The Jury Talks Back

9/1/2018

Chair of California Democrat Party Calls for Boycott of In-N-Out; Hilarity Ensues

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:15 am

Some Democrats in California are trying to boycott In-N-Out for donating some money to Republicans. It’s … not going so well. Here’s the annoyingly amusing story of how it happened.

On Wednesday, a “journalist” did what “journalists” do: obtained a fact and immmediately misinterpreted and misrepresented it:

It’s not a “new item” for In-N-Out to donate to Republicans. And they also donate to Democrats. L.A. Magazine did a decent story that explained these facts:

It’s certainly not the first In-N-Out Republican contribution. The fast food chain has a long history of donating to political causes. In 2017 and 2016, the company donated $30,000 per year to the California GOP for general party expenses.

In some areas of California, Republicans seem to be playing defense in 2018, even in areas where they’ve comfortably held seats for long periods of time. If they can continue to out-fundraise and out-spend progressive challengers in those competitive districts, they may be able to hold on.

In-N-Out isn’t a one-party burger shop, though. The corporation has also given $50,000 this year to a PAC known as Californians for Jobs and a Strong Economy. That group is as pro-business as the name implies, but, as the Sacramento Bee reported in 2014, it was founded by David Townsend, a political operative who identifies as a centrist Democrat.

But, of course, being “journalists,” they slapped a misleading headline on their piece: Your Favorite Burger Chain Just Donated a Bunch of Money to the Republican Party. The headline suggested this was “news” rather than business as usual, and that the donations were one-sided when they weren’t.

Then a politician did what politicians do (and everybody else in the world does as well): read the headline but not the story, and reacted stupidly on Twitter:

This particular politician happened to be the Chair of the Democrat Party in California. So it kinda got some attention. It became a nationwide story, with #Resist types promising to join the boycott and many conservatives pledging to make a visit soon to show their support.

These sorts of controversies always annoy me. Why do we have to make every damned thing in the world about politics? I’m glad In-N-Out turns out to have donated money to Democrats too, just so we don’t have another company labeled as the “Republican fast food place.” Although if Republicans were going to claim one, In-N-Out would be a good one to claim: fresh ingredients served by friendly employees who are well taken care of. This is a place so popular that literally any time of day you try to go there, you’ll sit in the drive-through line three times as long as any other fast-food place.

Here’s how you know when a campaign like this is in trouble: when even Democrats are making fun of it:

I don’t know anything about Democrat Jim Patterson, but I immediately like him from this tweet. I liked him even better when, in response to someone’s comment about the unequal distribution of straws, he said:

Strike a blow for sanity. Too few such blows are struck these days. We need to notice when they are.

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