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The Democrats' Race Conspiracy Theory

Are Republicans really trying to keep African-Americans from voting?

2:45 AM, Nov 6, 2002 • By STEPHEN F. HAYES
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In fact, Democratic race-baiting has a long, shameful history. Before both the 1998 and 2000 elections, President Clinton dispatched his attorney general Janet Reno to warn Republicans against intimidating minority voters. Before the 1998 election, Clinton himself implored GOPers to "stand up and put a stop" to their alleged voter intimidation. "For the last several elections there have been examples in various states of Republicans either actually or threatening to try to intimidate or try to invalidate the votes of African-Americans in precincts that are overwhelmingly African-American--mostly places they think it might change the outcome of elections." Despite repeated questions, neither Clinton nor Reno ever offered any evidence to support their allegations.

Of course there are clusters of racist Republicans. And, of course, there are those in the GOP who will do almost anything to win elections. But pockets of prejudice hardly constitute a national strategy to depress minority vote.

Stephen F. Hayes is staff writer for The Weekly Standard.