By moving the Major League Baseball All-Star Game from Atlanta, where it was scheduled to be played this summer, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has, in the opinion of many Republicans, declared the league an arm of the Democratic Party and baseball itself to be a blue sport, with values opposed to the Constitution and representative government.
No doubt Manfred will insist he didn’t mean that, but Republicans know the insult of the accusation of racism when it hits them. The MLB wants to be a Democratic Party interest group? Fine, Republicans should oblige them. I will. And the same applies to Delta, the nonofficial but very real airline of the Democratic Party, and Coca-Cola, the nonofficial but very real drink of the Democratic Party. Good luck with your fans and your customers. Maybe they won’t notice.
None of the leaders of these organizations appears to have done anything other than listen to agitprop from the left that was designed to score political points free of the law’s actual provisions. It seems none of those involved in this week’s virtue signaling — Manfred, Delta Chief Executive Ed Bastian and Coca-Cola Chief Executive James Quincey — engaged anyone with comprehensive knowledge of the bill.
A comprehensive review of the new law was undertaken by Georgia Public Broadcasting (GPB)— not exactly a segregationist stronghold. The bill expands early voting access for most counties, adds an additional mandatory Saturday for voting and formally codifies Sunday voting hours as optional. “Secure absentee ballot drop boxes — which did not exist a year ago — are now officially part of state law, but not without some new changes,” reports GPB. Changes to absentee voting requiring ID were indeed made, and these sorts of revisions are needed given the problems that plagued voting in America last year — New York’s troubles counting votes, the incredibly close House race in Iowa that Democrats were trying to overturn until a few days ago, and so on — as well as the deluge of false claims about fraud and real fears of foreign interference. The best security and thus the best assurance for everyone that voting is free of fraud is robust voter ID requirements.
Neither I nor millions of Americans favoring voting security think significant fraud was proved in Georgia. But we do believe in requiring identification to vote to prevent fraud in the future and in acting to guarantee integrity in voting — just as MLB asks all fans at ballgames for ID before they buy beer or Delta asks all passengers for ID before they board airplanes.
The three musketeers of virtue signaling likely heard President Biden describing the new Georgia law as “Jim Crow on steroids” and falsely claiming that the law “ends voting hours early.” But they seem to have missed that the president’s words were ridiculed far and wide. The Post’s Fact Checker blog slapped its worst standard rating, “four Pinocchios,” on the president’s claim. Yet in running over the interests of their customers, the commissioner and CEOs didn’t stop to study, ponder and consult. They wanted to be seen as “doing the right thing.”
As for Georgia Sen. Raphael G. Warnock (D), who previously called the law “public policy based on a lie,” he now faces a political nightmare 18 months before he has to defend his new job at the polls. He issued a mushy statement regretting that MLB had yanked the game and pleading that other businesses not boycott the state. Too late, senator. You could have stopped this earlier, but you chose not to. You chose, just like the president, MLB, Coke and Delta did, to slander millions of Americans as racists and pummeled your own state in the process. Good luck defending that in 2022.
“This was neither our decision, nor our recommendation and we are saddened that fans will not be able to see this event in our city,” the Atlanta Braves said in a statement. “Unfortunately, business, employees, and fans in Georgia are the victims of this decision.” The Braves know. Tens of millions of Americans know. Will these CEOs put their shareholders first and apologize? Will Manfred put the fans first and reverse his terrible decision? That would take courage, so don’t bet on it.