Tony Perkins / Apr. 7, 2021

MLB Can’t Lay a Glove on Georgia

Even CNN wanted to know if Joe Biden was going to change the way he talks about Georgia’s voting reforms.

If the Left wanted to make an example out of Georgia, they succeeded — just not the way they intended. Five days into the Democrats’ election law hysteria, Governor Brian Kemp’s (R-Ga.) grit is winning the messaging war and inspiring millions of incensed Americans to start fighting right along with him. After months of conditioning corporations to do their radical bidding, Joe Biden, Stacey Abrams, and their co-conspiring CEOs have finally overplayed their hand. The pack of lies they tried to pass off about Georgia’s voting reforms is coming back to bite them. And the blowback for baseball is just the beginning.

After a weekend of fierce pushback from Kemp and other Republican leaders, even CNN wanted to know if Joe Biden was going to change the way he talks about Georgia’s voting reforms. At Monday’s press briefing, a Fox News correspondent pointed out that the Washington Post did give him “four Pinocchios.” When Jen Psaki fell back on tired talking points, another reporter asked again. “The president does acknowledge that the new law doesn’t change election day voting hours, right?”

That was just the beginning of a very uncomfortable day for the Left’s floundering campaign against Georgia. Stacey Abrams, one of the main cogs in the Democrats’ misinformation machine, turned to full-on damage control. Atlanta’s businesses, who stand to lose millions of dollars by the MLB’s knee-jerk reaction to move the All-Star Game, were out in force, calling the decision “crushing.” Black restaurant owners like Tudy Rodney couldn’t believe that they’ll be forced to reap what the far-Left’s deception sowed. “We are trying to build back from a pandemic that happened last year, and something like this is not good for business.” Now, Abrams, who was the loudest voice in the room, is trying to absolve herself of all guilt. “Like many Georgians, I am disappointed that the MLB is relocating the All-Star game…” It’s a little late for that, most people say.

Then came the national response — one bruising volley after another. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) began pointing out baseball’s hypocrisy in China and Cuba, then demanded to know if MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred was prepared to back up his woke crusade personally. “I am under no illusion that Major League Baseball will sacrifice business revenue on behalf of its alleged corporate values,” Rubio wrote. “Similarly, I am under no illusion you intend to resign as a member from Augusta National Golf Club. To do so would require a personal sacrifice, as opposed to the woke corporate virtue signaling of moving the All-Star Game from Atlanta.”

Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) urged Americans to hit back at Coke and Delta with their wallets. “They started it,” he insisted. If the MLB and its CEO pals want to boycott Georgia, then Americans need to boycott them. “This is the only thing that will teach them a lesson. If Coca-Cola wants to only operate in Democrat states and wants only Democrats to drink Coca-Cola, God love them… We’ll see how well they do when half of the country quits drinking Coca-Cola.” Southwest Airlines, watching this public feud escalate, made the wise decision not to weigh in. When celebrities started pounding the company to pull out of Texas, where a similar election reform effort is underway, they refused.

Other officials, like Governor Greg Abbott (R) in Texas, started publicly distancing themselves from baseball altogether. Abbott, who was scheduled to throw the first pitch at the Rangers’ game, pulled out, pledging not to host a single MLB-wide event in his great state. “This decision does not diminish the deep respect I have for the Texas Rangers baseball organization,” he said, but “it is shameful that America’s pastime is being influenced by partisan politics.”

Then came the counter-attacks from black conservatives like Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.), who made it clear that every African American should be offended by the Left’s phony racial narrative about this bill. It’s “disrespectful,” he argued. “It is literally the soft bigotry of low expectations,” he said angrily. “And what’s worse is, they never show data about black people [not having] access to IDs or [how] it disproportionally affects them… It’s outrageous…”

Look, Governor Kemp said on “Washington Watch” Monday, “I don’t think [Democrats] really care what the bill actually says.” This false narrative is “all based on a lie that Joe Biden and Stacey Abrams have been spreading before they even read the bill. They have alternative motives here, quite honestly…” This law, as even state officials have pointed out, doesn’t limit voting — it expands it, more than most liberal states.

“One hundred thirty four of 159 counties will actually be offering more early voting hours or more election hours than they were in the last election because of the way this bill levels the playing field,” the governor explained. “So the whole argument about… keeping working men and women from voting. Well, obviously, if we were doing that, we wouldn’t be adding an additional Saturday that people could vote.” The state is also adding one ballot dropbox per county, which wouldn’t have existed without this law. Not to mention, Kemp went on, “We’ve been using voter ID to vote in person since the mid-2000s… They act like we’re creating the hardship. That is not the case… It’s hard to really come out and say that the president of the United States is lying about this bill. But that’s exactly what he’s doing.”

The reality is, he says, “This playbook was written weeks ago before the final version of the bill came together before I signed it into law. So, it’s really condescending to the American people and the hardworking folks around our country… But I do believe it is a ‘woke-up’ call, if you will. People are really opening their eyes to this. I mean, if you can’t keep sports out of politics, especially Major League Baseball, [then] what’s next? And that was really my charge to people not only in Georgia but across the country. We’ve got to unite against this cancer culture.”

And thanks to his courage, Americans are. They see Governor Kemp at the tip of the spear, standing strong, and it’s given others the boldness to do the same. We commend him — not just for defending Georgia — but for putting wind in the sails of every other reform effort in the nation.

Originally published here.

Atlanta Braves a Sneak Attack by Dems

Democrats certainly have an interest in weaker election laws, but is that what their frenzy in Georgia is really about? Or is there another agenda at work — a more sinister, dangerous motive for the Left? According to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), this isn’t about the Peach State at all. It’s about every state. “This disinformation has a purpose,” he warned. And the only way to stop it is for every American to understand exactly what it is.

“These people literally have been lying about what’s in [our] legislation to drive an agenda,” Governor Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) insisted on “Washington Watch.” Senate Republicans agree — and many, like McConnell, have been on guard for weeks, watching this misinformation campaign unfold and understanding exactly what’s behind it. “Washington Democrats want to pass a sweeping bill that would let them rewrite all 50 states’ election laws and turn the Federal Election Commission into a Democrat-run partisan body,” McConnell insisted. “This power grab is impossible to defend, so the Left wants to deflect. Instead of winning the debate, they want to silence debate by bullying citizens and entire states into submission.”

That “sweeping bill” is H.R. 1, the absurdly-named For the People Act (which Republicans renamed the For the Corrupt Politicians Act). President Joe Biden and his party understand all too well that if Georgia succeeds at cleaning their election mess of 2020, other states will follow suit. Then what? Well, the Left can’t manipulate the election as easily, and their dreams about consolidating power permanently are — just that — dreams. If they could make an example out of Georgia, or at least make them feel the pain of their reforms, odds are that other states would be more reluctant to tackle their own reforms.

So far, so not great for the Left. Governor Kemp has been unflinching in his response, and conservatives tired of playing defense have decided to go on offense — nationwide. That’s bad news for Biden’s party, Rep. Michael Waltz (R-Fla.) explains. “If they don’t put a line in the sand in Georgia and shame and hurt them for doing this, then it’s going to happen in other states.” That makes it a lot harder to take this crusade nationwide with H.R. 1. They were hoping this would “justify getting rid of the filibuster,” Waltz said, which would give them clear sailing to put H.R. 1 in place and “further that power grab. And that’s everything this is about.”

He’s right. This is about changing the cultural and political landscape of America as we know it. What’s happening in Georgia is a big deal — that’s why they’re so desperate to stop it. “The filibuster is the canary in the coal mine,” Waltz warned, “because once it goes, then it’s [full steam ahead to] stacking the Supreme Court, going after the Electoral College. It’s [about] going after the fundamentals of our great republic.” If they succeed in lowering the bar in the Senate to 51 votes to pass legislation, he warned, there isn’t a single obstacle in the Democrats’ way. Every bad idea for this country, every extreme policy, would become law. “And this is why we truly have to toe the line. Stand firm. As we say in the Army, we’ve got to stand firm in the foxhole on this one.”

As tempting as it is to get sidetracked by the blatant hypocrisy in Georgia (and there’s plenty), conservatives need to stay focused on the Left’s endgame. If anything, this over-the-top tantrum from the White House only proves how crucial this moment is. When Biden Press Secretary Jen Psaki won’t answer the question about Biden’s double standard on Americans at the Beijing Olympics, it’s obvious that “they really don’t care about this issue,” Waltz said. Or their hypocrisy. If a democratically-passed voting integrity law is an “atrocity” to Biden (in a state he won), what about a communist regime that systematically tortures, rapes, and sterilizes its minorities?

“They don’t care about human rights,” Waltz fumed. “They don’t care about these people… What they care about is fear-mongering over Georgia, labeling it as racist, labeling the filibuster as racist, and setting the conditions to drop the filibuster. H.R. 1 is really what this is all about. These are moving the chess pieces so that you get that federalized power grab [and] the entire country has to vote like California does.”

But the jig is up, he warned. Americans’ eyes are open, and they’re sick of being preached to by woke corporate hypocrites. “…Coca Cola is getting its sugar from western China. Nike is getting its cotton from western China — and actively lobbied against a bill that would have restricted [their supply lines] there. Disney is filming in western China. But, you know, there are a million social justice movements here in the United States. [And these companies] are talking out of both sides of their mouth. We’re going to call them out, but they won’t change their behavior until we hit them on their bottom line. And that’s what conservatives need to do.”

Originally published here.

Arkansas Makes History with Veto Override

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) had a say in the SAFE Act — but he won’t have the final one. Tuesday afternoon, barely 24 hours after the governor tried to sink a bill to protect children from life-altering transgender surgery and drugs, the state legislature voted to override him. By a 71-24 vote in the house and 28-7 vote in the senate, leaders like Rep. Robin Lundstrum (R) sent a resounding message that they won’t be deterred from doing what’s right for Arkansas kids.

Monday, after the governor refused to stand up and do the right thing, Robin — the SAFE Act’s House sponsor — told me on “Washington Watch” that it was tough to watch. “… [A]s soon as the governor’s letter explaining the veto arrives, which I suspect will be [Tuesday] at one o'clock, we will address it then. And I hope that we can override the veto and we can protect children in Arkansas now.”

An hour after that letter arrived, she and her colleagues did act — voting for a second time to take that historic step and stop minors from making the worst mistake of their lives. When the governor implied in his veto press conference that the law wasn’t needed, Robin dismissed that notion completely. “I would strongly disagree. No, we’re not doing surgery on children in Arkansas. But when you give chemicals to a child, when you give drugs to a child that will cause infertility and long-term health problems, it’s the same. If you cut off an arm or give a child the chemicals to cut off an arm, it’s the same. I don’t see the difference. We can’t just turn our back on children — and I think we can’t turn our backs on parents either. Kids are under a lot of pressure these days to go with the trend. And I think we need to have the parents back as well.”

Yesterday, Arkansas had the backs of every mom, dad, and child in America. Our biggest congratulations to all of the courageous men and women who refused to be deterred — not by the governor, not by the Left, and not by the bullies in the media. The people of Arkansas have spoken. And not just for their children but for children around the country — who all have a better chance of protection now that this state has stepped up and shown them how it’s done.

Originally published here.

This is a publication of the Family Research Council. Mr. Perkins is president of FRC.

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