by staving off the votes of minorities.

Earlier in the program, in his segment with Ifill, Matthews got on his high horse to take black Republicans to task, suggesting they must take their votes elsewhere to get the GOP to take notice and stop pushing for voter ID reforms: 

I think one of the powerful groups in this country, African-American Republicans, it's not a large group, but if they were to blow the whistle and say "We're not staying in this party as long as you stop our people from voting," that would make noise and they would probably stop doing it under that kind of pressure.

Of course that assumes that African-American Republicans, who tend to be politically conservative, do not share the sentiments of most moderate and conservative Americans that voter ID is perfectly sensible to require for voting. But yes, leave it to Matthews to assume black Republicans must secretly all buy the MSNBC line about "voter suppression."

Here's the transcript of Matthews's commentary:

June 3, 2015

CHRIS MATTHEWS: Let me finish with this. We learned tonight that the Republican Party is out to win in 2016 by a strategy of winning the most votes of those who they, the Republicans, permit to vote. 

Well, this is interesting stuff, isn't it? Instead of letting the people decide who to vote for, the politicians here decide who they let to vote in the first place. They select the voters instead of the other way around.

Well, the sheer brazenness of this move is one thing we can all agree on. Seeing the demographic changes on the way -- the rise of minorities in the American population, the rising number of single people, the changing attitudes among younger people on matters such as same-sex marriage -- the big thinkers in the Republican Party decided their best bet is to make it simply harder for certain groups to vote.

Let’s look at whom the GOP brain-trusters most like to see not showing up on Election Day: Older people who live in big cities, especially minorities. People who don’t have drivers licenses. Young people away from home at college. People who tend to vote for Democratic candidates.

Making it harder for these people to vote is daylight robbery by the people in state capitals relentless in finding ways to better their chances in the next election. What’s staggering here is the failure by Democrats and others not to blow the whistle on these shenanigans, which is exactly what they are.