Democrats Receiving Criticism For Support Of National ID Card

There are various reasons why I consider myself an independent as opposed to a Democrat, despite my considerable distaste for the Republican Party since they moved to the extreme right in recent years. Voting Democratic in recent elections as the preferable choice does not necessarily mean agreement with the party on all. A good example came up today with news of what amounts to a national ID card being included in the immigration legislation. The Hill reports:

A plan by Senate Democratic leaders to reform the nation’s immigration laws ran into strong opposition from civil liberties defenders before lawmakers even unveiled it Thursday.

Democratic leaders have proposed requiring every worker in the nation to carry a national identification card with biometric information, such as a fingerprint, within the next six years, according to a draft of the measure.

The proposal is one of the biggest differences between the newest immigration reform proposal and legislation crafted by late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

The national ID program would be titled the Believe System, an acronym for Biometric Enrollment, Locally stored Information and Electronic Verification of Employment.

It would require all workers across the nation to carry a card with a digital encryption key that would have to match work authorization databases.

“The cardholder’s identity will be verified by matching the biometric identifier stored within the microprocessing chip on the card to the identifier provided by the cardholder that shall be read by the scanner used by the employer,” states the Democratic legislative proposal.

The American Civil Liberties Union, a civil liberties defender often aligned with the Democratic Party, wasted no time in blasting the plan.

“Creating a biometric national ID will not only be astronomically expensive, it will usher government into the very center of our lives. Every worker in America will need a government permission slip in order to work. And all of this will come with a new federal bureaucracy — one that combines the worst elements of the DMV and the TSA,” said Christopher Calabrese, ACLU legislative counsel.

“America’s broken immigration system needs real, workable reform, but it cannot come at the expense of privacy and individual freedoms,” Calabrese added.

The ACLU said “if the biometric national ID card provision of the draft bill becomes law, every worker in America would have to be fingerprinted.”

A source at one pro-immigration reform group described the proposal as “Orwellian.”

John Cole points out that, besides all the inherent problems in the policy, this shows that the Democrats are tone deaf. That has been obvious for quite a while, and is why the Republicans repeatedly win the spin wars even when wrong on the issues. Requiring a national ID card is about as stupid politically as allowing Republicans (who initially backed the idea) win political points on health care due to Democrats imposing the individual mandate.

Republicans did well for years because Ronald Reagan’s call to get government off our backs resonated with the voters. When it became clear that the Republicans supported a government which is more intrusive in the lives of individuals they were thrown out of power. This was the time when the Democrats needed to promote a clear message in favor of keeping government out of our personal lives and backing individual liberty. Instead they deliver a mixed message by opposing Republican intrusions on our private lives in some areas, but doing the opposite at other times.

Be Sociable, Share!

1 Comment

  1. 1
    Brett Robinson says:

    RT @ronchusid: Democrats Receiving Criticism For Support Of National ID Card http://is.gd/bOS8d #p2 #dems

1 Trackbacks

Leave a comment