So You Wanna Talk Politics?

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153 thoughts on “So You Wanna Talk Politics?”

  1. MLB is on dangerous ground wading in on political issues and making moves that specifically alienate conservatives. MLB’s fanbase is much more conservative than the NBA’s, and at this point, Manfred probably knows this based on the backsplash, and I hope that he doesn’t do it again.

    The Georgia voting bill is not racist, and saying it’s racist a million times doesn’t make so. So baseball picked the absolute worst time to do this, and this also gives Republicans yet another thing to run on in 2022. Just dumb by MLB.

  2. The only comment I have on the “you got politics in my sports” discussion is that I call BS on the idea that there ever was a time when politics were “out” of sports.

    Muhammad Ali’s career
    1936 Olympics
    Miracle on Ice
    Curt Flood
    Jackie Robinson’s career
    1980 Olympics
    Henry Aaron passing Babe Ruth
    Texas Western 1966
    MLB restart in NYC after 9/11
    Joe Louis vs Max Schmeling

    That is by no means an exhaustive list, but includes some of the biggest and most lauded Sports moments in the past century. All included a heavy dose of politics and cultural shifts. Sports happen in the real world. They are part of the culture, along with politics. To try to pretend they don’t mix is useless.

    Half of these things aren’t political. Second, you’re talking about some watershed things in the last 100 years, of all the watershed things that happened in politics in the last 100 years, very few made their way into sports. From your list, we’re talking about one of the biggest wars of the last 60 years, the worst terrorist attack on US soil, one of the only Olympics truly mired in controversy (1980), etc. Those things are much more important than a Georgia voting bill that was propogandized into being perceived as racist when it wasn’t. The threshold by which world events infiltrate sports has gotten much, much shorter.

  3. I’d argue that the Georgia GOP’s insistence on this bill on the heels of taking an L smacks of sour grapes and the optics of the bill propelled what many refer to as the big lie, reaped what it sowed. I’m glad MLB moved the game.

    The bill, no matter what it purports, was 100 % done to suppress african american voters.

  4. So Chief, tell me why you think so low of African American intelligence that you don’t think they’re smart enough to provide a photo ID. Of ALL the political viewpoints taken on this Georgia voting law, the one that says that AA’s are too stupid to produce a photo ID is the only racist thing surrounding it.

  5. I just think the pushback by Kemp et al is very very rich. People have short memories of what he did in the last governor’s race against Abrams. They have been trying to suppress voters for 6+ years. It goes way deeper than just the ID part of this.

    Nothing will convince me that it’s not suppression oriented on the heels of being embarrassed by being the first southern state to go blue.

    The optics are very bad. When’s the last time you saw Dems advocating for any voting related legislation which would even appear to make it harder to vote?

    One party is pro voting, the other is pro-vote for my party. Clearly this is the case.

  6. “…the one that says that AA’s are too stupid to produce a photo ID is the only racist thing surrounding it”

    Since this is your opening salvo, could you provide a source for this idea? Who, exactly, is saying this? Can we at least start on the rails here?

  7. I ignored that part as I said nothing of the sort. That’s the standard conservative media’s talking points memo du jour though.

    This is all very simple to me. The entire legislative action was based on a colossal lie. And therefore, all that comes after that is tainted.

  8. @6

    The most-cited example of the “this is voter suppression against black people” argument is requiring voter ID. How is requiring ID racist?

  9. The ID portion of this is just part of the discussion. There are others. This is about the fact that GOP voters like to go inside a ballot box and pull levers like its 1958. Non GOP voters prefer to vote by mail. Therein lies the rub. If the roles were reversed, the GOP would fund a separate mail service just to harvest ballots.

    We’re not going back to 1958 and there will be vote by internet within 10 years.

  10. The biggest problem is that the bill specifically is lowering the number of ballot boxes in primarily African American areas. That’s why people are calling it racist, Rob.

  11. Can we go ahead and get all of the instances of racism in this bill listed?

  12. You’re being obtuse and coming off as unhinged. I am glad MLB moved the game. Well deserved. Six years of suppression efforts finally bore fruit.

  13. I’m just trying to get the list. I don’t think requiring photo ID is racist. I will research the ballot box situation more, but it’s my understanding that these ballot boxes were removed from all over the state, they were already a Covid creation therefore no longer necessary, and they definitely didn’t uniquely target African American communities.

    Perhaps the better question for me to ask is this: describe the scenario where an African American used to be able to vote easily and is now no longer able to do so and the changes that created it does not also apply to caucasians.

  14. I still want to know who said Black people lacked the intelligence to get a photo ID, as it is evidently pervasive enough to count as a talking point. It’s disingenuous to demand answers that satisfy you while you’re hurling patently false claims.

  15. @14 I’ll tell you who said it: anyone that says that requiring a photo ID is racist. That is the inherent conclusion to the statement, that black people are too stupid to show up with a photo ID. No other explanation.

  16. I am glad MLB moved the game. Well deserved. Six years of suppression efforts finally bore fruit.

    Let’s see if you think that next year when/if Warnock and Abrams go down. There’s a decent chance the voters will blame them for the All-Star game; there’s certainly a reason they’re rushing to say “no, no, don’t boycott Georgia, please.” Polls show Georgians support the law, and people in Georgia and nationally certainly favor photo ID to vote.

    Of course, if they do lose in 2022, it’ll probably just be this law’s fault, by which I mean a “it stopped all my supporters from voting” way.

  17. If you make a rule that you know will have a racially disparate outcome (200K eligible Georgia voters do not currently have a photo ID considered valid per the law, and because virtually all of them are poor, a disproportionate number of them are Black and Hispanic), then it’s fair to question why the rule is being made. I have no doubt that voting rights activists will be hitting the pavement to get IDs to these citizens; but at the same time voting is a right, and legislation that adds hoops to jump through in the absence of evidence that it addresses a legitimate issue is hostile to that right. As is the attempt to criminalize giving someone water. Defend that, please.

  18. As is the attempt to criminalize giving someone water. Defend that, please.

    Sure, why not? The law doesn’t prohibit poll workers from giving anyone water, nor you bringing your own. It only stops these outside groups shilling candidates from doing so. You can’t even wear political paraphernalia to the polls almost anywhere in the country, yet these people can come hand out free food and basically electioneer right at you as you’re standing in line?

    I don’t even care about this law, but you want to talk about The Big Lie as someone wrote earlier, everything the side losing their crap over it is saying is ridiculous. It’s really not anything unprecedented.

  19. I have no doubt that voting rights activists will be hitting the pavement to get IDs to these citizens;

    This is the right outcome. The Democrats have the super majority. They’re about to pass another $2T spending bill. Why don’t we carve out a couple billion bucks — peanuts — to get some offices in Fulton County and other predominantly AA counties and help them not just fulfill their voting requirements, but get them every single document they need? Help them get lost birth certificates, social security cards, replace expired or damaged driver’s licenses, lost voter ID cards. Everything they truly need, not just what gets them to the ballot box. That’s the response to all this. It’s not to call people racist because we think you should have an ID to vote.

    I’m very liberal on what should be done to help the AA community. I support reparations. I think they are owed TRILLIONS in stolen real estate equity at minimum. I would print money to undo everything that has been done to AA throughout our nation’s disgusting history. What I’m not interested in is being called a racist because I think that you should have an ID to vote.

  20. @18

    Dan is 100% correct, and let me give you the common sense reason why this rule was necessary. I doubt you can remember the name of the Property Appraiser or County Commissioner or Dog Catcher in your community. So name recognition is huge. Well, if you’re in line and Bob The Dog Catcher brings you a bottled water, you’re probably going to vote for Bob The Dog Catcher instead of Beverly The Dog Catcher, who just happened to not be giving people bottled waters at that precinct. This stops that. Common sense.

  21. Also, the reason the left is losing their crap over this law is because they know manipulated loopholes are being closed, they’re losing all the work they’ve put in to try to turn Georgia blue, and they know it’ll go back red with good voting laws. They also know that once the Supreme Court deems all of these things perfectly legal, more states will adopt the changes, and all these purple states will go back to red. So instead of fighting in the Supreme Court, they’d much rather be disingenuous and fight it out in the only court they can win: the court of public opinion. But they can’t even do it truthfully. They have to lie.

    And MLB took the bait. Sad.

  22. It only stops these outside groups shilling candidates from doing so

    “…nor shall ANY PERSON (emphasis mine) give, offer to give, or participate in the giving of any money or gifts, including, but not limited to, food and drink, to an elector…within 150 feet of a polling place or within 25 feet of any voter at a polling place.”

    @19 I am with you on most of that, and at the same time I can’t do anything about name-calling. All I would say is name-calling is not a reason to support or oppose anything, and I try not to pay attention to it. Not always successfully, but hey.

  23. @20

    You are describing blatant electioneering, already illegal. People in line to vote have made their minds up. Long lines are often a reality in densely populated districts. Georgia gets hot. Water helps. It should not be a crime to treat people with a little kindness and compassion in celebration of their participation in our democratic process. Unless the primary message you want to send is, you’re on your own.

  24. @23 Polling stations can give people water. Everyone in line has multiple ways of getting water. But Joe Biden’s or Donald Trump’s staffers can’t give you water. I can’t possibly get worked up over politicians not being able to give people gifts.

    People in line to vote have made their minds up.

    This is not true. When I am in line, I do not know every single person on the ballot and who I’m voting for. That’s why so many people just vote down the party line because they don’t know who these people are. If you’re telling me you know the random judge that’s up for re-election in your district, I’d be shocked. And much more impressionable people will remember that Bob Smith running for County Commissioner just gave him a gift outside. You have much more confidence in low information voters than I do.

  25. @16

    If the reason that Republicans win in 2022 in Georgia (if they do, which I’m highly skeptical of if they continue down this road, which is the exact same one they went down to lose the last election) is that Major League Baseball moved the All-Star Game in April 2021, I will eat my hat.

    As I kind of intimated in my post that was kind of sort of about this on the main thread this afternoon, folks acting like they care even half this much about whether the All-Star Game is in their town is asinine. And there are a buttload of folks not even from Georgia acting outraged over this, and I guarantee they couldn’t give less of a crap where the game is.

  26. On a side note, there’s a 100 percent chance that I’m accidentally going to post something meant for here in the main thread at some point…probably during a game when I’m only half paying attention to what I’m doing.

  27. @25

    … offer to give (…) a gift…

    That law says that based on the definition of a gift, a polling station giving people water is not a gift.

  28. @27

    In the middle of the 5th inning of a game, just post that Donald Trump is a douche bag.

  29. There was nothing preventing lawmakers from writing the law as you are choosing to interpret it, but that’s not what they did. Any person.

  30. @30 There seems to be a lot of attention on this one issue. So Joe Biden’s or Donald Trump’s staffers not being able to give people water is the key issue with the bill?

  31. I guess we are all just supposed to forget the shenanigans that Kemp pulled last time when he was SOS running for Governor. Cutting hours, closing polling places, etc. It’s dubious to not acknowledge the history involved here. This is completely in response to losing an election and being embarrassed nationally for doing so. I think they went 1-57 with their lawsuits. It’s embarrassing. On top of the last 6 years of embarrassment.

  32. @32 I’m more interested in discussing the actual content of the bill. I would like to hear how the bill creates voter suppression for African Americans, as you alleged. We are 32 comments in, and the worst thing that has been alleged is that black, white, Hispanic, and purple people can’t get their thirst quenched in line.

  33. It attracts attention because it is so petty and useless. I can only come up with two reasons to do it: 1) R’s are so in the grip of this voter fraud fever dream that seeing anyone walk up to anyone else within shouting distance of a polling place sets their tinfoil to quivering, or 2) a simple message – we have the power right now, we view you with suspicion, and if we want to do something about it, we can.

  34. But, moving on. The law allows any county elector to question the validity of an unlimited number of voter ballots, sets one-size-fits-all time constraints on the counties to respond to them, and allows for state takeover of county boards, during the vote count, in the event they don’t resolve the challenges within said time frame, and they have removed the elected state official most commonly believed responsible for running elections from this process. This is an open invitation to sow chaos in the most populous counties.

  35. They did limit themselves to state takeover of up to four counties. I suppose those four COULD be Catoosa, Elbert, Jeff Davis, and Lowndes. But last I heard they don’t wrap their water bottles in George Soros checks in those parts….

  36. It also limits the number of ballot drop boxes that are permitted in a county well below the levels that some highly populated (mostly Democratic) counties had in 2020. I believe counties can have no more than 1 per 100,000 residents, but that apparently means that Columbus (pop. about 196K) can only have one. Drop boxes must now be inside early voting sites and can only be available when the early voting sites are open. These changes make it much more difficult for voters to use drop boxes, which are used disproportionately by Democrats, and disproportionately by African-Americans. My understanding is that there were cameras recording 24/7 at all the boxes in 2020, so there’s no reasonable anti-fraud justification for these changes. I think, perhaps naively, that the Republicans are doing this to suppress the number of Democratic voters and don’t care much whether or not said voters are African-Americans, but African-Americans see it as racist because it disproportionately affects their voters. Either way, it’s wrong.

  37. @29

    Ha! Well, if I managed to avoid doing that last year, I’d like to think I could manage to avoid it this year.

  38. List from the New York Times (my comments):

    Voters will now have less time to request absentee ballots. (how this prevents votor fraud is a mystery)

    There are strict new ID requirements for absentee ballots. (Until GA enacts a FREE Universal ID then this is a Poll Tax, and yes, Rob, poor people have a harder time obtaining these)

    It’s now illegal for election officials to mail out absentee ballot applications to all voters. (As done in numerous states w/o fraud. justified in a pandemic)

    Drop boxes still exist … but barely. (NYT getting a tad hysterical here, but the upshot is it becomes more burdensome for many — especially those without cars — to cast their ballot)

    Mobile voting centers (think an R.V. where you can vote) are essentially banned. (Neutral on this one. I can see how it gives the perception of cheating even though none has occurred)

    Early voting is expanded in a lot of small counties, but probably not in more populous ones. (Good for the small counties! Limiting Sunday voting is all about reducing the AA vote, however. This is one of the provisions getting most the liberal pushback Rob)

    Offering food or water to voters waiting in line now risks misdemeanor charges. (If the bill made any attempt to reduce the chance of waiting in line for hours this might be defensible except that the people doing this already are not allowed to electioneer as they cannot mention candidates or even wear buttons while engaging, so why is this necessary?)

    If you go to the wrong polling place, it will be (even) harder to vote. (Precincts are not needed in the digital age. This is ¨the card says moops¨ shit)

    If election problems arise, a common occurrence, it is now more difficult to extend voting hours. (Solve the long lines problem and you can do this. As a poll worker in NC I already put in 14 hour days during elections — let me go home!)

    With a mix of changes to vote-counting, high-turnout elections will probably mean a long wait for results. (I need to learn exactly what changes are proposed here. somebody help!)

    Election officials can no longer accept third-party funding . (No clue. they are apparently responding to some Q-Anon shit. Whereś my SorosMoney here in NC?)

    With an eye toward voter fraud, the state attorney general will manage an election hotline. (Good, but unnecessary as voting fraud doesnt exist. Maybe set it up next to the Unicorn-Spotter hotline)

    The Republican-controlled legislature has more control over the State Election Board. (Bad. The candidates need less control of the process, not more)

    The secretary of state is removed as a voting member of the State Election Board. (This is one of only 3 jobs specified in the state constitution for him to do… which makes this one unconstitutional)

    The G.O.P.-led legislature is empowered to suspend county election officials. (Once again, letting the inmates run the asylum is bad.)

    Runoff elections will happen faster — and could become harder to manage. (OK! Election season is too long as is.)

    (I note that IQ never came up. The net effect of the bill will make voting in the hinterlands somewhat easier and voting in poor and metropolitan areas harder. The bill also gives the heavily gerrymandered, mostly white legislature way more leeway to put its fingers on the scale. The poll tax provision is straight out of reconstruction.)

  39. I also find it extremely rich that in the last election cycle that those that still wanted to vote in public (and demand that all others do so as well) at the ballot box IN THE MIDDLE OF A PANDEMIC were disproportionately GOP, people who thought it was a fake virus, called it the flu, etc.

    The state legislatures that authorized vote by mail were doing so IN A DAMN PANDEMIC. They did the right thing for their constituents. It was done for PUBLIC HEALTH, not to steal an election from a garbage narcissist.

    All of this is tribalist, partisan politics, and good one Delta and MLB for having the guts to say so.

    Be proud Georgia, that you have a governor who rode around in a school bus pretending to round up ‘illegals’ and who has shown himself to be anti democracy at every term.

    We’re not going back to 1954, old people. We’re just not.

  40. @39

    I do find it troubling that you list rule changes, and you assign bad motives to lots of them, and then turn around and deny any kind of election fraud.

    I don’t think the 2020 election was stolen. I don’t think South American-based companies were hacking voting stations, I don’t think there were thousands of votes being manufactured in the middle of the night, and I don’t think Trump was correct about almost anything that left his mouth after November 6th. If there was any voter fraud, the means was created in March and April when the pandemic was used as a justification for creating voting systems that made cheating less difficult.

    snowshine, you’re wrong, voter fraud does exist. This website easily shows you hundreds of instances of voter fraud, and that’s just a simple Google search. I don’t know how you can deny voter fraud when it’s so easily available to see. Voter fraud is also very difficult to prove and convict, and according to the convictions, there’s only been about 600 instances of voter fraud in the last 2 years. I don’t believe that at all, especially with how big the stakes have become to encourage voter fraud.

    The Republicans believe the Democrats have slowly manipulated voting loopholes to gain an advantage. The Republicans simply don’t think that Fulton is 72% blue, DeKalb 83% blue, Rockdale 70%, etc. etc. They might be right; they might be wrong. They are taking a HUGE gamble in passing a divisive and controversial voting bill. But the proof will be in the pudding: if the numbers in these predominantly AA counties change significantly, then something is wrong. If they don’t, then the Republicans are wrong, and they have a big problem on their hands. As it sits, based on the allegations, what I can honestly see is that someone used to be able to drop off their ballot at the box at 5th and Monroe, and now they have to go to 6th and Monroe instead. And now they have to provide a photo ID. And now they can’t get bottled water in line. I’m failing to see the racism and illegality.

    snowshine, you assumed bad motives in the passing of the law, so I will give you a different spin of bad motives for why there has been so much lying about this bill: the Dems know they’ve been caught. They know Fulton is not 72% blue. They know the loopholes have been tied. They know it’ll go to the Supreme Court. They know it’ll be upheld. They know they can’t do anything about that. They know that voter ID law will make its way to Texas, Arizona, New Mexico. And they know purple states will go back to red. And they know they can’t win elections if they don’t cheat. And they know they’ve been beaten. So all they can do is lie about the contents of the bill and cry “racism”, and gullible people will believe it.

  41. @40 I’ve never read more projection in one comment in my entire life.

    not to steal an election from a garbage narcissist.

    Oh, and by the way, you can stop talking about the “garbage narcissist”. He’s gone, and he’s not on the ballots going forward. So I highly doubt they passed a bill to help him unless they have a time machine we don’t know about.

  42. Oh, he’s going to be on the ballots going forward and a segment of our society will still continue to eat up THEBIGLIE like its an order of poutine at Red Arrow Cafe.

    It’s not projection when its true. It’s been too glossed over the REASONS that there was vote by mail. We were in a global pandemic. 500K Americans died from it. Or close to that.

    You should be able to vote by mail. It’s rich that Arizona has had vote by mail for 30 years and when it was a brick red state you didn’t hear boo about it, until it became purple and elected two Dems to the Senate. Same with Georgia. There’s outcry because it is obvious that these moves in GA and AZ are legislative power grabs in the only seat of power they have left in their states. Electeds from rural areas who shockingly are GOP. The GOP is losing the battle of demographics and these are last gasp efforts to undo population trends.

    FWIW, I hope that the Dems ram through every policy that we’ve ever considered wanting. Every single one. It’s too bad that the GOP had 4 years and had no policies implemented other than gutting the EPA and reducing public lands and other than arguing on twitter and calling people names.

  43. @39 – The state voter identification card is free, though it can only be used for voting. Last month, the speaker of the state house proposed making the regular state ID, which now costs $32, free. The underlying problem, however, is that to get either of the cards, you have to be able to prove who you are and that you’re a U.S. citizen. If the burden of proof is significant (at least a birth certificate seems reasonable to me, but that’s a hassle for some people to get), that’s an impediment to some people who should be able to vote. But if it’s low, how do you prevent fraud, and not just voter fraud but citizenship fraud or benefit fraud? I assume that lots of homeless people don’t have ID on them, but if they’re citizens, they should be able to vote. So what do you do? If the homeless person has a Georgia accent, that’s one thing, but if it’s a Hispanic with a strong accent who says he was born in El Paso, absent proof, what do you do?

    As for the giving-out-water provision being possibly defensible if the bill tried to reduce lines, per CNN, “The law mandates that if precincts of a certain substantial size had lines of more than one hour in the previous general election, or did not complete voting by an hour after the official poll-closing time in that previous general election, county officials have to reduce the size of the precinct or get more poll workers, voting equipment or both for the next election.” The water provisions still seem pretty ridiculous, though – if they were really concerned about preventing electioneering and not just making it more onerous to vote, they could’ve said that the only group authorized to give out water is the League of Women Voters and anyone else who wants to help has to give them money or volunteer with them and can’t wear partisan clothing.

    I think the third party funding made it possible for some election offices to hire more poll workers (or pay them more) and/or have more voting sites. I’m fine with that here, partly because our elections chief is a high school classmate and I trust her, but I can see how partisans on either side of the aisle would be suspicious if their political opponents were funding things that the government should either fund or not fund with its own money. Maybe Democrats think Soros doing this is ok, but would they feel the same way if it were the Koch brothers?

    I’m not quite as sure as you that voter fraud doesn’t, or couldn’t, exist. After the November elections, there were Republicans in Florida urging people to declare themselves Georgia residents so they could vote in the Senate runoffs. Raffensberger announced that this was illegal and that the state was investigating. There was also the North Carolina case in 2016 or 2018 that led to a U.S. House election being overturned because of blatantly illegal ballot harvesting by a Republican operative (who had worked for Democrats in the past – I’m not suggesting that all Democrats are above this either).

  44. @43

    The good news is that there doesn’t seem to be any scenarios where someone used to vote easily and doesn’t any longer. So if the R’s are wrong, then elections will continue with the same results. There will be evidence that the R’s were either naive or racist or both. Great for the country. Like I said, my speculation is that the D’s know that there are some shenanigans going on, they can’t fight it, so they have to just call it racist with no evidence. The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    Longer term, these shenanigans on the left where they call everyone and everything racist is not helping the AA community one bit. If everything is racist, nothing is racist. They’re cheapening the charge, which is a very significant charge and one that shouldn’t be tolerated in our culture.

  45. Rob, virtually all of those case were instances of old people forgetting they had already mailed an absentee ballot and the voting in person — that’s old age, not fraud. They also were caught and only 1 vote was counted so the system works.

    Admittedly, there are several instances of people voting absentee for others — the worst of which was in Rockingham, NC (we poll workers got an extra “education” day before this year’s general election thanks to this one). Despite these small scale problems I think we can look at these approximately 30-50 actual fraud cases out of 155M votes and say, yes, no meaningful voter fraud exists.

    As a poll worker in a suburban precinct (R+2 in registration) I can say that during the primary (when the ID Law in NC was in force) we had to turn away about 5% of the people who didn’t have it on them. My precinct being 90+% white, I saw no obvious race angle here. November went smoother thanks to the injunction on enforcement of the ID law. Note that between us, our 6 poll workers personally knew at least 80% of our voters making in person fraud pretty much impossible (although NC allows people to vote out of precinct so I guess there is some leeway there).

  46. I don’t think anyone objects to measures that seek to prevent organized fraud. But to weed it out thoroughly on an individual level is impossible, and the problem becomes making the process too onerous in a futile attempt to do so.

    For instance, I met someone a few years ago who freely admitted to committing voter fraud. He is from Colorado and owns a home there, but for years his work has been in Georgia so he owns a home here and spends well over half his time here. By law, he should be a Georgia voter, as the rule is you vote in the state in which you spend the most time. But he votes in Colorado because he’s from there, plans to retire there, and so figures he has greater vested interest there. Imagine the level of intrusive surveillance that would be required to stamp out something like that. When you drill down to individual cases, the best thing to do is let the law of large numbers carry the day — there’s no evidence that individual instances of fraud break significantly in one direction or the other, so rely on educating voters, not punishing them.

  47. @46

    To be clear, snowshine, I don’t think that there is widespread voter fraud. And I don’t think Kemp or Raffensperger or whomever think there is widespread voter fraud. But the examples you cite are not all of the examples, and they’re only examples where there’s actually been a conviction. I don’t care if you brand me as some QAnon conspiracy theorist, but there’s motive, means, and opportunity to commit voter fraud, there are documented instances of voter fraud, and I don’t trust the Democrats. And in a state of 10.5M people and the Georgia Senate runoffs being decided by 55K and 33K votes, I have no problems with tying up some holes in the process to guarantee having free and fair elections. That doesn’t make racist, doesn’t make the bill racist, and it doesn’t make what MLB did a smart move for them in the long run. Really just much ado about nothing.

  48. @47

    The problem with the law of large numbers is that these elections are being decided by a very small percentage of the electorate. 33K (difference in the Warnok runoff) is .3% of the population of Georgia.

  49. Ok but even then what would the D/R fraud spread have to be in order to swing it the other way? I am in no way granting that it would even break 60/40 Dem, but if it did you would be positing that 165K individually fraudulent votes that you could somehow identify were cast. No chance.

  50. And I never called anyone racist! I do note that some of the provisions of the bill have disparate impacts on voters, mainly targeting poor people rather than those of 1 race. The one race specific provision is removing the last Sunday before the election early voting which approximately 20% of the AA electorate use. There is no debate this one is race specific as enough of our elected officials ran there mouth on the topic.

    I note that passing a bill to prohibit something that isn’t happening and in the process making it harder for thousands of people to exercise their franchise is a throwback to the days of Jim Crow. I believe it is the appearance of this action that has caused the outrage and ultimately cost us the ASG. Were voting fraud an actual thing there wouldn’t be a blowback.

    Oh, and for the, “Don’t trust the democrats” thing. Even as late as the 1990’s in some places you have a point but I’ll be damned if I can recall any cases from the last 25 years. Without evidence this is just paranoia. Furthermore, given modern technology, it is virtually impossible on a large scale.

  51. Rob gives away the game when he says he doesn’t believe in widespread voter fraud but he also doesn’t trust Democrats specifically. This is why the disparate impact of the law rolls off his back — because Democrats are, to him, inherently less trustworthy, laws that reflect that worldview are A-OK. No dissonance caused.

  52. @52

    Yep. I don’t trust Republicans but I’m all FOR enhancing voting rights, vote by mail, even in the future voting online (it will come in most of our lifetimes).

    He’s sadly subscribed to the “Because there has been FOURTEEN incidents of voter fraud in America in the last 5 years out of ~ a billion votes cast, that means WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING” theory of right wing governance. They fail to mention that the something is always seemingly viewed as racially motivated, disparately affecting groups other than caucasian, and NEVER seen as expanding voting rights, ALWAYS minimizing them.

    It should be illustrative, that there is one party in America associated with this nonsense and its not the Democrats.

    What this all REALLY is about, is that entire books and thesis have been written about how high turnout elections almost always without fail benefit Democrats. The GOP knows this, and hence, these issues and bills. It’s just stark naked hypocrisy and the electorate nationally is starting to punish them for it. Sure, they will pick up a House seat here or there (always in areas where almost no one lives) but nationally, the dog is increasingly not hunting any more.

  53. @43: Jesus, Chief, and you accused someone else earlier in this thread of sounding “unhinged.”

    Electeds from rural areas who shockingly are GOP.
    Sure, they will pick up a House seat here or there (always in areas where almost no one lives)

    Sorry rural people exist and vote, I guess. South Dakota has 885,000 people and one House representative, meanwhile AOC gets elected in a district with fewer than 700,000 people. Please show me these GOP-controlled “House seats where almost no one lives.”

  54. Wow, so much going on. Braves win, and I stirred up the hornet’s nest even more.

    @51 Snowshine, Chief called the bill racist. More specifically, he said it suppresses the AA vote, which is akin to saying it’s racist. I could also break the WordPress server by listing the amount of people who have called the bill racist on TV and in print.

    @52 Forgive me, I don’t trust Republicans to not cheat either. No, I don’t think that one side is morally pure, and the other side is a bunch of bad folks. But I do tend to trust more the party that is trying to put rules in place to prevent cheating. The problem is that Dems swing the pendulum over to say it’s voter suppression. I don’t consider this bill to be voter suppression. I KEEP asking for someone to cite a scenario where someone who used to be able to vote easily can no longer do so, and it really seems like the big act of voter suppression is that you have to take your ballot the box at Washington and 50th Street, not Washington and 51st Street.

    I’m sorry, but no one is making a specific and credible argument for how AA are specifically being forced to work harder to vote, except for having to have an ID to vote. That doesn’t garner much sympathy from the average American who might have to show their ID multiple times a day for far less important things.

  55. @55 I’ve never mentioned the word racist. You imbued what I did say with that. Do I think that racism is involved, here? Yes. Do I think that this is more akin to foul partisan politics as opposed to actual racism, also yes.

  56. “You have to take your ballot to the box at Washington and 50th Street, not Washington and 51st Street” understates the effect of the drop box changes. A lot of people work 9-5 and can’t get time off or aren’t paid for the time they take off. Not being able to drop off their ballots at any time of day or night like they could in 2020 makes it much less convenient for them. They can still drop them off on, what, two Saturdays and maybe Sundays, depending on their county, but it’s more difficult and fewer people will do so, which I assume is the intent. Also, with only one drop box per 100,000 registered voters (not 100,000 residents like I said earlier), a lot of people have to go a lot farther, usually during weekday working hours when there’s lots of traffic, to get to the closest drop box.

  57. There’s outcry because it is obvious that these moves in GA and AZ are legislative power grabs in the only seat of power they have left in their states.

    Excuse me, but what are going on about? The Georgia GOP controls the Governor’s Mansion, the Lt. Governor, the Georgia House of Representatives, the Georgia State Senate, the state Attorney General, the Secretary of State, the Commissioner of Labor, Secretary of Agriculture, etc., etc., etc.

    The Georgia Republican Party controls basically the entire elected state government, many of those major races elected in the midst of a ‘blue wave’ election in 2018, and a lot of them weren’t particularly close elections either, though the biggest one between Kemp and Abrams admittedly was. “Only seat of power” though, lol.

  58. They’re twisting the knobs to see if they can get the result they desire in the aggregate. A few discouraged voters here, a few who screw up the new rules there, some wait times more along the lines of the 2020 primaries than the general or runoff would help, and so on. And if that doesn’t work, they’ve created a general atmosphere of suspicion that they can exploit by replacing Democratic county election boards with Republican state legislator appointees — based not necessarily on any actual evidence of fraud, but the inability of the counties to beat the new clock and sort out a mess that a faction of Republicans would be more than happy to create (as I described above). If they can shepherd that part of it through legal challenges prior to the election (absolutely not a sure thing), the path would then exist to subvert the popular vote.

  59. Interesting conversation. For someone like me, who is not living in the US nor is a US citizen, it is so fascinating to see that the US are not just counting the popular vote and be done with it. At least it would solve one potential major voter fraud issue.

  60. @61 If it was based on THEBIGLIE, wouldn’t there be MUCH more strict voting changes than these? There were some REALLY ridiculous things asserted by Trump and his team.

  61. @Timo I can’t really give a full-throated defense of the electoral college. The popular vote is a much easier way of determining who wins, though it is an excellent defense of concentrated echo chambers steering an election. But it’s undeniable that some votes are worth more than others when you can win the popular vote and lose the election.

    With that said, people that complain about how it’s unfair to win the popular vote and lose the election make my eyes roll. You knew the rules of the game before you decided to play them. The individual vote is important; the electoral votes are much more important. It’s like saying that your team won the baseball game because you got more hits. Hits are very important, yes, but runs are a lot more important based on the rules of the game. Sorry, Hillary, you need to campaign in Iowa and Wisconsin and Michigan where all the horrible people live. They’re Americans too.

  62. How much stricter could the changes be?

    Oh, you mean when they were going to ‘release the Kraken’ and it was all made up BS? You mean like that?

    The truth is that all of this is garbage. It’s all designed to muddy the water and give political cover to these legislatures who throw just enough BS out to justify these actions, which were based on lies.

    The irony is that most actual recent cases of voter fraud were perpetuated by Republicans. That never seems to be part of the discussion in conservative media though… Hmmmm…

  63. @66 I was giving a historical example of someone who seemed to not know how the Electoral College worked. I’m sorry that struck a nerve.

    @65 I don’t know what you’re looking for here. I’m not going to defend Trump. I’m glad he’s gone. My chips are in on the guy from Florida. We’re talking about this law and this bill right now. Let’s just suppose you’re right; bad, evil motives led to this bill. The bill itself is fine. We’re going around and around on this bill and most of the complaints about it are at worst controversial and mostly just weaksauce. But assuming bad motives and dial-calibrating does not make the bill bad.

    And once again, send it to the Supreme Court. I’m hearing very little about challenging this bill in the high courts. Probably because they know the bill is legit and they don’t want it to go to the Supreme Court. They find it better for business to ratchet all you guys up.

  64. Good grief, a 30-second glance at the AJC front page would show you multiple stories on immediate plans to challenge the law. Not even included among them is the challenge (as mentioned upthread) to the Secretary of State provision.
    Removing an elected state officer from his constitutionally mandated duties is an easy challenge and will certainly happen.

  65. @67 is why I hope that the Dems sack up and pack the Court. I’m really sick of you RWNJs leaning on ONE of the THREE branches of government 24/7 to do your dirty work. Get lives, learn to actually govern, and actually start living up to the ideals of this country. Maybe read the Constitution for once instead of just the parts you pick and choose to.

  66. By the way to all, a U. S. District Court Judge in Atlanta, an African American appointed by Barack Obama, just this week dismissed for insufficiency of evidence (after previously dismissing many claims on jurisdictional reason a couple of weeks before) all but one of Stacy Abrams’ objections to the 2018 vote. This included voter id. Meaning, it is a judicially approved method of ID. So, FOLLOWING the law is illegal? Unethical? And current law (2021) has nothing in it about ID that hasn’t already been in the law for 20 years.

    And somebody mentioned 200,000 Georgia citizens can’t get id and that Georgia doesn’t pay for them. The 2002 bill authorized id to be issued for free (may have required signing a pauper’s affidavit). So, for 20 years, people could get id without paying for it. The only way 200,000 Georgians can’t get ID is if 198,000 of the people you are talking about are illegal immigrants. Cite a reputable source (Stacy Abrams’ allegations aren’t a source. Obama appointed Judge already reject those)..

  67. @64 Thanks, Rob. Yeah, I actually get the system but doesn’t make too much sense to me at least – nowadays. I understand why it was “invented” but it’s just odd to me that it was never changed in the “modern times”.

  68. @ 69,

    Your side doesn’t know how to read the Constitution. You think when the Progressivist Eurosocialist ideal comes up with a new idea of what is good that is contrary to the plain meaning of the Constitution, that the Constitution should be viewed as a “living” document, so Judges can just write in shit. The Constitution is DYING when it doesn’t mean what it said, as modified by duly ratified amendments. Article V DELIBERATELY makes it difficult to change the Constitution.

  69. I agree with the Chief here, which he summarized well @3, that the voting rights bill is a conjured solution to a problem that didn’t exist. The 2020 election was the most scrutinized in history and showed no signs of fraud here in Georgia or elsewhere. The system worked as expressed by the GOP SOS and his staff.

    As a primarily life-long “moderate conservative’, I feel the GOP really needs to do a reality check and nominate better candidates and articulate an actual platform if they wish to remain relevant with moderates like myself. Instead, it seems their only plan is to re-engineer the election process to their favor and jockey for their slice of the Trump base by following his path of Fascism by idiocy. The demographics of the south are changing especially in the more urban areas. Even in GOP stronghold of Forsyth County where I live Trump’s showing was worse in 2020 than in 2016, an indication that more moderates composed of educated professionals and people of color have located to this area and were out of favor with his incompetence, lies and shadiness. Just one district down the road, Lucy McBath, an African American won re-election to Congress in a district that was forever a heavily republican enclave.

    I applaud Manfred’s decision to move the game. Whether it was motivated by corporate pressure or not the message sent is still very clear.

  70. I don’t think Chief would be begrudging the Supreme Court for upholding the law if it was fulfilling outcomes that he liked. Therefore, my verdict is in: more projection from Chief.

  71. @sansho I have not seen any analysis that says that the major tenets of the bill are seriously being challenged in the high courts. That’s what I meant. All of these egregious examples of laws that suppress votes don’t seem to be getting any helium to climb the courts.

  72. @74

    that the voting rights bill is a conjured solution to a problem that didn’t exist.

    I don’t think this criticism has the weight that you think it does. The R’s suspect certain loopholes are being manipulated to gain an illegitimate advantage in elections. In a legal process, they closed those loopholes.

    Literally right now on television the other side is doing the same thing. Awesome. Good for them. The Democrats control the Executive Branch of the federal government. He has EO authority. Awesome, use it. I may not agree with what he’s doing, but I wouldn’t for a second get worked up over someone fulfilling their Constitutional power, even when I don’t agree with the outcome.

  73. @74 best articulates the matters at hand. What the GOP is really trying to do, is to ‘continue’ winning, but winning with trumpism. And they too have (a few) smart people that have figured out without ‘closing loopholes’ and shortening poll times, and with more polling places open, they cannot win ‘anymore’ with trumpism.

    They are devoid of plans that don’t involve using the judicial system to bludgeon the whims of their low IQ base through.

  74. @ 74,

    In 2020, Georgia had approximately 1,000,00 absentee votes cast. Never before had 100,000. EVERY political commentator that is honest, knows that absentee votes are not as secure as cast in office votes.
    You can say “I believe the extra risk is worth getting extra people to vote”, but you can’t change the premise. In fact, there is almost no provision that can be crafted to secure votes that doesn’t suppress votes and almost no provision that can be crafted to increase voting that doesn’t create insecurity. They are conflicting potentials.

    @ 73, so if Joe Manchin says the “infrastructure bill is overbroad and a fraud to try to call it infrastructure” is that binding on all Democrats? The “one Republican Rule” is just as stupid as the “One Green Beret Rule” and the “One Democrat Rule.” None of those 3 mean anything.

  75. @79, Seems like part of the issue here is that some people were ok with the 2020 rules for 2020 because they thought the (nonzero but small) extra risk of fraud was less of a problem than the increased danger of traditional voting during a pandemic, but they don’t think the extra risk of fraud will be worth it post-pandemic when traditional voting will be reasonably safe.

    On the other hand, I liked the comment by somebody on GPB’s Political Rewind show yesterday who described drop boxes as a bell that would be difficult to unring – that even if they were intended to be temporary, voters of both parties liked them so much that restricting them would be unpopular.

  76. @80 Oregon has had ONLY drop boxes for 20 years without a scintilla of fraud.

    Voter fraud is just the lastest conservative buzzword to make up for the fact that they’re devoid of policy, ideas, and run nutjobs.

  77. @80 Exactly, tell someone from south Fulton who waited 5 hours in line to vote in the primary and then rolled her car window down for 10 seconds to vote in the general that that second time was the problem.

  78. @ 82,

    If anybody in South Fulton was in a long line, whose fault was that? Was it racist?

  79. @ 81,

    If there is an unattended drop box, there is fraud. The only way you know there is not fraud is if you have a check on fraud. If you can’t check, you will never find fraud. That is a 100% certainty. That is the need for voter id. You can’t claim residence in 2 counties and vote in both without taking a big risk you will get caught. Just last year, several Trump family members were found registered in 2 states (and other political types including Democrats). It doesn’t mean that any of them WOULD have voted twice, but it made it a lot easier. Do you do services for people on the honor system?

  80. Wasn’t her fault. I’ll pass on your other question, it’s been discussed reasonably already.

  81. All these measures are based on lies, so ergo, the measures are unnecessary. I wish you all could just admit that they are occurring because your tribe lost a brick red southern state. You won’t, because you love your tribe too much.

    Abrams, through voter registration and get out the vote efforts, outwitted, outsmarted and outplayed the GOP. Now, because that happened, and because of the OPTICS of GA going blue, they’re embarrassed to the point of enacting these laws based on a lie that even they all know is a lie. A lot of it is political pandering to their base. Do I think that this will make it harder for the Dems to win next time, also yes. And that’s a shame, not because I’m a Dem, but because in a democracy, we should be happy when people vote, when there is high turnout etc. For one side to basically admit that they fear that they cannot win if those things occur, that’s sad for our country.

    Were there a handful of ballots probably improper? Well, duh. But the margin of victory wasn’t 20 votes, it was tens of thousands. Fraud on that scale has likely never occurred in America unless you believe in Chicago lore.

  82. Really the voter fraud question is no different than the voter intimidation question. Yes, you want to be vigilant about organized campaigns. But trying to root out the rare individual cases of fraud is about as productive as attempting to police the old “she’ll vote how I tell her to vote” household phenomenon. (Probably even less productive to the goal of assessing true voter sentiment, as the fraud angle at least shows no significant ideological bent either way…)

  83. @67 is why I hope that the Dems sack up and pack the Court.

    Not going to happen, because the Democrats face-planted last November in key Senate races they thought they had won in Iowa, North Carolina and Maine. Maybe if the party didn’t blunder so hard there, it wouldn’t have to worry about Manchin and Sinema so much today. Not to mention losing U.S. House seats and control of some state legislatures that will be drawing the districts that will be used for the next decade; Biden wasn’t much for carrying anyone down-ballot last November.

    Abrams, through voter registration and get out the vote efforts, outwitted, outsmarted and outplayed the GOP.

    Comments like this are going to be hilarious if she loses again next year.

  84. Different topic:

    Will MLB suffer any damage for moving the All-Star game over politics?

  85. @84, all the drop boxes in my city had video cameras watching them. Was that not the case elsewhere? If not, the solution isn’t to prevent people from using drop boxes except inside early voting sites when they’re open, it’s to put cameras on them so people who can’t get to early voting sites when they’re open can use them at other times.

    @86, if you don’t think large-scale electoral fraud has mattered much in U.S. history, how about LBJ’s 1948 Texas Senate primary? He officially won by 87 votes, but an election judge later admitted to certifying over 200 fraudulent votes for him, and one of Robert Caro’s books said that 10,000 votes were switched in San Antonio alone. In addition to Chicago, didn’t Memphis under Boss Crump also have a reputation for vote fraud?

  86. @89

    In a word, no.

    You might see some sort of ephemeral very minor attendance/TV ratings downturn that some folks will insist until they’re blue in the face is because of the backlash. It’ll be similar to the folks who insist until they’re blue in the face that the NFL’s slight (but ultimately meaningless) ratings drop has everything to do with the backlash to the Kaepernick kneeling mess. And like with that, it’ll be fleeting, meaningless and just as easily explained by other factors.

    It doesn’t make any sense that you would stop watching your team because the league moved the All-Star Game from one place to another. It doesn’t even make sense for Braves fans, to be honest. Just like (to extend the overstretched comparison), it didn’t make any sense to stop watching your team because some guy in San Francisco was kneeling during the national anthem.

  87. @89, I doubt it. This is pretty much a one-time thing that affects one state and one team’s fans, at least until and unless other states pass similar laws. (If they do, it’ll be interesting to see the response. Not sure what MLB could do to, say, Arizona or Texas that would be similar to taking away the ASG.)

    If MLB were to have/let players wear certain political messages on their jerseys so that fans saw them every game, I could see that turning off a nontrivial percentage of fans, myself included. MLB is not the WNBA, and the players don’t seem that activist, so I don’t see that happening.

  88. @91

    Depends on what you mean by slight, I guess. Compared to, say, the NBA, I think baseball has an older, whiter, more conservative fanbase. And if they had even a 5% reduction in TV ratings, that’s a lot of money, and it may make MLB re-think getting involved in politics. Because if they go the other direction and do something that the left does not like, they could just as easily see a 5% reduction in TV ratings. And with seemingly no other corresponding benefit, why do this? You can applaud MLB for doing what you think is right politically, but does that attract new fans? Do existing fans tune in more? Support their sponsors? Buy products?

    I can say this emphatically: I don’t care what MLB’s politics are. I don’t care what all of you guys’ politics are. I love you the same. But if I want to ingest politics, I’ll turn on the politics channel, not the sports channel, and I’ve felt that way for a long time. I know I’m not the only one.

  89. @93

    …does that attract new fans?… . Do existing fans…support their sponsors? Buy products?

    Potentially, to the first question. It can’t hurt with younger fans. And you may rightly say that it’s a wash at best, but baseball can afford to trade some older fans for some younger fans, hypothetically.

    To the sponsors question, I don’t think they did it because Rob Manfred sat straight up in bed in the middle of the night and said, “This is the right thing to do!” They did it because he was getting pressure from those sponsors that you mentioned…and from the players, though their opinion didn’t weigh nearly as heavily as the sponsors. You seem to totally be discounting a scenario where they start to lose sponsors if they don’t do it. I don’t think you should be discounting that scenario.

  90. I don’t think it was the sponsors or MLB caring about Georgia’s law, I think it boiled down to ‘protecting’ the players, shielding them from a ceaseless onslaught by the press and obnoxious political activists on social media. They didn’t want them to be hounded for months with questions of “are you attending the All-Star game? Well, are you? So-and-so says he won’t go if selected, what are your thoughts on that? [African-American player] called the law Jim Crow and says he won’t attend, do you stand with his cause?”

  91. @95

    So let’s say you’re right and let’s accept your approach to the argument, while we’re at it. Even if that’s the case, is it better to leave the game in Atlanta and risk having half the players boycott and having it turn into a huge mess anyway, or is it better to just move the game and accept a short-term ride on the Fox News grievance merry-go-round?

  92. @ 93, as for doing things the left doesn’t like, it seems to me that the embrace of the military by both the NFL and MLB over the last decade or two is something that many on the left may not be comfortable with. It should be possible to disagree with politicians’ decision to put our military into an overseas conflict without being portrayed as “opposing the troops” or being unpatriotic, but the NFL and MLB have contributed to blurring that distinction. I don’t see anyone organizing boycotts over this issue, but I can imagine some people being uncomfortable enough that they decide to follow the sport less closely/go to fewer games/etc. I expect MLB has calculated that it gains more fans than it loses by identifying itself with the military, though.

  93. Statcast….Politics blog overwhelming home opener! 5000 words to 27.

    but…Bartholemews and Frenchies ‘what a shame we missed out’ take/took no account of those whose precious rights to vote were/are under sick attack. Historic.

  94. It’s not the topic du jour right now, but you can be sure that somebody will eventually notice that we’ve apparently decided to actively go back to prompting the tomahawk chop in the stadium. The All-Star Game situation isn’t the Braves fault, but any blowback that comes in either direction if the chop situation hits the fan again will be.

  95. What would you say was the mask percentage there yesterday? In the crowd? Could not get a feel for it but it seems there weren’t many.

  96. It looked like there were about a third to a half of the people in masks. That’s great; if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. If you don’t, don’t. Follow the science.

    blazon, what I was referring to was what I felt was a uniquely temperamental, emotional, and, frankly, aggressive set of people on Braves Twitter. I scrolled Braves Twitter for years, and it is uniquely left-leaning, and my suspicions are that the Twitter algorithm helps the US political left more than any other group of anything on Twitter. Braves Twitter, in my years and years of trying to find such people, did not have a whole lot of non-trolls that leaned even the slightest to the right of center. For every one person slightly right of center with a couple hundred followers, you had a Josh Brown who was a far-right troll that just wanted to be a troll.

    So you already have a platform whose bread and butter is to appeal to reactors — people who just react, combust, explode — and then you have these moments in US politics that don’t age well, meanwhile my feed is trained to find Braves content. So we have Brett Kavanaugh being accused of being a rapist with essentially no evidence, and Braves Twitter’s leftists nutjobs are telling you you’re a POS if you don’t #BelieveAllWomen. And these aren’t just people with a couple hundred followers; they have thousands of followers because they are Braves bloggers or big Braves fans or they have a side hustle on there. Andy Harris, Tim Williams, and Eric Cole are huge examples. Truly mentally unstable people. And if you have the audacity to say, “Hey, ya know, maybe Brett Kavanaugh is not a gang rapist, and we should extend him due process,” they melt down. If you say, “Maybe we can love immigrants and have a system for security the southern border,” they melt down. Or if you say, “I do find the Bad Orange Man’s tweets to be repulsive and completely unjustified or needed, but I don’t think he’s an existential threat to the fiber and security of our democracy,” they melt down. I left Twitter when after defending or being silent about rioting and burning cities all throughout 2020, they were ablaze over the jackasses who stormed the capital on January 6th. That was it for me. Twitter is a cesspool, and especially Braves Twitter.

    Anyway, I love Ryan and think the world of Ryan, but I think Ryan likes those people and is internet friends with those people, and I was suspicious he was thinking those types of folks would dominate this thread, when really it’s… just those people. They have mental illnesses, and they are in need of a physician. And I think of you scroll Braves Twitter for too long and hobnob with those nobjobs, then I think you start to think that’s how internet political discussion happens.

  97. @101

    Do you think that if news articles start coming out that the Braves are prompting the chop, there will be another backlash?

  98. Wow, the Braves listened to their actual paying customers at Truist Park rather than some partisan activist residing in California who doesn’t follow MLB yelling at them on Twitter about The Chop, how could they?

    I don’t care that much about The Chop, but the Braves should not acquiesce to a vocal minority under the principle of ‘the squeaky wheel gets the grease.’ I think most Braves fans like The Chop.

  99. @103

    Rob, thanks for the background, I didn’t even know there was such a thing as Braves Twitter, official or otherwise. The trolling you describe putting up with in your post must be mindless but you imply that’s all it is.

    My concern is very different . Mingling with the likes of those thugs and their groups who stormed the Capitol on January 6 and do much of their violent, racist hate planning online. I just need to hear from your friend he is not any part of all that, nor will be, as long as he fronts this Journal. Simple really.

    BTW, several weeks ago I called your Real Estate office hoping to catch you in. Talked to your brother Chris, told him I wanted to find out from you to confirm your wife’s Covid nursing job had not damaged her own health. You had told us here a year before when it all started to get really scary and exhausting for her. Chris said he would pass it on but not hearing back I was worried. All OK if I may ask?

    Thanks again for the background on Braves Twitter.

  100. @104

    I think there will eventually be another backlash about the Chop, yes. And that backlash will force the Braves to do or say something that will get the right-wing grievance machine all jacked up and pissed off that they’re taking away the Chop again, and it’ll turn into a huge mess. Whereas had they just decided to not prompt the Chop anymore and more or less said nothing about it, very few would’ve noticed…especially with the current All-Star mess going on and the fact that nobody’s been to a game in a year and a half.

    Like the Chop or no, the Braves just missed a golden opportunity to essentially let it go away (at least in terms of stadium prompts) without it costing them anything. But since they’ve gone back down the road, it’ll eventually cost them something no matter what happens. Just a dumb move IMO.

  101. Someone needs to state for the record what an outstanding debut a handful of the membership provided for the debut of our Political blog. Within a few hours there were 100 posts, almost all of substantive depth, civility reigned despite the glaring differences in opinions. Which is exactly what its supposed to be in theory and they provided in practice. Thanks to all, I wouldn’t have bet a penny on it happening in that volume and with that assorted bunch of characters. Kudos to all you guys.

  102. @107

    It’s not “right-wing grievance machine” every time the left does something insane. Or, put another way, “Republicans pounce.” Sometimes the left does something insane and the right has a legitimate beef with it. If the Braves got rid of the chop, they deserve any backlash they get from good, honest, paying customers who are sick of being told that they are racist for doing innocuous things. If everything is racist, nothing is racist.

  103. Was Chief Noc A Homa’s pregame mound war dance racist? I enjoyed it as a kid and meant no offense by my enjoyment. But maybe ownership and general management have a higher obligation to responsibility than the average fan.

  104. @109

    And that’s why it’s the right-wing grievance machine. Ceasing to prompt the crowd to perform the Chop isn’t even in the ballpark of “insane,” and it isn’t any kind of acknowledgment that the team’s fans are racist for doing it. But if they stop, they’ll get accused of both (“woke insanity” and calling their fans racist for doing the Chop). Any type of decision recognizing that anything is a little past its prime from a cultural standpoint and that maybe it would be better if it was stopped is a sign that America is going to hell or something.

    But the larger point is that the team could’ve avoided all of that by just quietly not doing it anymore. They didn’t even have to do anything. And they chose the harder path either because they’re idiots or because they thought they needed to ingratiate themselves back with a certain segment of their fanbase because of a decision that MLB made. Not sure which, but it’s eventually gonna go badly for them either way.

  105. Science?
    or an act of defiance?
    as in most things that require an element of the educational
    you choose to be consumed by the confrontational.

  106. @16 Blazon, everybody’s doing well. Thank you for asking. Wife is still doing Covid testing. She’s tired, but it’s gotten a lot easier. She likes the money. Nothing like a politically-charged pandemic causing the government to spend insane amounts of money unnecessarily. We will graciously accept.

  107. @113 That’d be pretty awesome. You would essentially stop the spread if those living in the house with a Covid-positive person could avoid getting it.

  108. @112

    Ok, fine, right-wing grievance machine. What you’re describing is almost the totality of the news cycle at the moment and for the foreseeable future. The Democrats were able to gain the White House by promoting the inanimate features of a dead guy because he was much better than the deranged lunatic currently in the White House, and not necessarily their concrete ideas for improving the country (see their performance down ballot as proof). So in a country where realistically, aside from the pandemic, everything is going quite well, the party in power and their lapdog media establishment need something to tie their coalition together: rrrrrracism! After all, their key to winning elections is tying together a group of people they’ve convinced are marginalized into forming a “team”. But it’s not really a team; it’s basically like asking people staying in the same hotel to be a team.

    Anyway, so every chance they get, they have to find events they can call racist. That’s what I referred to as “insanity”. Then the political right spends their energy saying that said thing the left said was racist was, indeed, not racist. And that’s what you call “right-wing grievance machine”. We can call it all whatever we want; the fact is that the left starts the news cycle, “Republicans pounce”, and the cycle repeats itself over and over again. If there were not near-daily calls of racism, the news cycle would shrink considerably. Something tells me that folks with lots of money and lots to lose won’t allow that to happen.

    Being racist is an active, intentional act. You can’t unknowingly hate someone. It would be stupid for the Braves to drop the chop, both because of the backlash from conservative fans, to your point, and because it’s just an objectively great part of the fan experience. It’s not because of the “right-wing grievance machine”.

  109. Nick, what do you do for a living, by the way? You seem to have a strong grasp of legal analysis, especially with breaking down how the umps analyze the reviews in the other thread.

  110. @115

    Rob, SO pleased to hear your good news about your wife. So she just does testing now then, no in ward patients that have to be nursed etc? Happy for her, she earned her money by what she was having to go through last year.

  111. I work in administration at a local college and I’m not a lawyer. Between knowing about the standard of evidence used in disciplinary hearings involving students where I work and being on a criminal jury at one point, though, I guess I became interested in that sort of thing. And knowing that “clear and convincing evidence” is an actual legal standard that sports leagues, to varying degrees, are brutally butchering…well, it drives me up a wall, heh.

    And baseball is butchering it the absolute worst of any sport and it’s not even close. Football (both NFL and NCAA) generally does a pretty good job with it, though you can obviously find individual instances of rank incompetence. The NBA, if anything, is actually maybe a little too liberal for my taste on overturning calls on review (I know…add it to the list of things they’re too liberal on, har har har). But baseball is the only sport where the reviewers just do not have the first clue of what they’re supposed to be doing…or more cynically, the only one where they don’t even want a clue of that, because the goal is to uphold the call at all costs.

  112. Am I right to assume that no one here thinks the police should be completely abolished? If so, what are the solutions to the policing problem being described by the political left?

  113. Abolished, no. Reformed and torn down to the ground and rebuilt from that same ground up, yes.

    I’ll admit, that one of the problems with police work isn’t actually their fault. Some of it is legislative and budgetary. Whoever passed a law that allowed a cop to pull over someone for having an air freshener on their rear view mirror needs their head examined. Frankly, IMO even something like an expired car tag doesn’t warrant a traffic stop. In general, speed limits are too low and speeding related traffic stops should be limited to the most egregious examples. There are too many financial incentives for municipalities re: police work for this system to work. They have a financial INCENTIVE to pull people over and we know how that works out.

    I don’t pretend to have many solutions. But ONE potential solution is that nationally, instead of hiding behind their arrogant, narcissist union leaders, they actually begin to take a modicum of blame for some of the issues that they have created. Because there IS a policing problem nationally.

    You’ll never ever be able to ‘legislate’ out the random traffic stop where a LEO walks up and just gets blasted by some psycho. But part of the problem is that cops treat EVERY encounter as if its David vs. Goliath and they’re in some bear pit with one hand tied behind their back. They’re also rude and abrupt often even when the situation doesn’t call for it. Stop recruiting tattooed 11B morons from the War in Afghanistan who didn’t get enough ‘action’ in combat and are looking to re-live Fallujah in Mayberry.

    Another thing that would help would be to end the war on drugs. It’s a failure. It would free up their time from having to worry about someone having a damn roach in their car and acting a fool because of it.

    I personally don’t think they are underpaid, in fact I think they are generally overpaid. I’ve known beat cops in municipalities that I’ve worked for grossing over 100K. NO WAY.

    I don’t have all the answers, or maybe even any. But the longer that LEO nationally pretend they’re not partially to blame, this will never ever improve. They ARE part of the problem.

  114. BTW, the hero worship created by the Back the Blue folks and the Punisher sticker crowd and having car tags for this stuff is every bit as harmful to the country as the BLM movement that conservatives hate so much.

    Hero worship of uniformed personnel has had a deleterious effect on our society and no one can convince me otherwise. It’s made cops MORE trigger happy and unaccountable for their actions. No more qualified immunity either.

  115. I wonder what the Venn diagram looks like of people who feel negatively about unions in general, those who feel negatively about law enforcement unions, and those who feel negatively about the baseball umpires union. Seems like there are a lot of people on the left who think unions are generally good except for law enforcement ones, and a lot on the right who think unions are generally bad except for law enforcement ones. Both these positions seem inconsistent/hypocritical to me. I assume people on both sides dislike the umpires union, though.

  116. On the Florida Redneck front NYT tells us DeSantis now apparently fancies himself as the obvious successor to Trump and has assembled a small but dedicated cabal to smooth his path ahead. It will have to be long. And blind.

  117. If the GOP wishes to remain relevant in national politics they need to un-Trump themselves and distance from people like DeSantis. You can’t win the general election by pandering to your base, no matter how many hillbilly bandwagons of flag adorned Ford F150s roll down the highway.

  118. @128, well, you can, but only if the Ds nominate another candidate as unpopular/polarizing as the one they picked in 2016 (for whom I voted without much enthusiasm).

  119. @128

    I pretty much agree. The Republicans have a big problem on their hands here. Nobody who doesn’t dive headfirst into the Trump fever swamp has much of a chance of winning a Republican primary, but nobody who does has much of a chance of winning a general election in a competitive state or a national race.

    When Donald Trump went completely off the deep end (even by his lofty standards) in the final three months of his term, he became incredibly unpopular among everyone who wasn’t already a superfan. Could he do some things to chip away at his unpopularity in the next couple years, and would it work? Probably to some extent, depending on what it was…perhaps enough to get back close to where he was on the night of Nov. 3 when he was a toss-up to win reelection. Will he do any of those things? I see very little chance of that.

    And so, as it stands, there could be very little more beneficial to a Democratic candidate in a competitive race than to have his Republican counterpart invite Donald Trump to town to endorse him and bloviate for two hours about how the election was stolen from him two years prior.

  120. @128, 131

    Guys, I hate to break it to you, but Ron DeSantis, should he run, will do extremely well in a general election. You can attract middle America, purple voters, etc. with the Trump message without being Trump. There’s a clear blueprint here: fight the mainstream media, promote a nationalist message, and don’t step on rakes. Trump obviously did the first two well, and middle America Democrats like those things. Where Trump clearly went wrong is that he just wouldn’t STFU. Couldn’t stop tweeting. Couldn’t stop going after Gold Star Families and his cabinet and his VP and McConnell and all sorts of allies and people that support him. The reason Trump is not President is not because people were excited about any Democratic candidate or Trump’s policies; it was Trump’s personality.

    DeSantis is a Harvard grad, has handled his state extremely well, and he doesn’t step on rakes. He prosecutes the media; he doesn’t just pop off insane and irrational tweets. You can be bombastic, you can have soundbites where you’re being aggressive, but you can’t go full Trump. I genuinely thought Trump would eventually act the part, he never did, and now he’s a private citizen. No tears. But that’s not DeSantis.

    I’d be really interested to see who the Democratic candidate is in 2024 that can run on a list accomplishments longer and stronger than DeSantis’. As it sits, Biden and Harris neither will be compelling candidates with middle America than DeSantis.

  121. Really happy justice was served yesterday, and cities don’t have to burn. Chauvin was at least guilty of manslaughter, and probably murder, and I’m glad it’s done. Waters likely created a decent shot at an appeal. Hard to argue that the jury didn’t feel pressured to convict on murder.

  122. All of my friends were claiming with absolute certainty that Hillary was going to crush Trump, and then that Mueller was going to prove that Trump was some type of Manchurian candidate under the control of Putin, and then that Trump was going to get crushed by Biden, are now asserting that the Republicans are doomed. That, and “Dude, I’m not saying that Biden is FDR, but…” So fucking stupid.

  123. I don’t know what Republicans think the overall weight of anything Maxine Waters has to say is among non-Republican circles, but I can assure them that it’s nowhere near as high as they think it is.

    There is zero chance this conviction gets overturned because of Maxine Waters. I say again, zero chance. I do look forward to hearing about how the only reason the appeal was turned down was because the judge feared for his/her life, though. That’ll be fun.

  124. I don’t think it will be overturned, no. I just think it gives him a better shot at an appeal than he otherwise would. That’s all I said.

    I’m really not sure why Waters is still in office. It’s pretty clear she’s a race baiter. People compare her violent rhetoric and inflammatory style to Trump. Well, Trump served one term in public office, was voted out, and then kicked off of every single social media platform on the planet. He can’t put mixes on Spotify. Waters is right there everywhere.

  125. @136

    “Everywhere” is pushing it, which was kind of my point. Right-wing media I’m sure follows her everywhere she goes so that they can report on whatever comes out of her mouth, as it’s sure to be extreme and leftist. I don’t think anyone else pays much mind at all to anything she says, though. She’s certainly way easier to ignore than the president of the United States.

    As to why she keeps getting re-elected, she’s a left-wing Democratic congresswoman in a left-wing district. I don’t think it’s supernatural. I doubt she ever even faces so much as a competitive primary. If Marjorie Taylor Greene wishes to remain in Congress, we’ll look up in 20 years and she’ll still be there, and people will wonder aloud how in the hell that’s possible. It’ll be possible because she can’t lose in her district. Same situation, just party inverted.

  126. I don’t think Marjorie Taylor Greene applies. She’s a crazy person. There have been lots of crazy people in Congress throughout our history. Waters has multiple instances of inciting violence. If LeBron or Sharpton or Farrkhan or Crump want to race bait, fine, they’re private citizens. But if Waters is going to incite violence, she needs to be removed from office and do that as a private citizen. We just watched the POTUS be impeached in the House for the crime of inciting violence when he specifically told me to protest peacefully. There’s no way you can defend Waters that doesn’t get Trump out of trouble, and vice versa; there’s no standard whereby you say Trump incited violence that wouldn’t apply to Waters.

  127. How about the standard of an immediate violent response by a crowd purposely assembled within walking distance of the thing he wanted to keep from happening?

  128. For the record, I bet you and I agree more on what Waters said than you think, Rob. It was ridiculous and Pelosi should’ve let the censure vote the Republicans were trying to set up get to the floor IMO. And if it had, I bet it would’ve gotten the necessary majority.

  129. Incitement to violence is an easy thing to allege and a very difficult thing to prove, as it should be. Within the realm of political speech, it is even more difficult, as political speech enjoys Constitutional protection even above and beyond that of ordinary speech. Nonspecific encouragement of “confrontation” would not make the grade. This is not to say that the House could not censure Waters for her statement…censure is not a legal proceeding. But there are clear distinctions between her words and the events leading to the January 6 riot — the fact that there was a riot chief among them.

  130. @139, 141

    So since you brought up Trump and then dismissed Waters, explain to me specifically the differences between the two to justify why the Democrats recommended removing one from office and will not even touch the other? Once again, there’s no standard for Trump that doesn’t implicate Waters, and there’s no defense for Waters that doesn’t exonerate Trump.

    My standard is simple: unless you tell someone to do something, then it’s not incitement. So Bernie isn’t on the hook for the guy that shot up the softball game. Obama is off the hook for dialing up the racial temperature so much that the non-athlete Micah Johnson shot 6 Dallas police officers. And it also gets Trump off the hook. Waters, by far, is the closest situation where a politician specifically directed people to commit violence. The only reason it didn’t occur is because she positioned it as a conditional statement.

  131. I thought it would be a productive use of my time to answer this exact question in the two posts that have somehow prompted you to just repeat the question. Fool me once….

  132. @143 You didn’t answer it the first time, so I expounded and asked it a different way. It sounds like you don’t have a standard, and now you’re just walking it back. It sounds like you decide whether it’s incitement based on whether you like the politics of the speaker or it produces the outcome you’d like.

  133. @144

    Well, it might help if you didn’t suggest that Trump quietly using the word “peaceful” one time amid a three-week campaign to get people to “show strength” and “be wild” and to not “show weakness” and to “take our country back” etc., completely absolves him of anything that happened. It doesn’t.

    And while I agree that whether or not a riot actually happened shouldn’t be the barometer of whether something was appropriate, it is a major barometer for whether or not somebody “incited a riot.” Ergo, Trump did and Waters didn’t. And even if there had been a riot in Minneapolis (in an alternate world where Chauvin is acquitted, presumably), the case for Trump instigating the Jan. 6 one would’ve been way better than Waters for instigating a theoretical one after what she said. If Trump accepts the election result, there is no Jan. 6 riot…period. If Waters doesn’t say what she said but Chauvin is acquitted, there still is one…period.

  134. Wouldn’t it just be better to have an objective standard of incitement instead of trying to parse this situation vs. that situation? Trump may be guilty of being a grifter, divider, and overall bad person, but it doesn’t change the fact that he specifically NEVER called for violence. Waters did, and has the equally inflammatory rhetoric as Trump in situations past. I think if I’m looking to identify whether someone incited violence, I would be wondering whether they told people to commit violence.

  135. I find these 3 unconnected but related events to be quite hilarious:

    -The POTUS, presumably with access to the most and best information about any subject on the planet, wears a mask in the middle of an open field at least 100 feet away from the nearest human.
    -Three weeks later, the CDC finally, as if there had been any doubt for months, said you don’t need to wear a mask outdoors.
    -A few days later, MLB teams start opening capacity to 100%.

    All unconnected, but all pretty hilarious.

  136. For the record, the CDC’s new recommendations do still prescribe wearing masks at an outdoor baseball game. (They do not prescribe wearing masks in a field with no one around.)

    Off the record, the CDC continues to ham-fist the hell out of these recommendations, but I guess there’s no reason to expect them to stop doing that now. Might as well shoot the moon, at this point.

  137. @148 It got the Bad Orange Man out of the White House, so good on the Democrats for exploiting it, but absolutely no western entity has handled Covid perfectly. But with so many television channels carrying the water for the CDC and the President wearing a mask in an open field or on a Zoom call, it shows that even with the benefit of significantly more data available than when this started, they still can’t get it right.

  138. The fact remains that CDC doctors do not know how to connect with the public on messaging. Hearing it straight from them unfiltered is better than whatever in the hell the Bad Orange Man administration was doing (well, trying to get re-elected but ironically making it much less likely that they would is what they were doing…but I digress), but running it by some sort of PR or public behavior specialist to help them craft the message(s) in such a way that’s not confusing as hell? Uh yeah…I’d say that would be a plus.

    I’m not even talking about changing the tenor of the public health messaging…there are ways to put it out that don’t contradict other things they’ve already put out (or at least explain the contradiction) and are much easier for folks to follow than that unintelligible color-coded mess they put out the other day.

  139. I just read Rob’s last ten posts ITT, and if there were a hall of fame for deflection and dubious characterizations, they’d be in it.

    Absolving trump of the January 6 insurrection and tripling down and proclaiming that he told you to do it peacefully, is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve seen on this board and I’ve made many dumb posts.

    Maxine Waters is an idiot and I too thought she should have been censured. But she’s one congressperson out of 535. trump was allegedly the president of the United States. Allegedly. I mean he never did any of the work that the job entails but I guess he was elected. Maybe.

    But I will believe this until the day that I die. The current crop in Congress is WOEFULLY imbalanced on ‘crazy’ toward the GOP. There are like 5 sane GOP members of Congress right now. There are like 5 truly crazy Dems right now. BTW, AOC isn’t one of them.

    The best thing that could happen to this country would be for a black hole to open up in the GOP caucus room and take all of them away. They’re absolutely bat crap crazy. It’s a huge embarrassment to this country.

    Rob, you’re young. Your vision is occluded because you’re in business for yourself. You see the world through pass through rates, and marginal tax rates, and things of that nature. Not all of us do. Some of us actually love America, not just money or their church, or guns or the “2A” or their extended families.

  140. Hey Chief, sorry, just seeing this. I just want you to know something based on reading your baseball takes for years and now reading your political takes. I just want to make sure we have clarity on this subject. I do not give one damn what you think about anything in life. It is rarer for a comet to hit a planet in the Milky Way galaxy than it is for me to read something with your name on it that I find to be remotely coherent or factual. Thank you, and have a great day.

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