‘No Coke, Pepsi’ For Georgia GOP Voter Suppression Snowflakes
Republicans are very upset Coca-Cola has taken a stand against Georgia's new gross voter suppression laws. Coca-Cola's CEO James Quincy said last week that "this legislation is unacceptable. It is a step backwards and it does not promote principles we have stood for in Georgia around broad access to voting."
Saturday, a group of Republican state lawmakers sent a stern letter to Kevin Perry, president of the Georgia Beverage Association, declaring that they no longer want to drink Coca-Cola beverages. It's like they suddenly realized how toxic soda is.
The letter is a master class in silliness and hypocrisy. Check it out:
Unfortunately, upon the passage of "Election Integrity Act of 2021," your company has made the conscious decision to perpetuate a national dialogue which seeks to intentionally mislead the citizens of Georgia and deepen a divide in our great State.
Oh no! Coca-Cola is forcing us to discuss voting rights like we're an actual democracy. These Republicans — state reps. Victor Anderson, Clint Crowe, Matt Barton, Jason Ridley, Lauren McDonald III, Stan Gunter, Dewayne Hill and Marcus Wiedower — didn't seem to care that the former White House occupant intentionally misled Georgians about the election he lost. The Kraken rallies in Georgia were just expressions of free speech, even if the Trumpian Big Lie did lead to death threats against election officials.
We have the responsibility to all of Georgia to not engage in those misguided intentions nor continue to support corporations who choose to.
These eight GOP snowflakes won't even “engage" with Coca-Cola because the company expressed an opinion they find offensive. Someone call Bari Weiss! They're acting like a common college campus cancel culture!
The backlash against Georgia Republicans' voter suppression law was so severe that Republicans are now pretending it's not a voter suppression law. It's actually a voter expansion law! This is absurd. Republicans didn't pass this legislation at light speed because they want to maintain the record turnout from minorities that cost them three major statewide elections. And when the bill passed, Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire immediately praised it as a “good start" toward keeping “unfit" people from voting. Walsh is a bigot but he's not so stupid he couldn't recognize (and immediately demonize) legislation that actually expands voting.
Georgia Republicans are now shamelessly selling SB 202 as something Stacey Abrams might endorse. Now back to the letter:
SB 202 expands early voting opportunities, provides for a pathway to ensure shorter voting lines, secures the use of drop boxes which otherwise would be illegal, as well as several other provisions allowing all Georgians greater access to fast, secure, and transparent elections.
The New York Times has detailed the many ways SB 202 limits ballot access and potentially “confuses" voters. The bill gives more power to Republican lawmakers, presumably to ignores the will of all those confused voters. SB 202 specifically targets absentee ballots and voting by mail, both of which greatly benefited Democrats this election cycle. The letter also claims SB 202 “secures the use of drop boxes," when it actually greatly reduces their number in Democratic strongholds. The bill also requires that drop boxes be placed inside government buildings and early-voting sites, so voters will no longer have 24-hour access to them. This is not legislation that provides “broad access" to voting, but sure, get mad at Coca-Cola.
Given Coke's choice to cave to the pressure of an out of control cancel culture, we respectfully request that Coca-Cola Company products be removed from our office suite immediately.
Coca-Cola expressing an opinion isn't an example of what Republicans consider "cancel culture." However, canceling Coca-Cola because of its political views would easily qualify. Opposing “cancel culture" is the best the GOP can do for a platform these days, and conservatives can't even get that right. The former White House squatter even supports a Coca-Cola boycott, presumably until someone tells him the company also produces Diet Coke.
The letter ends with a gangster-style demand:
Should Coke choose to read the bill, share its true intentions and accept their role in the dissemination of mistruths, we would welcome a conversation to rebuild a working relationship.
So that doesn't seem ethical: “Publicly embrace our crappy voter suppression bill and we'll stay in the Coca-Cola business."
These eight Republicans aren't very smart. Coca-Cola generates at least $1 billion in sales annually. The company's not going to make an obvious and humiliating about-face so it can keep vending machines in Republican lawmakers' shared office space. These Republicans will have to start drinking Pepsi and embarrass their Southern ancestors. That's what "cancel culture" gets you.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. Once, he wrote a novel called “Mahogany Slade,” which you should read or at least buy. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."