Posted with permission from The Washington Times

Judging by the unhinged reaction this past week to the first public meeting of President Trump's blue-ribbon voter fraud panel, progressives are terrified.

They're fearful that these election experts are actually going to do the job they've been given - uncovering the extent to which the nation's voter rolls are vulnerable to fraudulent activity. How else to explain the panic and shots fired before the commission even met?

"This is such a threat to democracy, this commission, this voter suppression commission," huffed MSNBC analyst and Daily Beast columnist Jonathan Alter on MTP Daily (Meet the Press Daily). "Raising doubts about the legitimacy of an election is anti-democratic. . if we get into a situation like a banana republic situation where every election, nobody believes the returns, we're in a heap of trouble," he moaned.

Well, yes, but surely he's heard about the Democrats' and the media's obsessive Russian conspiracy theories. Bet he won't tell them to shut up and get a grip.

Mr. Alter unwittingly made the case for the Presidential Commission on Election Integrity's existence - the need to restore confidence in the honesty of our election process. He chooses to ignore that the federal voter integrity panel is filled with people from both political parties who have on-the-ground experience rooting out vote fraud.

Samantha Bee, whose crudely named "Full Frontal" videos on TBS are an alt-left mockery of all things good and decent, went on an eight-minute rant against Mr. Trump and the commission. She portrayed Vice Chairman Kris Kobach as a Klansman, panelist J. Christian Adams as a garden variety racist, and panelist Hans von Spakovsky as an evil conniver.

The latter is particularly ironic in light of Mr. von Spakovsky's opening remarks:

"I come at this issue of election integrity from very personal history. My German mother grew up in Nazi Germany as a child. My Russian father fought and escaped communism twice. They met in a displaced persons camp in Europe, after the end of World War II, before immigrating to the United States.

"My childhood was filled with stories of what it's like living in a dictatorship - and we were taught as children that the right to vote is a very precious right, it's one that can be easily lost, and that it was our duty to always vote and participate in the democratic process."

Was Ms. Bee ignorant of the facts or just disgraceful?

Her obscene performance, complete with f-bombs and sexual references, was praised in Rolling Stone, the old countercultural rag that's now a charter member of the fake news mob.

A caption under a photo of Ms. Bee in front of several panelists says, "Samantha Bee exposed the long histories of race-baiting and voter suppression of the men in charge of Donald Trump's Voter Integrity Commission." The only thing that Ms. Bee "exposed" was her classless penchant for foulmouthed mockery.

On Wednesday, after Mr. Trump kicked off the meeting, panel members each gave an opening statement making the case for examining our election system and finding ways to protect it from fraud.

The left continues to insist that vote fraud is a myth, but panelists cited ample evidence such as hundreds of counties where registered voters far exceed the number of residents eligible to vote and where felons and noncitizens have no trouble registering - and voting.

A case in point is Broward County, Florida, which had 106 percent of its population registered to vote in 2010 and 103 percent registered to vote in 2014. This week, the American Civil Rights Union's lawsuit against Broward over its dirty voter rolls will be heard in the U.S. District Court for Southern Florida in Miami.

Over at the Hollywood Reporter, Lorena O'Neil, gave Samantha Bee another plug, writing, "Kobach, Adams and Spakovsky have been 'methodically chipping away at the Voting Rights Act since the moment LBJ signed it,' said Bee, adding that Trump has now 'handed them the keys to the candy shop so they can run in and purge all the chocolates.'" Get it? "Chocolates" are black voters. How childish are the "entertainment news" media going to get?

Across from the White House, a mob of protesters organized by the ACLU threw a collective fit during the commission's meeting. As they chanted "Respect My Vote" they failed to see the irony in disrespecting our election system by turning a blind eye to the very real potential for vote fraud.

Falsely accusing their opponents of racism, homophobia or jingoism has become the left's default tactic when they aren't rioting in the streets, shutting down campus speakers or shooting Republicans at a softball practice.

The progressive left is certainly afraid. They loathe scrutiny, and honorable men and women revealing the truth. We're still waiting for that "civility" and "tolerance" that we heard so much about before Mr. Trump was sworn in.

Meanwhile, let's hope and pray that the vote fraud commissioners, like the man who appointed them, have thick skins.

• Robert Knight is a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union.