Thanks, Georgia: We’ll take the All-Star Game
Don’t you love Adam Smith?
Happy All-Star Game, Colorado.
Coors Field will finally see the home team play some good baseball when Denver hosts the Midsummer Classic in place of Atlanta.
Major League Baseball moved the game from Atlanta to Denver, which became official on Tuesday, because Georgia passed a voting bill that makes it harder to vote. MLB didn’t like that law. Perhaps, more importantly, Coca-Cola and Delta didn’t like that law.
And now the right wing is having hissy over baseball. To review, voter fraud isn’t a major issue. The moving of the game was the free market at work just like Republicans usually preach and now the right hates baseball?
This is quite the state of affairs. Let’s knock them down one by one.
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Voter fraud myth
It doesn’t exist. This is a red-herring. The Heritage Foundation, which is right of right, says it has found roughly 1,300 cases of voter fraud. That sounds impressive, except that more 150 million people voted in the 2020 Presidential Election. Thirteen hundred cases out of roughly 155 million votes doesn’t swing anything.
Again, our source is the right-wing Heritage Foundation, by no means part of the leftist media, which reports there have been two instances of duplicate voting in Colorado during the 2018 and 2020 elections.
Five million or so Coloradans voted between the 2018 and 2020 elections (gubernatorial and presidential), and there were two cases of voter fraud. It’s just not a problem, people.
The bottom line is that the GOP lost Georgia and its 16 electoral votes during the 2020 election, is worried about more states like Texas and Florida turning blue and the Republicans are now changing the rules on how to vote in the land of peaches and Coca-Cola.
MLB already has some major issues, and one of them is a general whiteness. Another is that the heart of its fan base is 49 years old and getting older. (Yes, the author is the personification of baseball’s fan, white, male, aging, getting wider and hopelessly devoted to the Giants.)
Making it more difficult for people of color to vote is a turnoff to a business or businesses trying to attract younger people of color. Baseball, Coca-Cola and Delta took their business elsewhere as a result of Georgia making it harder to vote.
Isn’t this capitalism in all its glory, as preached by the GOP? Market forces, people. This is Adam Smith’s beloved Invisible hand. The right preaches this — government shouldn’t pick winners and losers — until it blows up in its face.
Georgia has the right to pass a law, within constitutional boundaries, which it did. (We’ll see on the boundaries. Someone will challenge it.) And everyone else can react, which they did. MLB, Coca-Cola and Delta said, “We want no part of it,” and the All-Star Game is in Denver now.
And before the right retires to its fainting couch, the First Amendment doesn’t apply. It says, “Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech.“ Please note that the amendment does not say MLB, Coca-Cola, Delta, Twitter or Facebook. The First Amendment applies to government, not to privately-owned companies. If 51% of Coke stockholders want the All-Star Game back in Atlanta, they’ll say so.
One more thing: Coca-Cola and Delta, yes, as companies, have every right to inject politics into sports by threatening to withdraw sponsorship or other similar action. The Citizens United decision, carried by a Republican majority of the Supereme Court, made it so.
And because of this outrage, the right is now boycotting baseball, Coca-Cola, Delta and everything else because whatever we call the right these days boycotts everything if it doesn’t get everything precisely the way it wants.
Just on the sports front, it seems the right is boycotting Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA, college football, college basketball and NASCAR (remember the Confederate-flag ban?). Are you watching NHL and curling and that’s it?
Really, the right wing needs to stop acting like a spoiled 5-year-old, people. And for all your talk of boycotting assorted sports has done nothing. The NFL just signed a massive deal with the networks, more than doubling its annual revenue. All your huffing and puffing over Colin Kaepernick, the disgrace of the national anthem, and “I’m never watching an NFL game again” didn’t work.
The world is changing, whether you like it or not. No amount of a hissy fit is going to stop progress. Watch the games. Don’t watch the games.
So let’s ask the real question on everyone’s mind. What is Nolan Arenado’s reception going to be when he’s introduced as a Cardinal at the All-Star Game in Denver?