Is it me, or has Georgia become the center of the universe since last November? A quick review: The state went blue, President Trump demanded recounts and then bullied state election officials in phone calls, and then all the talk about election fraud helped contribute to the Republicans losing not one but two Senate seats in special elections, leaving the Democrats in charge of Congress. Did I miss anything?
Georgia’s state legislature recently passed an election reform bill that has drawn the ire of the left, which is calling it a voter suppression bill. The biggest talking point is that it’s a return to an era of Jim Crow, a term that even President Biden used. And the talking points worked. Coca-Cola and Delta, both of which are headquartered in Georgia, put out statements condemning the bill, and Major League Baseball announced late Friday afternoon that it was removing this summer’s All-Star Game from the state. In response, conservative politicians have threatened legislative actions against both Delta and MLB. It’s a vicious cycle.
I don’t mention this to get into a big analysis of the bill—I’ve included a summary of our coverage below, and it’s a good look at how the bill is in many ways more innocuous than Democrats have framed it. I mention it because one of my colleagues made an excellent point last night and I think it’s worth expanding on. Here’s Declan:
Yes, by all means. Everyone—on both sides—needs to take a deep breath and get some fresh air. As Georgia elections official Gabriel Sterling pointed out on CNN, a group founded by former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams bought the domain StopJimCrow2.com weeks before the legislation passed. It didn’t matter what was going to be in the bill, the messaging was already set.