What’s More American than Coke and Baseball?
Until very recently, it would have been hard to imagine anything more iconic of American life than Coca-Cola and baseball. Today both remind me of Benito Mussolini’s corporatist – aka, fascist -- game of merging of state and corporate power. The CEOs of these operations should hang their heads in shame and fire their public-relations teams. So should the CEOs of Delta and American Airlines, Black Rock, Cisco, American Express, and American Airlines, who have promoted President Biden’s false assertions that tightening election procedures to bring them back into line -- and in accord with those of civilized Western governments elsewhere -- is racist voter suppression. I’m fed up with this never-ending sham: partisan power grabs to weaken the most important features of American life being cloaked in virtuous anti-racism.
The immediate target of these corporate actions was efforts by Georgia and Texas to revise their election laws, laws which in many states have resulted in widespread disbelief that the 2020 elections were conducted on the up and up. When people believe election procedures are untrustworthy, it shatters voluntary acceptance of the election results. Under pressure from racist propagandists of the left and using COVID as an excuse, jurisdictions in several states so loosened the election rules that widespread fraud was made easier. One state in particular was Georgia, where asleep at the switch (or corrupt -- your choice) officials permitted the sloppy, untrustworthy, opaque, and disputed election procedures.
In an effort to prevent a repeat, Georgia enacted a new election law. (In pdf form it’s 104 pages, and that makes it unlikely to me that any of the corporate bleating about it was made with knowledge of its contents.) Their response was certainly occasioned by a weak-kneed response to a small but loud group‘s pressure. In Tom Wolfe’s words, they successfully mau-maued the companies’ flak catchers.
Almost immediately upon its passage, President Biden attacked it as "Jim Crow in the 21st Century" and "a blatant attack on the Constitution."
"Instead of celebrating the rights of all Georgians to vote or winning campaigns on the merits of their ideas, Republicans in the state instead rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote."
He added: "This law, like so many others being pursued by Republicans in statehouses across the country, is a blatant attack on the Constitution and good conscience."
One of the key provisions of the new law ensures ID requirements for requesting mail-in ballots. Seems to me this is a rather basic rule if votes from only eligible voters are to be counted. Race baiters love loose election procedures which make fraud almost certain and regularly (contra the evidence) target ID requirements, arguing absurdly that this suppresses the black vote. It’s a preposterous argument which ignores the fact that obtaining an ID is easy everywhere and a necessity for things like COVID vaccinations, drivers’ licenses, gun purchases, welfare benefits, medical treatments, air travel, and more.
Rasmussen Reports asked, “Should voters be required to show photo identification such as a driver’s license before being allowed to vote”? The answer should put paid to the claim that its unduly burdensome:
1000 National Likely Voters - Yes
White - 74%
Black - 69%
Other Non-White - 82%
All Voters - 75%
Georgia is not the only state shocked into writing more transparent, enforceable, and sensible laws to limit election fraud. Iowa has done so and per the BBC:
“There are currently 253 similar bills in 43 states, according to the left-leaning Brennan Center for Justice think tank.”
Following Biden’s lead, the CEO of Coca Cola (a company already in the spotlight for its advice to its workers to “be less white”) James Quincey chimed in with this pablum:
Voting is a foundational right in America, and we have long championed efforts to make it easier to vote.
We want to be crystal clear and state unambiguously that we are disappointed in the outcome of the Georgia voting legislation. Throughout Georgia’s legislative session we provided feedback to members of both legislative chambers and political parties, opposing measures in the bills that would diminish or deter access to voting.
Our approach has always been to work with stakeholders to advocate for positive change, and we will continue to engage with legislators, advocacy groups, business leaders and others to work towards ensuring broad access to voting is available to every eligible voter in our home state.
Additionally, our focus is now on supporting federal legislation that protects voting access and addresses voter suppression across the country. We all have a duty to protect everyone’s right to vote, and we will continue to stand up for what is right in Georgia and across the U.S.
As an aside, I abhor the corporate use of the term “stakeholders” to cover the reality of partisan pressure. Corporate officials are by law required to consider the interests of shareholders and it seems to me they are not doing so in this case.
He was not alone. Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airlines, like Coke, headquartered in Atlanta, joined in covering their weakness in an unsubstantiated moral claim about a law he probably had not read:
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees Wednesday that the law was “unacceptable” and “based on a lie” of widespread fraud in last November’s election.
Governor Brian Kemp was having none to it:
Georgia’s Kemp shot back on Wednesday.
“At no point did Delta share any opposition to expanding early voting, strengthening voter ID measures, increasing the use of secure drop boxes statewide, and making it easier for local election officials to administer elections — which is exactly what this bill does.
“The last time I flew Delta, I had to present my photo ID,” Kemp said in a statement. “Today’s statement by Delta CEO Ed Bastian stands in stark contrast to our conversations with the company, ignores the content of the new law, and unfortunately continues to spread the same false attacks being repeated by partisan activists.”
Delta declined to comment further or specify which parts of the bill it tried to change. Maybe, instead of just running with these statements, reporters should demand that Quincey and Bastian specify their complaints. (Who am I kidding?)
The shuffling parade of weak corporate leaders continued.
There was American Express CEO Steve Squeri, who announced his company stands “against any efforts to suppress voting.” Black Rock’s Larry Fink, expressed concern about efforts that could limit access to the ballot.” And Cisco’s CEO Chuck Robbins: “Governments should be working to make it easier to vote, not harder.” None of these corporate wizards points to anything in the law that suppresses voting or makes it harder to vote. Indeed, they couldn’t because it doesn’t. What the law does try to do is strengthen accountability to make certain only eligible voters can vote and that their votes are securely kept and honestly counted.
This reminds me so much of the self-congratulatory, meaningless, signs that appeared on lawn signs in my wealthy neighborhood last year, announcing. “Hate has no home here.” As if it does in the rest of the neighborhood, which lack such signaling. As if the signs don’t express contempt for and claim moral superiority over those of us who don’t dot our lawn with vapid signs like this.
The corporate kneeling to BLM and Stacey Abrams, who never accepted her election defeat, continued with Major League Baseball, which announced it’ll move the All-star Game and draft out of Atlanta because it opposed the election law. I don’t know where they plan to hold it, but it certainly must not be in New York, which provides for fewer days of permissible early voting than Georgia. Nor can it be in Delaware (Biden’s home state) which doesn’t permit no-excuse absentee ballots like Georgia’s does.
The corporatist ninnies at American Airlines also are attacking Texas’s new election law, and they should know not to mess with Texas.
Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick slammed American Airlines on Thursday evening after the airline called out the state’s new security measures to protect elections [snip] “Earlier this morning, the Texas State Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access,” American Airlines said in a statement that echoed remarks made by leftists who have attacked recent measures to secure elections across the country. “To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it.” [snip] As Lt. Governor of Texas, I am stunned that American Airlines would put out a statement saying ‘we are strongly opposed to this bill’ [Senate Bill 7] just minutes after their government relations representative called my office and admitted that neither he nor the American Airlines CEO had actually read the legislation,” Patrick said. “We heard these same outcries claiming voter suppression in 2011 when Texas passed the photo voter ID bill. In fact, just the opposite occurred. Voter turnout in Texas soared from 7,993,851 in 2012 to 11,144,040 in 2020, a 39 percent increase. Gubernatorial election voter turnout has increased by 76 percent since photo voter ID was passed.”
Brian Kemp was just as dismissive of Major League Baseball’s decision to move its all-star game and draft out of Atlanta.
As MLB caves to themes of the woke left, the public should know how Georgia’s voting laws stack up against New York’s -- where Major League Baseball is headquartered. In New York there are only 10 days of early voting under the Election Integrity Act. Georgia now has 17 days of mandatory early voting, with the option of two additional Sundays. New York requires an excuse for absentee voting. Georgia does not. And while New York just enacted automatic voter registration in December, Georgia has had it in place for years. Let’s be clear: MLB’s decision is not about access to voting. It’s about a lack of courage to stand up to the lies of a radical mob hellbent on distorting the truth for political gain. If MLB is worried about access to the ballot box, they should check their own backyard. They may be afraid of Jos Biden and Stacey Abrams, but I'm not.
Punch back twice as hard, like Kemp and Patrick, against efforts to undercut stronger election integrity. I’d skip the MLB’s All-Star game, switch to another beverage, and check my stock portfolio to be sure the CEOs of the companies I invest in were smarter, stronger, and more honest than these guys are.
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