Papers, please

The big brains in the NC GOP have a big idea!

They want to put a voter ID requirement into the state constitution, via a ballot referendum. The thinking is that this will pass easily and will stand up better in court when the inevitable legal challenges come. Polls say 80% of people support such a thing – driven by fears of rampant voter fraud. And the GOP believes it will be hard to claim such a law is discriminatory if the people themselves are free to vote on it. And they may be right.

Yet, It’s a head scratcher that people who are terrified about the non-existent problem of in-person voter fraud and so blase about the actual, documented, Russian election meddling

SHELBY, N.C. — For all of the congressional hearings and cable coverage they have spawned, the government investigations into Russian interference in last year’s election do not readily come up in conversations at the Shelby Cafe.

Joyce Holcomb, who lives here in town, considered the topic in the crowded diner on Thursday morning. They have not found anything, she said between sips of coffee. And the fact that her senator, Richard M. Burr, a Republican, is the chairman of the Senate investigation does not change her opinion that it is all “a waste of time.”

“If there’s really something,” she said, “they need to find it and finish it up.”

It’s hard to find people in this southern area of North Carolina who are worked up by Russia’s meddling in the election or by the possibility that President Trump’s associates may have somehow been involved. When pressed, they will say it could be the biggest political crisis in decades or a smear campaign against the president, but with other, more pressing local issues on their minds, many North Carolinians are reserving their judgment — and their attention.

I kid. It’s no puzzle. These are Republicans. They want what the Republican Party tells them to want.