It's still a little early for me so unless sleep is playing tricks on my memory...
As I recall, Real ID was supposed to make it harder for terrorists to cause problems here in the US. To quote you quoting the article:
"But critics said the changes gut the law, weakening tools to fight fraud and learn whether bad drivers, drug runners or counterfeiters have licenses in more than one state."
What the hell? Using a law designed to fight terrorism in order to prosecute a civilian who does something that is, at best, questionable is an abuse of power. It works both ways. This is blatantly, unignorably, an abuse of the intention and a JUMP towards taking power from the states and giving it to the Federal Government - It's one thing to have states work with each other (as was intended) but to usurp that process like this and then brag about how it could be used to monitor US citizens (innocent until proven guilty?) is an abuse!
Papers, Citizen! If you do not provide papers, you cannot pass.
This is, of course, assuming I am remembering the intent behind Real ID correctly.