Rightbloggers Revisit the Battle of Chick-fil-A with Papa John's Anti-Obama Crap Food Fest
With last week's big doings in the Petraeus scandal and Israel's latest skirmishes with Hamas, why are we focusing on fast food?
Because as important as those affairs of state may be, they are, for our rightblogger subjects, evanescent -- they will bark and howl over them for the length of their limited runs, then rush to gnash their fangs over something else. What really animates them is culture war -- and as we mentioned last week, in the Second Age of Obama culture is their big fixation: Finding a way to make America love them again (or rather their own objects of adoration, for America barely knows they exist).
So we take interest in their recent attention to flat-round-thing-vaguely-resembling-pizza-maker Papa John's, its CEO's plan to screw his own employees to spite Obama, and the humorous "Papa John's Appreciation Day" ginned up in reaction by the brethren.
Some of you may remember the last big rightblogger junk food skirmish -- "Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day," during which rightbloggers bade patriots stuff their maws with crap chicken made by an anti-gay chain in defense of heterosexuality or free speech or something. Chick-fil-A enjoyed a brief sales boost, and rightbloggers enjoyed the feeling that Americans who ate fast food must also share their negative feelings about homosexuals and the Main Stream Media.
The memory is still powerful for Mary Durbin of American Thinker, who in a stirring essay wrote that on Election Night "I cried for my country, I cried for my faith, and I cried for the loss of what I imagined would be a life free from constant worry over what the government was going to do next to reduce liberty and freedom."
But Durbin's heart was warmed by a visit to a Florida mall, where "the Christmas decorations were already up. I am one of those people who find Christmas decorations in early November an abomination and disrespectful to the next holiday in line, Thanksgiving...but this time, I found it comforting to see Santa Claus (the real one -- not the government-issued one) sitting in his overstuffed chair... to paraphrase Dr. Seuss and the Grinch, the election didn't stop Christmas from coming. It's coming."
Rounding out her epiphany: "I went to the food court and saw a long line at Chick-fil-A. I joined it. As usual, I received great service. The young man waiting on me was from the demographic that has been so constantly scrutinized of late. I said to myself, 'Please, please don't grow up to be a Democrat.'" So there's still hope, and as long as it remains, "despite everything, we Americans are a strong people, and we will find ways to get on with our lives."
As if in answer to Durbin's prayer, a couple of other fast food chain owners declared their opposition to the Obama Administration after the election, most spectacularly Papa John's boss John Schnatter, who said he'd probably cut employees' hours because the Kenyan Pretender was making him give them health insurance. Schnatter had previously announced his intention to raise his pizza-like-product's price by about 14 cents if Obama were to be reelected, so as to cover his alleged extra expenses under the Affordable Care Act (though Forbes found Schnatter's estimated Obamacare tab much exaggerated).
People decided to boycott Papa John's over this -- some, the staff at Michelle Malkin's alternate Twitter universe Twitchy complained, in less than civil language. In response, rightbloggers hailed Schnatter a hero, and saddled up once again to show their contempt for the newly-reelected President by supersizing their usual fast food orders.
The resulting "Papa John's Appreciation Day" was allegedly conceived by an organization new to us called Rebooting America, aka Resistance 44, headed by one Justen Charters, described at LinkedIn as "CEO at Dear Citizen LLC, Political Researcher, Social Media Specialist And Event Planner." Another online CV tells us Charters also worked to "grow Christine O Donnell's twitter, facebook and youtube following."
When your grandchildren ask you how conservatives died off, show them this picture
Resistance 44 was touted earlier this year by Matt Vespa of ImpeachObamaCampaign.com as part of a new movement to "make conservatism look cool" by "taking over social media including YouTube, FaceBook, Twitter & Vimeo, debunking all stereotypes that young liberals put on conservatives," etc., thereby "creating the largest voter turnout in U.S. History in the 18-40 demographic."
As we saw on November 6, things didn't turn out quite the way Charters seemed to expect. But the struggle continues: Young people love pizza, right? Wouldn't it naturally follow that they'd love a rightwing pizza chain magnate who wanted to stiff his workers and charge customers extra to show his contempt for a newly-reelected President?
The face of resistance was made younger still in a story by George Rasley of Richard Viguerie's Conservative HQ (boy, that sounds like a fun clubhouse, huh?). Rasley told us that "16-year old Daniel Wetter" had actually "put together a cell of online conservative revolutionaries called 'Rebooting America' that has organized Friday, November 16 as a national day of appreciation for the Papa John's pizza chain."
Later Fox News clarified that Wetter was just "part of an upstart group called Rebooting America," and he "credits fellow conservative activist Justen Charters with coming up with the idea." Don't worry, comrades -- comes Der Tag there'll be credit enough to go around.
Rightbloggers went all in for the big win.
"Only the left would react to a business going under by boycotting it," said Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com. Papa John's is actually doing great -- its stock price has tripled since the Kenyan Pretender took office -- but forget it, he's rolling: "The left's hatred for business couldn't be any clearer than in this case," Shapiro asserted, then added, "their hatred for reality is even greater than that," though he declined to similarly rank the left's hatred of Jesus, God, and Santa Claus. "Papa John's Appreciation Day is truly appreciation for capitalism itself," climaxed Shapiro, "and for the burdens government and the left place on the folks who do all the hiring in America."
"It's very obvious," said Randy Hall of NewsBusters, "that none of the liberals criticizing Schnatter, who founded and oversees the third-largest take-out and delivery pizza restaurant chain in the United States (behind Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza), have anything anywhere near comparable business experience." So who are they to criticize some rich business guy who isn't a commie like Warren Buffet or Ted Turner?
"Call it putting your mouth where your money is," unappetizingly explained Jillian Kay Melchior of National Review, who added that Schnatter's hours-cutting showed "that the health law's new requirements hurt not only CEOs but also the low-income, hard-working people they employ," presumably in much the same way that the parent of a kidnapped child is responsible when she doesn't pay up fast enough and the kidnapper cuts off the kid's finger.
Using similar logic, Bryan Jacoutot at Legal Insurrection riddled-me-this, "The hallmark of any successful boycott is the limitation of revenue for the company you are targeting. So, if somehow this boycott were to be successful, the logical result would be that Papa John's would lose money forcing them to cut more jobs, and more hours... In achieving their goal, the boycotters will have achieved the exact opposite of their goal." Jacoutot then retucked his shirt and got back to work on his 60,000 word critique of Attack of the Clones.
(Jacoutot also found liberals hypocritical because they approved of Papa John's when it considered pulling its ads from the Rush Limbaugh show, but opposed Papa John's when it promised to screw its own workers. He must be one of William Jacobson's prize students.)
Amelia Hamilton of FreedomWorks -- yes, that's right, Dick Armey's Tea Party front group -- called for citizens to "Stand with Papa John's- and against Obamacare" as a counterweight to "the expected liberal backlash" in which the sainted Schnatter was "painted as a wealthy man who was willing to hurt workers for his own bottom line" for some reason. Hamilton then explained what a loyalist had to do to share in the glory:
- Like Papa John's on Facebook
- Change your Facebook avatar to the Papa John's logo on Friday
- Have a pizza on Friday! Take a picture of yourself and share on Facebook, as well as on Twitter with #IStandWithPapaJohns
- If there is not a Papa John's near you, simply tweet your support with the above hashtag
Yes, you didn't even have to eat the pizza-like-product to participate.
Kyle Becker of the Independent Journal Review attempted deeper analysis, alas: "While progressives see the workers as making grossly less than what they are worth and outrageously less than the owner and CEO," he explained, "conservatives see the American dream in action and argue that even low-skilled workers lead a quality of life much better than most people in other countries." Translation: Look, at least this isn't North Korea, get back to work.
"Stand up for economic freedom, and make your night Papa John's," urged Matt Vespa, this time at Right Wing News. Fox News pumped out more propaganda; Fox Business put Charters on Neil Cavuto. Viguerie's Conservative HQ announced that "96% of CHQ Readers Say They Support Papa John's CEO John Schnatter."
How could it fail? It couldn't, of course: People who eat this shit regularly have no reason to stop. So rightbloggers expected something resembling victory. "If this is anything like the Chick-fil-A buycott, and you want Papa John's for dinner," confidently predicted Jim Treacher of the Daily Caller, "you'd better get your order in now." Imagine a world where they run out of Papa John's pizzas! They can always get a few boxes of saltines, mash them up, put some oil, tomato sauce and string cheese on it and bake it into a reasonable replacement. Even Treacher couldn't front on that: "I've never been a big fan of their pizza," he admitted, "but I am a fan of free enterprise and free speech."
Oh, yeah, that's it; liberals hate Papa John's for its freedom. "Papa John's is under attack for speaking the truth," declared Duane Lester of Liberty News. "CEO John Schnatter simply explained that in order to operate under Obamacare, and still deliver a delicious, affordable pizza, franchise owners would have to cut the hours of part time workers." In order to deliver a "delicious" pizza, Schnatter would have to die and be born again, but we don't see what that has to do with free speech, unless Lester thinks it involves the right of rich restauranteurs to keep getting the public's money whether the public wants to give it to them or not, which would not surprise us.
"After President Barack Obama won re-election, Papa John's CEO John Schnatter did something the left hates," intoned Friends of Liberty. "He told the truth. Leftists didn't like that. They pledged to boycott... In the spirit of Chick-Fil-A Day, visit your local Papa John's and tell them you still support the right to speak truth to power."
Some appeared to take the thing a little too seriously. Say Anything challenged its readers to give the last full measure. "It's easy to buy a protest pizza on Friday if you want," they said. "...But if you are serious about reversing the Obamacare ship before it goes over the proverbial fiscal waterfall, you will need to keep the pressure on your elected officials and otherwise take some type of action everyday, including after Jan 1, 2014 if necessary."
Does cheesy bread come with that? If not, good luck, fellas. Though rightbloggers claimed America was scarfing up Papa John's like it was food ("people in the long line behind us and on the telephone were told that the wait would be 60-90 minutes," claimed PaleoWriter -- man, it must suck to live somewhere where there's only one restaurant) because The People are with them, we expect Papa John's Appreciation Day will have the same impact on Obamacare as Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day had on the election.
But buck up, rightbloggers! Indiana's Fox affiliate reports that "at approximately 7:39pm Sunday evening, the Lafayette Police Department responded to a robbery of a Papa John's delivery driver in the 3100 block of Vinton Street Lafayette." This has to be libtard sabotage -- on the order of the massive election fraud that robbed Mitt Romney of the presidency! Run to tell The People, guys. This could be the one that turns the tide.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.