Warnock signed on to activist email that lied about how draconian Georgia's voting law is

AP Photo/Ben Gray

This is a microcosm of the entire Democratic PR effort since the law passed.

Which possibility is worse? That Warnock knew an activist group’s email which he endorsed was full of lies and endorsed it anyway because it was effective propaganda for his cause? Or that the substance of Georgia’s law is so irrelevant to prefab Democratic demagoguery about “Jim Crow 2.0” that Warnock just didn’t care if the email was accurate or not?

It didn’t matter for his purposes. Whatever reforms the legislative process ultimately produced were going to be derided by him and his party as racist and retrograde. What is and isn’t in the actual bill is incidental to that effort.

Remaining unphased by cynicism is a point of pride for world-weary writers and readers of politics but every now and again you run across a story that makes you catch your breath. No wonder so many lefties think democracy is ending in Georgia:

Sen. Raphael G. Warnock, one of two new Democratic senators representing Georgia, signed an email sent out by the advocacy group 3.14 Action after the law passed, which claimed it ended no-excuse mail voting and restricted early voting on the weekends — also early proposals that did not become law

A Warnock campaign spokesman said the senator signed off on his statement days before the law passed, when those provisions were still under consideration.

The fact that he signed off before the law passed is irrelevant. Why did the email go out with erroneous, outdated information about Georgia’s new rules five days after Brian Kemp signed it?

And how willing are we to believe Warnock’s office when they claim that he signed off before, not after, the law passed?

Believe it or not, that’s not the most cynical detail in WaPo’s story. This is:

Kemp and other Republicans were also furious at the Delta CEO. The company’s government affairs team and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, of which Bastian is chairman, had stayed in contact with lawmakers and Kemp’s office on the progress on the bill all along, according to the people familiar with the discussions. In an effort to punish the company, House members approved a measure to revoke a fuel-tax break that had been crafted for Delta, but the idea failed in the Senate.

“Honestly, it was a stab in the back,” said one Republican aide of the rebuke from Delta, which “blindsided” Kemp and lawmakers. The aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe private conversations, said Delta officials had conveyed their issues with some legislative proposals weeks ago, lawmakers and Kemp’s office had responded in good faith by adjusting those provisions, and the Delta people had indicated that they were satisfied.

Delta had input into the bill while it was being drafted, Kemp and his team responded to their concerns, and … they stabbed him in the back and denounced the law anyway once the left told them that the final product was unacceptable. That’s another microcosm of this fiasco — corporate America palpably has no real concerns about the law on the merits, and in some cases doesn’t pretend to. They’re agitating in Georgia because liberal activists, and some of their own employees, are warning them that there’ll be repercussions if they don’t. Which, for progressives, must be an even sweeter victory than if companies like Delta really did object to Georgia’s law in substance. You’ve won if corporate America agrees with you on policy but you’ve won big if the reason they agree with you is because they’re afraid of you. No CEO wants to be the target of Raphael Warnock’s next bullsh*t email falsely alleging racist intent based on misinformation. If the price of avoiding that is Delta suddenly seeing the light that the law they helped write is the new Jim Crow, they’ll pay it.

Jazz wrote about this earlier, but in case you missed it, be advised that corporate America isn’t retreating after watching MLB take heat from righties for yanking the All-Star Game from Atlanta. On the contrary, they’re getting more aggressive:

Top CEOs plan to get dramatically tougher on state legislators over proposed new restrictions on voting:

After a weekend Zoom summit, the CEOs are threatening to withhold campaign contributions — and to punish states by yanking investments in factories, stadiums and other lucrative projects…

Why it matters: After a slow response to Georgia’s new limits, corporate America is suddenly making voting access a foremost issue — and is going beyond words with sweeping economic threats.

Threatening to withhold campaign contributions won’t scare Republican pols. Josh Hawley raised big bucks in the first quarter this year because of, not in spite of, his attempts to block certification of Biden’s victory. Marjorie Taylor Greene’s first-quarter haul was among the biggest in the House, if not the biggest. GOPers have discovered that there’s a populist money machine out there being run by small donors that’ll keep them well funded if they can access it. Having big business declare war on the party over voting laws will keep that machine humming.

The more sinister threat is the one about allocating capital investments to bluer states with more lax voting laws. If companies follow through on that, with corporations redirecting business to Democratic jurisdictions in hopes of harming Republican ones, it’ll further embitter the country’s partisan divide like few other things will and end up backfiring by deepening Republican populist fear and loathing of corporate power.

You’re left wondering if corporate America has really thought this through. The pro-business GOP has been their loyal ally for decades while anti-business progressive populists like AOC are ascendant among Democrats. Is turning your back on the former to try to ally with the latter a smart long-term move? They risk being caught in no-man’s land, with both parties hostile to them. Oh well. They’ve bought the ticket; enjoy the ride.