The Washington Times - May 29, 2009, 01:35PM

OPINION/ANALYSIS:

It appears that the election day weapons wielding, race baiting Black Panthers are off the hook. While not expecting much from the left, one wonders whether the right will hold Democrats to the same standard of voter integrity routinely trumpeted by their political enemies?

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As reported exclusively by The Washington Times on Friday, the Justice Department’s dismissal of three members of the Black Panther Party for intimidating white voters (and members of the press), should not only come as a shock but is absolutely appalling considering that President Barack Obama’s political appointees overruled career lawyers who were prepared to issue sanctions against the militants. Their actions were no less caught on VIDEOTAPE outside an election polling place in Philadelphia as the uniform-clad men, carrying large batons bullied whites, blocked entrances and hurled racial slurs to ensure their guy got elected unimpeded (even by law abiding registered voters who may have tried vote against him.) What the government then considered a violation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act and filed suit, Obama’s new Justice Department lawyers unceremoniously declared otherwise and undermined the electoral (and Constitutional) process in one fell swoop.

As a former political operative and poll watcher I am all too familiar – and have personal first hand experience – with similar race baiting shenanigans at the hands of some Democratic campaign operatives. Having been on the receiving end of physical and verbal threats for merely “challenging” election day workers who literally helped a visibly intoxicated man vote “straight” ticket for the Democratic Party in the 2000 presidential election (let’s just say they walked in him and voted his ballot for him); that was among a few obvious election violations I witnessed that day. I was roundly shouted down by a self-described “John Kerry lawyer,” who told me (the little black woman surrounded by five big black men) that I was preventing minorities from voting. Imagine that.

It was the DNC in 2005 who reports revealed, had a campaign “playbook” encouraging supporters to “claim intimidation and suppression” even where none exists. For the 2008 presidential campaign, GOP leaders called on the DNC and Obama campaign to agree to a joint bipartisan effort that would ensure “voter integrity” and discourage “disenfranchisement” among minority voters. No takers from the left. It seems they were too busy letting the “non-partisan” ACORN do the ensuring for them. 

With today’s Times’ revelation, now could be an opportune time for partisans on both sides of the aisle but particularly on  the right, to speak out about voter intimidation. It doesn’t matter that these men happen to be black. Suppression and intimidation is just that – no matter who its coming from – it’s not legal or supposed to be tolerated by anyone. 

Where’s my good friend Donna Brazile? Arbiter of ensuring equality for disenfranchised voters? Surely the administration’s decision, at the least, warrants a march by the good reverend Jesse Jackson. Or, how about Al Sharpton, who recently teamed up with Newt Gingrich to promote educational excellence and parity for students. This could be their next bipartisan cause toward racial parity. I won’t hold my breath.

So what about the RNC? Will it rise to the challenge? Demand an independent investigation? Elected GOP officials should be screaming from the rooftops instead of waiting for an election to defend themselves against DNC claims of voter suppression. Already unsure of how to challenge the president’s Latino Supreme Court pick, it is unlikely Republicans will exhibit the boldness to take this one on.

Despite some great reporting by the Times’ Jerry Seper, this is probably where it ends. Simply mark it under the category of a kind of reverse discrimination that is not only allowable but defendable for minority liberal elites not mainstream Americans.

-Tara Wall is a news anchor & political analyst at The Washington Times and editor for TheConservatives.com.