Our Opinion: Republicans consistently inconsistent

News Tribune editorial

“Inconsistency is the only thing in which men are consistent.”

— Horace Smith, poet and novelist

Some Republican lawmakers are consistently inconsistent when it comes to photography.

On the issue of voter identification, Republicans largely support photo ID requirements to prevent voter fraud.

On the issue of biometric analysis of driver’s license photos to prevent fraud, however, they oppose the process as an invasion of privacy.

Public concerns about privacy also seem inconsistent, with people voluntarily sacrificing privacy through social media, while insisting government guard their privacy. That, however, is a topic for another time.

The voter ID issue before the state Legislature largely is supported by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.

GOP lawmakers base their support on preventing fraud. State Rep. Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, said during a March hearing “... if you go to vote on Election Day and have to prove who you are, we’ll have more integrity in the process.”

Democrats counter that voter fraud has not been an issue in Missouri. They contend GOP opposition is designed to impede low-income people, who largely vote Democratic.

In view of the GOP interest in photo identification as a crime prevention measure, their opposition to biometric analysis seems curiously inconsistent.

The analysis would match photos of driver’s license applicants with thousands of photos in a database to determine if the applicant is attempting to create false or multiple identities.

Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee’s Summit, voiced fears that biometric analysis of driver’s license photos could be misused or abused by an over-reaching government.

And Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said: “I don’t want to live in an America where in the name of security we’ve completely destroyed privacy, and I think we’re approaching that line with things like biometric analysis and photo validation.”

The Republican party line approves of voter ID to prevent fraud but rejects biometric analysis of driver’s license photos to prevent fraud.

That’s a consistent inconsistency.

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