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OPINION | COLUMNIST: Good luck with fans, MLB

by The Washington Post | April 7, 2021 at 5:00 a.m.

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 to be a blue sport.

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 non-official but very real airline of the Democratic Party, and Coca-Cola, the non-official 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 last week's virtue signaling--Manfred, Delta chief executive Ed Bastian, and Coca-Cola chief executive James Quincey--engaged anyone with comprehensive knowledge of the bills.

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.

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."

"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.


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