On Saturday morning, Stacey Abrams tweeted thanks to “193 companies for your leadership in recognizing that voter suppression is bad for democracy and bad for workers,” specifically referring to a list of companies threatening to inflict pain on states that passed election integrity legislation.
On Saturday afternoon, she tweeted about her disappointment with one particular company that had inflicted pain on a state that passed election integrity legislation: Major League Baseball.
Abrams — liberal activist, erstwhile Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate and the election non-conceder whom the media doesn’t mind — apparently came to the realization this past weekend that MLB pulling July’s All-Star Game out of Atlanta to boycott Georgia’s voting law likely wouldn’t do anything to change that law. However, it would do an awful lot to actively hurt the state’s citizens.
“I am disappointed that the MLB is relocating the All-Star game; however I commend the players, owners and League commissioner for speaking out,” Abrams said in a statement. “I urge others in positions of leadership to do so as well.
“As I have stated, I respect boycotts, although I don’t want to see Georgia families hurt by lost events and jobs. Georgians targeted by voter suppression will be hurt as opportunities go to other states. We should not abandon the victims of GOP malice and lies — we must stand together.”
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) April 2, 2021
As the man to whom she refused to concede said, “that is the biggest flip-flop since John Kerry” — President Joe Biden’s current climate envoy and erstwhile Democratic presidential candidate, famous for his flip-flops during the 2004 presidential race.
In an appearance on Fox News on Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who narrowly defeated Abrams in 2018, slammed Major League Baseball and other corporations — notably Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines — for calling the state’s election integrity law racist without referencing specific points.
The governor said Delta CEO Edward Bastian, who harshly criticized the Georgia law, “doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about” and Abrams is “profiting millions off of this.”
“You know, they’re referencing no specific points in the legislation … I’m glad to talk through any of those [CEOs], by the way. You know, it’s the biggest lie that has been out there,” Kemp said.
“Thankfully, now, the truth is coming out because people are actually taking the time to read the bill.”
While the Georgia legislation expands early voting hours, it also requires additional identification for mail-in ballots, according to The Hill.
Electors are also given beefed-up authority to challenge mail-in ballots under the bill, passed last month. It also forbids offering gifts, including food and water, to voters in line. This, as Ryan Mills pointed out in a piece at National Review, is being met with a hue and cry from the left because Georgia Democrats are infamous for using this as an electioneering tactic.
“Obviously, Major League Baseball didn’t care what was said [in the bill] because they just folded to the pressure,” Kemp said, adding that “even President Biden’s own handlers couldn’t even get him a notecard that told him what this bill did” when he spoke out in favor of MLB moving the All-Star Game.
“Somebody is lying to you and it is not me. And you can read the bill and prove that out,” the governor said.
As for Abrams’ potentially profiting through donations to her activist organizations, Kemp urged people “to follow the money and see why they’re doing this and so effective and, quite honestly, why they’re working so hard at this.
“It has nothing to do with the merits of the bill. It is all political pressure from a minority group of people, the cancel culture. They’ve been shaking people down for a long time,” he said.
And as for Abrams, who’s now urging businesses not to boycott Georgia: “You know, that is the biggest flip-flop since John Kerry I have ever seen.”
“For someone that has been pressuring these corporations, pressuring Major League Baseball, to now come out after the fact and say, ‘Don’t boycott’? People are getting screwed in this,” Kemp said.
As mentioned before, Kerry was noted for a series of flip-flops during his 2004 stint as the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party. Most notably, he had to explain why he thought his 2002 vote to authorize the Iraq War was just “to threaten” Iraq with the use of force — despite the fact, as CBS News noted, he voted against the Gulf War in 1991 because he thought a similar vote authorizing the use of force gave the president broad powers to wage war.
Abrams’ flip-flop won’t bring the MLB All-Star Game back to Atlanta, however — not with the White House and other prominent Democrats, including Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, volubly defending the decision. As Kemp pointed out, that leaves a lot of people feeling the pain.
“It’s the small, hardworking businesspeople that are up in Cobb County,” where the Atlanta Braves’ home stadium is located, and those “in the metro Atlanta area that are going to get hurt by the All-Star Game being pulled from here. It’s baseball fans, it’s kids that now, for the rest of their life … are going to going to see the politicization of baseball and sports.”
“People should be scared to death that it’s going to come to their neighborhood, to their state, to their ballgame, you know, to their college, to their business.”
This, we’re told, isn’t what Stacey Abrams wanted. But then, what did she expect? At first, she was one of the loudest voices calling Georgia’s election integrity act akin to modern-day Jim Crow. Then, when other people took up the call and began comparing voter ID with segregation, companies didn’t want to be associated with that and folded under pressure. All of this hurt average Georgians and none of it was based on the reality of the law.
And yet, just hours before she was opposing boycotts, she was supporting them, as I noted:
Thank you to these 193 companies for your leadership in recognizing that voter suppression is bad for democracy and bad for workers. Corporate voices urging legislators to defeat legislation in Texas and other states is vital. https://t.co/uBNtlvK0bc
— Stacey Abrams (@staceyabrams) April 3, 2021
These companies, as the linked Washington Post story pointed out, “joined in a strong statement against proposals that threaten to restrict voting access in dozens of states, in a further sign of corporate willingness to speak out on social justice issues.”
What, pray tell, does Abrams think that “corporate willingness” will equate to? Were these companies saying, “Don’t pass that legislation, states, or we’re going to be very upset with you. Your governor might just get a finger-wagging phone call from our CEO”?
A few hours later, she seems to have realized condemning voter integrity laws in inflammatory language such as “Jim Crow 2.0” has real economic and social consequences in a state where she still has real political ambitions.
Abrams can flip-flop all she wants, but Georgians are still going hold her accountable for those consequences.
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