As frequent contributor Dawg Corleone pointed out, Sue Burmeister (R-Jim Crow) is now trying to back away from the statements attributed to her in the DOJ memo about her bill. Backing away from her remarks is probably a bit of an understatement. Running away like Paris Hilton at a MENSA convention is probably more appropriate.
Sez Burmeister, “An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article citing a Department of Justice memo has erroneously misrepresented comments made by me concerning voter turnout in my district. While I do believe that voter fraud is rampant in our state, I in no way believe that African Americans in my district or around the state only vote when they are paid to do so. If the AJC’s misrepresentation has offended anyone, I apologize. However, I do not believe that these statements are accurate and they are in no way a reflection of my beliefs on this issue. I am equally offended by the newspapers blatant misrepresentation of the facts."
Notice how Sue Burmeister deftly tries to shift the blame away from her and over to the evil, liberal AJC. However, the AJC was merely quoting the DOJ memo (page 6), which says, "Rep. Burmeister also said that if there are fewer black voters because of this bill, it will only be because there is less opportunity for fraud. She said that when black voters in her black precincts are not paid to vote, they do not go to the polls." (Emphasis added)
So, the AJC got it right, based on the memo. It seems pretty cut and dried; the AJC repeats what the DOJ memo says. So if anyone misconstrued Burmeister's racism...err, we mean remarks, then it's the DOJ, right?
Or is it? Let's think this one through, kids. Who has more motivation to rewrite history, the career attorneys at the DOJ, or Sue Burmeister after getting caught with her sheet down?
This is, plain and simple, a case of a politician who said something extremely inappropriate trying to play the victim, with the terrible "liberal media" as the culprit.
You'll notice that the usual GOP spokes-suspects aren't exactly jumping to Burmeister's defense, and we think that's because they know that she screwed the pooch from a political PR standpoint, and would prefer to avoid the fallout from this one. Lesson number one in the GOP Guide to Playing Racial Politics: No matter what you actually think about black people, don't actually be dumb enough to say it in public. We're betting that, as far as the Republican leadership is concerned, this particular turd sandwich is Burmeister's, and Burmeister's alone, to eat.
By the way, before our more conservative readers jump on us, we should make it clear that we know that Burmeister's comments are not reflective of all Republicans, or even most Republicans in Georgia. That's why we're hoping that, among others, Brian Kemp will stand up and decry Burmeister's statements to the DOJ.
Regardless of all that, we're betting that there's at least one race in 2006 that the black community in Burmeister's district will be turning out to vote in. And we're betting that they won't require compensation of any kind.
Slip us the tippies, yo.