According to one account, Chick-fil-A’s corporate headquarters told its outlets to expect a 15 to 20 percent increase in business yesterday, while the actual increase may be closer to something like 200 percent. I suspect that Chick-fil-A’s business is going to enjoy a permanent step-up in business as a result of the Left’s attack. This makes all the more hilarious Michael Hiltzik’s Los Angeles Times column the other day (I’m linking it here since nobody reads the LA Times any more, and no wonder) saying that Chick-fil-A’s owner Dan Cathy made a business mistake by speaking his mind on traditional marriage:
Despite decades if not centuries of bitter experience, business leaders apparently haven’t absorbed the lesson that it’s best to let your products speak for themselves and keep your big mouth shut. The latest executive to learn this the hard way is Dan Cathy, president of the family-owned fast-food chain Chick-fil-A.
Heh. Is there a better study in liberal cluelessness out today? (That was a rhetorical question: I am sure Power Line readers can find a dozen worthy examples in this target-rich environment.) What’s really behind Hiltzik’s column is old-fashioned liberal intimidation of business–trying to keep business people from speaking out for their own principles and interests.
Funny how sticking up for traditional values turns out to be a good business move. Sort of like how G-rated, family-friendly Hollywood movies do good box office, while most “edgy” R-rated movies typically bomb. Just curious: has Hiltzik or any other liberal ever made the same point about Ben & Jerry’s ice cream—the only dairy products company I know of that has its own foreign policy? Jonah Goldberg had great fun with this notion on his Twitter feed yesterday:
At this rate, how quickly before Burger King starts making “controversial” statements?
Breaking: After failed effort to mimic Chic-fil-A’s profits from political controversy, KFC abandons support for Kellogg-Briand Treaty.
Breaking: CEO of Ruby Tuesday’s says he was glad Firefly was cancelled and that Joss Whedon ruined Avengers.
CEO of Cracker Barrel: Tim Burton Batman “much” better than Nolan version. But Adam West was the best one of them all.
In bold move, president of Popeye’s Chicken announces he always hated Princess Di, puppies.
The extraordinary turnout at Chick-fil-A yesterday is all the more remarkable for having occurred more or less spontaneously, without any national organization behind it, a notable public figure (like Jesse Jackson) or the legacy media publicizing it. It was all word of mouth, crowd-sourced through that media-monopoly-smasher, the Internet. But I also wonder how much the ongoing public revulsion over Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remark played into yesterday’s turnout?
Increasingly Obama’s “you didn’t build that” remark is looking like the equivalent of Jimmy Carter’s infamous “malaise” speech of 1979 (actually “crisis of confidence” was his phrase—he never actually said “malaise”); although that speech wasn’t itself a main issue of the 1980 campaign, it provided a key subtext to the conflict between Carter and Reagan. Carter made clear that he was a declinist, and Reagan made clear his categorical rejection of Carter’s declinism. So too Obama has drawn the clear line of the stakes of this election: more government or less. Let’s vote.
I think the Cruz election shows not just that the Tea Party remains a potent force, but that a critical mass of conservative voters want not just a decent conservative, but a ferocious one. (I see that Tommy Thompson, a decent conservative governor of Wisconsin, is in trouble in the Senate race there for the same reason Dewhurst flopped in Texas.)
Put this altogether and it adds up to a storm in November—a “derecho” aimed at the Beltway. The media will be the last to know, of course. I still cherish a Washington Post editorial published two days after Reagan’s 1980 landslide called “Tidal Wave”:
Something of gigantic proportions happened—must have been happening for a long while—and the capital and the political wise men were taken by surprise. . . an ‘anti-Washington,’ ‘anti-establishment’ political storm warning was missed by Washington and the establishment.
Duh. I think there’s a good chance the Post may get to rerun this editorial about 100 days from now. Meanwhile, Romney should order up a lot of Chick-fil-A for the GOP convention.