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On Monday, Senator Tom Cotton (R-AK) appeared on CNBC’s Squawk Box to discuss the fact that various corporate CEOs working for companies headquartered in Atlanta decided to challenge Georgia’s new voting law. Cotton scored on the usual factual points (Biden and others are lying about the law), but what fascinated me most was a point he made about corporate campaign donations.
Faced with leftist journalists, Cotton never lost his cool nor did he bog down in irrelevancies. For example, when Andrew Ross Sorkin injected race by pointing out that 72 Black corporate leaders had attacked the statute, Cotton calmly pointed out that they were ill-informed — and then cited facts to make the point.
Something Cotton noted, which I hadn’t heard before, is that demanding identification in the form of a driver’s license is a better, more expansive system than the existing system based upon matching signatures. The latter system, he noted, can be “arbitrary and difficult for election volunteers to do.”
That’s a good argument to remember. Most of us will note the ways the law makes voting easier and then follow up by saying, “So the only problem for leftists is the demand for identification when requesting an absentee ballot.” It’s more powerful to say that this is a better, fairer system.
Other than that, Cotton did a good job of making the usual points. He nailed corporate hypocrisy given that Americans must show identification to board a Delta airplane or pick up a ticket from MLB “will call” offices.
He noted that Delta and Coca-Cola, even while they’ve been attacking Georgia’s voting law, have been lobbying to oppose a bill calling out China’s using religious minorities for slave labor. Delta also partners with a Chinese communist-owned airline. In other words, they have no qualms about doing business with a country in which there are no rights but are, instead, terrible civil rights abuses.
Sorkin tried to trick Cotton into admitting that there were no election irregularities in 2020 or into getting himself labeled on the left as a “crackpot” for claiming that there were in fact problems. Thus, Sorkin asked, “What is the evidence that there was a problem that triggered what is now 330 ballot restriction initiatives in 43 states?” He insisted (inaccurately) that the courts ran away from the cases showing election irregularities.
Again, Cotton kept his cool. He explained that Georgia’s governor Kemp had said that the elections were rife with “inefficiencies and delays and so forth. And it wasn’t just on November 3rd. Look at their primaries in the summer as well. They had lines in which voters were waiting for hours.” The whole point is to move more voters through the process quickly and efficiently.
Ultimate, said Cotton, “These ill-informed CEOs are just buying it [woke smears] hook, line, and sinker because they don’t want to be protested, they don’t want to be boycotted, they don’t want their little social justice warriors with their newly-minted Ivy League MBAs rising up in their head corporate headquarters.” Huzzah! Bravo!
There’s more of the same as Cotton bats aside the silly fibs Sorkin raises. What fascinated me, though, was Cotton’s response when Sorkin threw a “gotcha” question at him:
You have been a recipient of money over the years from many of the same companies that are now speaking out publicly against these laws. How do you square that? I’m thinking of Bank of America, I’m thinking of Walmart, I’m thinking of Paul Weiss, a law firm which has now made a big effort to actually fight these laws across the county.
Most politicians would stumble over themselves explaining how they and the corporations are allies on other issues and that they can’t be bought – a statement that always sounds dishonest. Cotton, instead, said something every politician should have on a placard sitting on his desk:
It’s very simple, Andrew, I don’t endorse my donors’ agenda. They endorse my agenda. They know that when they contribute to me, whether $5 or $5,000, that I’m going to do what’s right for Arkansas and what’s right for America.
And what’s right for America is to have safe, convenient, accessible elections, and that’s exactly what this Georgia law has done. What’s not right is to have these moral corporate hypocrites weighing in on public policies when they don’t have any specific knowledge about them, they don’t have any particular expertise, and they haven’t taken the time to inform themselves about the facts.
Yeah, what he said. Cotton just gave a masterclass in dealing with a hostile media and stated the appropriate relationship between politicians and those who fund them.