Monday, April 5, 2021
Biden's words contributed to the atmosphere of hysteria that has grown up over the issue of the Georgia law. Indeed, not long after Biden spoke on ESPN, Major League Baseball announced that it will move the All-Star Game, set for Atlanta in July, out of Georgia because the law does not reflect professional baseball's "values."
It is not necessary to catalog the other crazy, alarmist, or simply exaggerated things that have been said about the law. You have heard many of them yourself. Worse, a number of big corporations, apparently motivated by fear of the woke mob, jumped to take irresponsible political positions. At times, for example, the leadership of Atlanta-based Delta Airlines sounded much like a Democratic Party political action committee.
But now, something appears to be changing. In some corners of the political world, sanity seems to be returning, if just a little bit.
On Sunday, the headline of the Politico Playbook newsletter was "The Dangers of Voting Rights Hyperbole." It pointed to an article by Nate Cohn in the New York Times -- the same newspaper that has done much to stir up the Georgia hysteria -- arguing that "the law's voting provisions are unlikely to significantly affect turnout or Democratic chances. It could plausibly even increase turnout. In the final account, it will probably be hard to say whether it had any effect on turnout at all." The short version of the argument is that laws affecting the convenience of voting don't really change turnout much. Events and candidates change turnout. In the last two elections, Donald Trump changed turnout. In 2008 and 2012, Barack Obama changed turnout.