N.Y. Times, What Georgia’s Voting Law Really Does
Washington Post, Biden falsely claims the new Georgia law ‘ends voting hours early’
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Georgia political fallout of MLB’s decision to move the All-Star game
USA Today, Stacey Abrams: Don’t boycott corporations over voting rights yet. First press them to speak up.
Sir Walter Scott—and Ron’s Grandmother, Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!
My analysis from 30,000 feet:
Right now, the Georgia Republican political class is feeling its oats. They are proud of themselves. They see victory in 2022 as just around the corner. They are feeling cuter than Bambi.
And why, pray tell, are they feeling cuter than Bambi?
Because they think they are succeeding in a complex con.
To the Trumpists, they are presenting their 98-page voting act as the perfect means to keep The Wrong Sort of People from exercising the franchise. They have even pulled the wool over the eyes of the Con Man Extraordinaire his very self—who has sent them a congratulatory message, and has ceased, for the time being, to damn Brian Kemp to hell.
To the rational part of their constituency—and to the rational part of America has a whole—they have a semi-plausible claim to support every single sentence in their 98-page law. And, yes, that even applies to the part about replacing election officials in places like Fulton County, which are just chock full of The Wrong Sort of People. According to the New York Times,
The law does state that the bar for suspension is high: either a minimum of three clear violations of State Election Board rules, or “demonstrated nonfeasance, malfeasance, or gross negligence in the administration of the elections” in two consecutive elections.
The Problem with Speaking out of Both Sides of Your Month
But the more Governor Kemp and his 50 closest friends protest that their law isn’t all that bad—and that it really will not, in practice, keep The Wrong Sort of People from voting—the greater risk that the Trumpist part of their base will grasp that they have been screwed, blued, and tattooed. Particularly when the Orange Man wakes up and smells the coffee.
This risk is enhanced because the empty-suited Republican politicians really are trying to fool their base.
On the other hand, Governor Kemp and his 50 closest friends are running a grave risk that a portion of their donor base—the ones who have been in the habit of spreading their largesse under the gold dome—will pick up stakes and go home.
And, much more importantly, that The Wrong Sort of People will be royally pissed. And that, in 2022, they will show up in their millions at the Georgia polls.
To Sum Up
To sum up, if you are trying simultaneously to convey Message A to Group A and Message B to Group B, there is a hung risk that Group A will end up believing Message B and Group B will end up believing Message A.
I picture Grandma. Sitting on her front porch swing (I called it a “swing” in those days). Waving her fan with the ad promoting the local funeral home. Shaking her head from side to side.
And you know what Grandma was saying.