Even though Coloradans overwhelmingly rejected Donald Trump on the 2020 ballot — he lost by the greatest margin in the state since Reagan crushed Mondale in 1984 — we should offer him a belated thank you.
Without Trump and, specifically, without his GOP toadies, Major League Baseball would never have moved the All-Star Game to Coors Field, where some (we don’t know yet how many) Colorado fans will be fortunate enough to be able to watch baseball in person without having to also watch the Rockies.
As you probably heard, MLB, not exactly America’s most woke institution and one whose last show of enlightenment may have come in 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke the color line, pulled the game out of Georgia after the state passed a voter suppression law. The law comes as no shock. Although Georgia went narrowly for Joe Biden and just elected two Democratic senators, it still has a Republican legislature and a Republican governor, and so Georgia did what similar states are attempting to do, passing laws in reaction to Trump’s bogus claim that the 2020 election was rigged.
Georgia’s law may not have been the worst reaction to Trump’s Big Lie — that clearly goes to the Jan. 6 insurrectionists, who, as they stormed the Capitol, said they wanted to hang Mike Pence and hunt down Nancy Pelosi — but it was bad enough that Coca-Cola and Delta Airlines, two iconic Georgia companies, condemned the law. This puts Republicans in a difficult position since Republicans remain the party of big business. In Texas, as an example, American Airlines and Dell have condemned proposed voter-suppression laws. What to do?
“Why are we still listening to these woke corporate hypocrites on taxes, regulations & antitrust?” Marco Rubio tweeted Friday. The answer seems simple enough — that these principles are at the heart of Republican politics, not to mention that big money from those in big business is at the traditional heart of Republican fundraising. I’m eager to see how many Republicans vote for Joe Biden’s proposal to raise corporate tax rates.
Democrats, including Biden, have a different take, calling the Georgia law the new Jim Crow. The recently elected senator from Georgia, Raphael Warnock, called it “Jim Crow in new clothes.”
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OK, It’s not Jim Crow — which was basically apartheid with Confederate battle flags — but you can see the impulse for making the comparison. And for those who insist the law isn’t actually repressive, you should ask yourself why Georgia changed its voting laws at all.This one doesn’t only stop people from offering water to voters waiting hours in line, it also strips Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger — who boldly stood up to Trump — of much of his power to oversee elections and hands it to the benighted legislature. Imagine if the state legislature was in charge of deciding whether Biden or Trump had won in Georgia.
Once baseball made its decision to move the All-Star Game — and if you want to question baseball’s motives, I won’t stand in your way — Coors Field was the obvious replacement choice. It is said so often that it long ago turned to cliché, but Colorado actually does have gold-standard rules for safe elections and for high-turnout elections. Colorado was second only to Minnesota in percentage of voters turning out in 2020. And Coors hasn’t had the game since 1998. Hilariously, there are Republicans trying to make the case that Colorado’s voting laws are tougher than Georgia’s. That’s not a big lie as much as it is a big joke.
So, moving the game to Denver was a no-brainer. Now actually attending the game at a presumably crowded Coors Field during a pandemic, that might require a little more thinking.
But, as we know, Colorado is not exactly immune to Trump-incited craziness. It is here among us, like a newly mutated virus, but we keep fighting it off. Back in December, there was the laughable committee hearing on possible voter fraud in Colorado. The eight-hour meeting of the Legislative Audit Committee was called by now-term-limited-from-office Lori Saine and starring reality-limited Jenna Ellis, who provocatively put the issue of voter fraud to the committee this way: “We don’t know if it’s happened in Colorado. Wouldn’t you like to find out?” The hearing was a grand success if success means no one presented a single piece of evidence of voter fraud.
Meanwhile, Republicans in the legislature proposed several so-called voter-reform bills, which predictably would have, if they hadn’t been roundly rejected, limited mail-in voting and also early voting. You may ask why these proposals were made, but it wouldn’t be a serious question. It is fair to note, though, that they were made by members of a party that is at its lowest point in modern Colorado history.
And then there’s the kicker, which, in one glorious moment of serendipity, came on the same night we learned that the All-Star Game was coming to Coors Field. As you may have heard, in a good-government step forward, Colorado voted for separate (and hopefully unbiased) redistricting commissions to draw congressional districts and state legislative districts. Colorado has seven congressional districts and is widely expected — if and when the Census ever ends — to gain a seat. The congressional-district panel is composed of four Republicans, four Democrats and four unaffiliated voters. But the problem came when it was learned, to everyone’s apparent surprise, that the committee chair, Danny Moore, is a voter-fraud conspiracy theorist. Or was, anyway.
As first reported by 9News, Moore claimed on Facebook that Joe Biden was “elected by the Democrat steal” and suggested, without evidence, of course, that mail-in ballots could have been corrupted by postal workers and/or election officials. He supported the failed string of Trumpian lawsuits claiming voter fraud, and when his posts came to light, Moore went to the familiar fallback position that he was simply trying to “create a broader discussion around political correctness.” In case you think there’s some misunderstanding, he also had posted, as a bonus, COVID conspiracy theories.
The broader-discussion defense makes no sense, of course. I mean, I could say Moore is either a hypocrite or a Trump toady and explain later I simply wanted to create a broader discussion and wasn’t implying that Moore is, in fact, either a hypocrite or a Trump toady.
If you’re looking for hope, though, you’ve come to the right place. The rest of the 12-person commission asked Moore to resign as chair, and when he refused, voted 11-0-1 to remove him. Moore abstained. He is no longer chair, although, for some reason, he is still on the committee.
Trump, meanwhile, is calling for people to boycott “woke” companies, including Major League Baseball. Assuming there’s some kind of lottery system to obtain All-Star Game tickets, I wonder how many Colorado Republicans will join that particular effort. Let’s just say I know a lot of mask-wearing Democratic and unaffiliated-voter baseball fans who are hoping their Republican friends are all in.
Mike Littwin has been a columnist for too many years to count. He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
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