The unfortunate economic consequences of Georgia's new voter suppression law, including fallout from Major League Baseball's (MLB) decision to move its July All-Star Game from Atlanta, should be laid directly at the feet of Donald J. Trump.
Were it not for Trump's bitter, unfounded claims that he lost the election to Joe Biden because it was "rigged" and replete with fraud, Georgia likely would not have enacted the law that prompted Commissioner Rob Manfred to move the game from Atlanta's Truist Stadium.
It is simple as that.
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And now, Trump is whining and making threats against companies like Delta Airlines and Coca Cola for speaking out against the law, and some GOP lawmakers are threatening to end MLB's antitrust exemption as their way to retaliate.
"Baseball is already losing tremendous numbers of fans, and now they leave Atlanta with their All-Star Game because they are afraid of the Radical Left Democrats who do not want voter I.D., which is desperately needed, to have anything to do with our elections," Trump said. "Boycott baseball and all of the woke companies that are interfering with Free and Fair Elections. Are you listening Coke, Delta, and all!"
Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) says he's instructed his staff to draft legislation to remove a federal antitrust exemption for the league because MLB officials had sought to "undermine election integrity laws."
"Why does @MLB still have antitrust immunity?" Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) posted on Twitter. "It's time for the federal government to stop granting special privileges to specific, favored corporations — especially those that punish their political opponents."
Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) tweeted that MLB is “pathetic” for “caving to the lies of the left” and declared, “Boycott the MLB.”
The Big Lie
But the fact remains that were it not for Trump's Big Lie, none of this would have happened. Georgia's Republican politicians would not have been motivated to enact a new law aimed at addressing fraudulent activity that did not take place. The All-Star Game would still be played in Atlanta and the resulting furor would not be occurring.
Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), another critic of Georgia's new law, urged businesses to protest “not by leaving Georgia but by coming here and fighting voter suppression head on.” He said MLB's decision was “the unfortunate consequence of these politicians’ actions.”
And, Sen. Warnock might have added, those politicians' actions were the unfortunate consequence of Donald John Trump.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), who has been in deep doodoo because of his refusal to accede to Trump's post-election demands to help overturn the election results, is now trying to recoup his right-wing support to avoid a primary challenge in his reelection bid against the likely Democratic candidate, Stacey Abrams.
“Free and fair elections are the foundation of who we are as a state and a nation. Secure, accessible, fair elections are worth the threats. They are worth the boycotts as well as the lawsuits,” Kemp said at a press conference. “I want to be clear: I will not be backing down from this fight, and neither are the people who are here with me today.”
“We will not be intimidated, and we will also not be silenced," Kemp said. "Major League Baseball, Coca-Cola and Delta may be scared of Stacey Abrams, Joe Biden and the left, but I am not, and we are not as Georgians.”
But the fact remains there are economic consequences caused by the loss of the mid-summer classic, and many of those consequences will be felt by local businesses and workers who would have benefited from the financial windfall the event would have provided. And those people are all voters.
The cause of that misfortune should no be forgotten. It is Donald Trump who is to blame, as well as all of those GOP politicians who helped perpetuate his big election lie.
So, the Trump fallout continues. Thousands of his most rabid supporters attacked the Capitol on January 6, trying to subvert Biden's election, resulting in death and destruction. Georgia enacted its restrictive law and dozens of other states are considering hundreds of other bills aimed at making it harder, not easier, to vote. All, thanks to Trump.
Republicans are desperate. They lost the White House. They lost the Senate. And now, they are trying to rig future elections in Georgia and elsewhere so they can avoid being consigned to oblivion.
But, I have a suggestion for the GOP: Instead of trying to cheat, why not come up with ideas and proposals that actually would help make lives better for every day Americans? That's how to win elections. That's the only way to generate voters' support that will last.