Addressing the Congressional Black Caucus Gala Sunday evening, Michelle Obama had some moving things to say about civil rights.
She also played the race card. Subtly, quietly, but unmistakably. And everyone there knew what she was talking about:
So we cannot let anyone discourage us from casting our ballots. We cannot let anyone make us feel unwelcome in the voting booth. It is up to us to make sure that in every election, every voice is heard and every vote is counted.
And that means making sure our laws preserve that right. It means monitoring the polls to ensure that every eligible voter can exercise that right.
She’s talking about voter ID laws.
I think there’s room to disagree about whether we need photo ID laws. But I also think that when the first lady of the United States suggests that those who want to require identification to vote are racist, it’s pretty frightening.
The overwhelming majority of Americans support voter ID laws. This is a close election. It could easily be decided by a few votes on a few states. Some people want to ensure the integrity of the process. That doesn’t make them racists.
In her remarks, Michelle also offered a little preview of how government-centered President Obama’s second term will be.
What about the 40 percent of black children who are overweight or obese, or the nearly one in two who are on track to develop diabetes in their lifetimes?
What court case do we bring on their behalf? What laws can be passed to end those wrongs?
You see, today, the connection between our laws and our lives isn’t always as obvious as it was 50 or 150 years ago. And as a result, it’s sometimes easy to assume that the battles in our courts and our legislatures have all been won. It’s tempting to turn our focus solely to what’s going on in our own lives and our own families, and just leave it at that.
Wow. Are we going to outlaw Twinkies? Stay tuned.