Forget voter ID laws. What this country needs are laws to keep stupid people from voting.
Now, I’m not talking about folks who can’t recite the preamble to the Constitution, or who can’t tell you what the 1st Amendment covers, or how many Supreme Court justices there are. I’ll even exempt those poor souls who don’t know who the first president was, or can’t name the two houses of Congress, or don’t know the name of their representative.
But, if you were to show up at the polls in November, and the poll worker were to ask you “Is President Obama a Muslim or a Christian?” and you answered “Muslim,” then — bzzzzzt — you’d be automatically disqualified from voting, on the grounds you’re just too dumb.
My colleague Jim Rainey reported Friday on a Pew Research Center Forum on Religion and Public Life survey released Thursday showing that just 49% of Americans described the president as a Christian, while 17% said they believed he was Muslim.
And, though I hate to cast aspersions, this tidbit isn’t surprising: “While Pew found in October 2008 that 16% of Republicans (and the same percentage of conservative Republicans) called Obama a Muslim, the most recent survey found 30% of Republicans and 34% of conservative Republicans said it was so.”
There are only two explanations for this: Either these people are really clever and enjoy pulling a fast one on pollsters, or they’re really dumb.
But if Republicans want me to produce a photo ID to prove I’m the same person who’s been voting for four decades, then Democrats have the right to demand some basic level of intelligence from the other side.
Really, it shouldn’t be that hard. After all, consider this from Rainey’s report: “Republican challenger Mitt Romney has much less of a religion identity problem with voters. Fully 60% of those surveyed understood that the former Massachusetts governor was a Mormon and most of the rest, 32%, didn’t know his faith.”
Obviously there’s a basic level of knowledge here. Perhaps what these conservative Republicans need is just a cheat sheet.
So write this down (even on your hand): Romney — Republican — religion — Mormon. Now this: Obama — Democrat — religion — Christian.
Good for you. Now you can vote. I’ll even waive the ID part.