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Leading Georgia Republican concedes voting law is based on a lie

Georgia's Republican lieutenant governor conceded the state's new voter-suppression law was fueled by "10 weeks of misinformation" from Team Trump.
Image: Protesters Rally Against Georgia Voting Bill HB531
Demonstrators stand outside of the Capitol building in opposition to House Bill 531 on March 8, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. HB531 will restrict early voting hours, remove drop boxes, and require the use of a government ID when voting by mail.Megan Varner / Getty Images

When leading corporations started stepping up in support of voting rights, and specifically criticized Georgia's new voter-suppression law, Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian said in a memo to employees that the Republican measure is "unacceptable and does not match Delta's values." But that's not all he said.

"The entire rationale for this bill was based on a lie: that there was widespread voter fraud in Georgia in the 2020 elections," Bastian said. "This is simply not true."

The Delta CEO isn't the only one making the observation.

A top Georgia Republican said Wednesday that Rudy Giuliani's false claims of election fraud -- which were presented before state lawmakers -- created momentum for a package of voting rights restrictions that recently became state law.

"This is really the fallout from the 10 weeks of misinformation that flew in from former President Donald Trump," Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan told CNN yesterday. "I went back over the weekend to really look at where this really started to gain momentum in the legislature, and it was when Rudy Giuliani showed up in a couple of committee rooms and spent hours spreading misinformation and sowing doubt across, you know, hours of testimony."

It was a striking acknowledgement of an important fact. Georgia Republicans initially boasted about the state's flawless system of elections in the 2020 cycle, with a voting process that worked perfectly. Then Team Trump "spread misinformation." Then GOP legislators put up wildly unnecessary barriers between voters and their own democracy.

And then Geoff Duncan's superior, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), signed it into law and pretended the voting restrictions had merit.

It's constructive for Georgia's lieutenant governor -- by any fair metric, Geoff Duncan is a conservative Republican -- to concede to a national television audience that the process was fueled by "10 weeks of misinformation."

Reduced to its most basic elements, governing is about identifying a problem, crafting a solution, and trying to implement a policy effectively. In Georgia, Republicans stumbled on Step 1: there was no problem to identify, there was only an avalanche of lies.

As Rachel joked at the top of last night's show, national GOP leaders are lashing out at corporations criticizing Georgia's voter-suppression law as having been based on a lie, but perhaps they should reconsider now that Georgia's Republican lieutenant governor has suggested those critics are right.