I don’t think that former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain and Kenneth Blackwell, who previously served as Ohio’s secretary of state, were going for irony when they teamed up to produce a video on voting rights. That is, however, the result they’ve achieved. The video, which opens with iconic images of the civil rights movement, targets Attorney General Eric Holder’s efforts to protect African-Americans and other groups who may be disproportionately affected by harsh new voter ID and election laws.
At the center of their message is the notion that the laws are not at all about race but instead aim to ensure the validity of elections and put an end to voter fraud. They admonish Holder to “do his job” and to “keep politics out of the Justice Department.”
“Elections should never be about color,” Cain says.
“Unless it’s purple,” adds Blackwell, referring to the bipartisan blend of Republican red and Democrat blue.
“Now, purple is a very nice color,” says Cain.
Cain, who grew up in the Deep South and has probably drunk from his fair share of “Coloreds Only” water fountains, says in the video that “it is the right of every American to vote without intimidation,” and argues that if Holder isn’t “prepared to protect the integrity of the vote, send him home.”
The line practically guaranteed to produce the biggest laughs comes from Blackwell, who says that as secretary of state in Ohio, he “was responsible for the integrity of the vote.”
Perhaps he’s forgotten that his tenure in Ohio is marked with an asterisk after he was alleged to have thrown the key swing state’s 2004 election results in favor of George W. Bush amidst irregularities that reportedly disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters.
Indeed, it kind of seems like both Cain and Blackwell have forgotten a lot — including their history.