An Ad Hominem in Search of a Target That Doesn’t Exist

Yesterday afternoon, State Rep. Greg Leding took to the twittosphere to claim that a Republican state Senator “speaking on the Senate floor, did in fact say that voter ID will help elect Republicans.” In fact, Rep. Leding didn’t just send a frivolous tweet — he said the quote was “Confirmed:”

Rep. Greg Leding's tweet, retweeted by the infamous former Rep. Hudson Hallum.
Rep. Greg Leding’s tweet, retweeted by the infamous former Rep. Hudson Hallum, which is full of all sorts of irony.

Confirmed by who? And who said it? And what exactly did they say?

I was in the Senate gallery for the full discussion on voter ID — I never heard any such comment. In addition, I have video of the entire proceedings, with the exception of about 20 seconds where I had to switch cameras. I hear no such statement on the recordings.

In the minds of Leding and Arkansas’s Michael Moore, Max Brantley, this supposed statement serves as some sort of indictment of supporters of voter ID. Allegedly, this comment — which no one can even quote, much less present evidence of — “shows Republicans’s true motives.” Brantley says the mysterious comment “confirms the obvious.” Because, obviously, the real intention of election integrity is to squash the rights of minorities — who, in Brantley’s world, only vote for Democrats. So by deduction, we can clearly and indisputably see that the only purpose behind ID requirements are to help Republicans get elected. Get it?

The real irony here of course is that opponents of voter ID — even those on the floor of the Senate yesterday — kick and scream and pound their fists about the “lack of evidence of voter fraud,” despite the mounds that exist. They say, in unison, “Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem that doesn’t exist!” (As Dan Greenberg reminded us earlier today, a member of the Senate made this exact claim in the Democrat-Gazette the very day that former state Rep. Hudson Hallum was indicted for his voter fraud scheme.) Because of this lack of evidence that they claim, they interpret the motives of ID proponents to be “suppression,” a “poll tax,” or even racism.

Now, they are making claims with absolutely no evidence other than hearsay and we are expected to believe them, assuming their only agenda is the truth? Amazing how eager we are to believe things that support our worldview.

I’ve contacted Rep. Leding for comment at both of his phone numbers. I hope he will call me back and give me some more information about what supposedly was said because I see no evidence. And, as we know from the opponents of voter ID, if you can’t provide evidence, clearly nothing happened. Perhaps Rep. Leding’s comment was an ad hominem in search of a target that doesn’t exist? Or perhaps he’s just interested in suppressing debate?

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