The White House isn’t the only team struggling to explain President Joe Biden’s false statements about Georgia’s electoral law. Biden’s false claims have been largely refuted, including by the Washington Post. But CNN’s host Don Lemon mocked those who made false statements and insisted that Biden had only misspelled it. The problem is that he repeated the false claims after they were refuted and White House press secretary Jan Psaki insisted that Biden was truthful in the Biden version of “alternate facts”. What also failed to explain on CNN was what the Georgian law would be “Jim Crow on Steroids” when those two objections aren’t true and states like New York and Delaware (and Colorado, where the MLB airs the All-Star game ) have stricter regulations. CNN has used the slogan “Facts First” throughout the Trump administration, but it appears the facts will be more fluid in 2021.
Lemon hit critics of Biden as “incredibly dishonest and openly partisan” for his statements about the electoral law. Lemon mocked those who brought up the problem:
“You see, Republicans have a new topic to talk about and are trying to get Trump’s big lie across to Joe Biden. Joe Biden lies about Georgia’s new electoral law restricting access to ballot papers. New GOP Discussion Point: Trying to get Trump’s ‘big lie’ on Biden for speaking wrongly about Georgia’s electoral law. “
The problem is, Biden and the White House continued to claim the statements as true.
During an interview on ESPN, Biden reiterated his claim that the law was “Jim Crow on steroids,” adding, “Imagine passing a law that says you can’t get water or anyone in line Can’t provide food, can’t you? ” Come on! Or do you close a polling station at 5 a.m. when working people are getting out? “
As we discussed earlier, it’s hard to imagine because it’s not true and the White House knows it’s not true. I will not repeat the clearly false claim of closing polling stations early. As the Washington Post noted, “is the net effect [of the Georgia law] is … expanding, not limiting, the choices for most Georgians. “
Even CNN ended up calling the claims untrue. CNN fact checker Daniel Dale noted that Biden’s statement was “misleading for two reasons. First, the new law does not change the voting times on election day in Georgia, which still end at 7:00 p.m. Second, while the law sets a standard end time of 5:00 p.m. for early voting on weekdays and Saturdays, districts were allowed to end early voting at 5:00 p.m. under the previous law. The new law gives the districts the opportunity to vote before 7 p.m. if they so wish. “
Biden and the White House have also made claims that Georgia will not allow voters to get water at polling stations, which has been shown to be false. The law does not prevent people from giving water to those standing in line. The law allows “self-service water from an unattended container” for voters standing in line. It also allows anyone to give water or food to voters outside of the restricted area around the polling station. The language change followed complaints in the last election that campaigns were circumventing the rules by distributing water and food within the restricted area. There is no point in excluding people from politics in the region when they can share the same political identifications when reaching out to people for free food or drink. Instead, it enables a non-partisan distribution of water in these containers. If the concern is really on the waiting voters, it shouldn’t matter that the water is being distributed without political affiliation. States like New York prohibit water or anything worth more than a dollar. Period.
It’s hard to argue that Biden has misspelled repeatedly when his press secretary is still trying to claim he spoke truthfully. The first evidence that Biden spelled wrong could be that Biden corrects his statements, saying that Georgian law actually extends guaranteed voting hours and that voters can be given water while standing in line at apolitical self-service containers.
In addition, the hours and water figures were the main reasons behind claiming the law was inferior to the Jim Crow Laws – laws that made segregation mandatory. The law requires voter identification, but so does many “blue” states like Colorado. New polls show that even after this campaign, Americans still predominantly support such mandatory identification rules, with almost 75 percent in favor of such rules. In fact, over 50 percent of Democrats support such electoral identification rules. Some polls show that 63 percent of Democrats support such binding rules.
So if Biden misspelled the hour and the water changes, then what is worse in the law than Jim Crow? When it comes to voter identification, blue states like Colorado are as guilty as most Democrats who support such provisions.
These issues have sparked cries for unprecedented federalization of elections, including pre-regulation of state electoral identification rules. The campaign was successful in persuading companies like Delta and United Airlines (which require photo ID to fly) to condemn the law as well as the MLB (which require photo ID to enter).
There are legitimate questions about these electoral laws. Let’s discuss this, but as CNN once said, “facts first.”