Suits and Bean Counters

Along about the time that I started blogging … no, even well before that point, I was well-aware that there were personalities who could say and do flamingly stupid and insulting things on the public stage, and some would take no permanent career harm from having done so. Jane Fonda, for example, went on having a career for decades after getting the nick “Hanoi Jane” for her anti-war antics in the 1960s. Other personalities – equally prominent, having said and done things just as injudicious – appeared to walk away unscathed. It seemed to be a given that some public personalities were basically Teflon; as it would become even more obvious in the last decade, they had something that I call – for lack of a better term – douchebag privilege. Generally speaking, the lefty-intellectual-media lot – like the Kennedys, the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton brand of racial activists, and jerks like Michael Moore had douchebag privilege, whereas those of the other persuasion didn’t.

But gradually over the fifteen years, the well of douchebag privilege is running dry, and the previously immune are feeling some heat. The initial example of this public impatience – a harbinger as it were – which comes to mind was that of the faux-Indian, Ward Churchill, he of the scholarly misconduct, cultural appropriation and ‘little Eichmans’ crack, referring to the dead at the World Trade Center. He lost a cushy position in academia, and has maintained a low profile ever since, although I suppose he makes an occasional appearance among lefty fellow-travelers now and again.

The toleration of regular people for a double standard in douchbag privilege has been worn to a frazzle within the last six months; observe the rapid-fire sacking of Kathy Griffen and Reza Aslan, and corporate sponsors speedily withdrawing from an association with the Shakespeare in the Park production of “Julius Trump”.

Not only has toleration been rasped as thin as tissue paper over the last six months, but I suggest that enough of the public has been voting with their dollars just long enough and in such numbers as to have caught the attention of the more perspicuous bean-counters and managerial suits. In the bowels of CNN, the NFL, the corporate HQ of Target stores, certain universities like Mizzou, as well as dozens of other entities which embraced dubious social justice causes and/or an anti-Trump tone assuming that it was the wave of the future, the warning klaxons are blowing. It appears that some entities – especially the ones dependent on the consumer dollar – are trying to reverse course and mend fences. Discuss: can they recover the trust of conservative consumers, or has the rot gone too far?

15 thoughts on “Suits and Bean Counters”

  1. A few years ago, Victor Davis Hansen wrote an essay regarding this question. His take on the matter was that progressivism had adopted many of the characteristics of a religious movement, and one of its basic tenets was the moral superiority of its members over non-believers, so anyone who preached public support for statist goals was given an indulgence to forgive, and especially forget, any personal foibles and transgressions, both large and small.

    The most blatant examples, of course, were Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, who were held blameless and without any consequences for negligent homicide and leadership in the KKK respectively.

    The more recent pass given to Obama regarding several policy and personal shortcomings, as well as the complete state of denial progs went into concerning Clinton’s many corrupt dealings and incompetencies.

    As to these various boycotts and other things that are politically based, they are simply too marginal and sporadically observed to bring about any meaningful change.

    The only true remedy for the disastrous state we have allowed the nation to be maneuvered into by decades of incompetence and corruption, as the progressive state has enlarged and enriched itself, is at the ballot box, and by working as diligently as the progs, both to nominate candidates who will do what needs to be done to dismantle the over-reaching and over-extended administrative state, and then to hold them to their campaign pledges by ruthlessly voting them out again if they morph into “go along to get along” types.

    The basic mode of attack then is to cut the prog political and cultural machine off from public money. Just recently, the DOJ stopped the insidious practice of having corporations, who were paying tribute to avoid some expensive legal threat by a prog entity, being forced to give large sums of money to those various groups in order to clear the case. This is a small step in the right direction, but there are thousands of similar forms of government subsidy and disguised payments which must also be stopped.

    Making drastic cuts in the money being thrown down the rat hole of the progressive educational disaster is another obvious step.

    Collectivism, in any form, and whatever it is called, is inevitably a parasite on the society it has infected. The standard remedy for getting rid of a parasite is to deny it any nourishment, and to remove it from the body, even surgically, if necessary.

    Personally, I don’t go to Target any more, if I can avoid it. They wanted to be trendy SJW’s, fine, they can do without my support. I have other standing boycotts, such as German cars and anything Chinese if I can find an alternative, but those do not pertain to this question.

    We are in a period similar to the 1850’s, or the 1930’s. The dangers of the lunacies that oppose us are every bit as real, and dire.

    The fundamental issues are, at the national level, can we avoid another Fort Sumpter?, and at the international level, can we avoid another Munich?

  2. Very true, VR – but at this point, we can still hit them where they live … in their paychecks, to put it crudely. In most instances, we do not have to buy the cr*p they are selling. And so- I speculate that they are beginning to feel the pain, and adjust accordingly.

  3. And yet, Bill Ayres and Bernardine Dohrn are still professors in Chicago. Dorhn, who was probably the most vicious of the Weatherman types, is at Northwestern. They could not make her a law professor as she has been disbarred.

    Bill is contaminating education policy in Chicago.

    I am still reading “Days of Rage” and it is evident that Bernardine was the real head of the Weathermen and Bill was a dilettante, as he was most of the time.

  4. Mike K
    And yet, Bill Ayres and Bernardine Dohrn are still professors in Chicago.
    Bill is retired. Bill Ayers was denied emeritus status.

    The University of Illinois Board of Trustees typically approves faculty promotions and honors — which have been vetted by various campus committees — without discussion. No one can remember the last time the board, for instance, rejected emeritus status when proposed on behalf of a retiring faculty member.

    But last week the board did just that, rejecting emeritus status for William Ayers, who retired in August from his position as professor of education at the university’s Chicago campus, where he had taught since 1987. The university’s board voted down emeritus status for Ayers at the urging of Christopher Kennedy, the board chair, who cited Prairie Fire, a book Ayers co-wrote in 1974 and that is dedicated to 200 people whom the authors called “political prisoners.” One of those named is Sirhan Sirhan, who assassinated Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Christopher Kennedy’s father.

    Surprise of surprises, some people didn’t like Sirhan Sirhan being called a “political prisoner.” Like a son of RFK. Billy Boy keeps trying to finesse that “political prisoner” statement, without much success.

    According to Wikipedia, Bernadine Dohrn taught at Northwestern Law from 1991-2013. A Google search at the Northwestern Law website turned up a document that listed her as retired.

    After all, Bernadine is 75 and Bill is 73. I hope they have retirements of discontent.

    I am still reading “Days of Rage” and it is evident that Bernardine was the real head of the Weathermen and Bill was a dilettante, as he was most of the time.
    A half century later, they are still proud of their “revolutionary” doings.

    Re main topic:
    I don’t watch TV, having decided that the effort to reprogram a remote upon the changeover to HDTV wasn’t worth the effort for my less than 1 hour of weekly viewing. Nonetheless, I have considered writing nasty letters to advertisers in response to some egregious incident on a show- often late night comedy. But as I don’t watch TV, I don’t know who the advertisers are.

    One potential place for me to hurt them in the pocketbook is Amazon Prime. I do not like the hyper-partisan tone of Bezos’s Washington Post on domestic politics, though I like what it has done on Venezuela. I have used Amazon Prime to purchase some equipment for upgrades at my HOA. I have been very pleased with availability,price and service. When I no longer need to make those HOA purchases, I will not renew my Amazon Prime membership. There is a local electronics chain which has prices and availability pretty comparable to what Amazon offers for computer stuff,so there wouldn’t be much loss for me to not renew Amazon Prime.When the Amazon rep asks my reason, my reply will be the hyper-partisan tone of Bezos’s Washington Post.

  5. Some companies are going to find out is that there is such a thing as negative synergy…if you own a bunch of businesses under the same corporate umbrella, then a political stance taken by *one* of those businesses can hurt all of the businesses.

    Comcast, for example, is a major provider of cable services…it also owns NBC Universal. To the extent people realize the connection, the obnoxious political posture of the NBCU channels (especially MSNBC) are likely to cost Comcast some business in its core cable services.

  6. “likely to cost Comcast some business in its core cable services.”

    Incompetence is far more important to reluctant Comcast customers. I moved to Tucson expecting to keep Cox cable, which I had had at another house in Tucson in the past. We bought our house before we found out we were stuck with Comcast. It has already gone out a few times and the wireless routers they provided and suggested were better than my Apple router, have gone crazy so I am back to the Apple router.

    My wife watches TV so we keep the cable. The only TV I watch is golf and football.

    I have a stack of books waiting patiently for me to get to them and recently, because I have a two hour commute to Phoenix twice a week, I have begun to use audio books. They are great if you do a lot of driving. We go back to CA to see the kids every few months and that is a six hour drive. The audio books (also owned by Bezos I’m sorry to say) make it a pleasure.

    TV when not football season would get zero use from me. My wife loves “The Price is Right” and “Ninja Warriors,” both of which I can feel sucking IQ points out of me but it keeps her happy.

    Comcast is the most hated corporation in the US, I’ve read, and I can see why.

    At least our house is in a voting precinct that went majority Trump and that is some consolation in leftist Tucson. Our Congresswoman is Martha McSally and I would love to see her replace McCain.

  7. I think some of these businesses adopt trendy political positions as a sop to customers who might otherwise demand better service. Comcast comes to mind. If customers make it expensive for companies to take such positions the companies might be more likely to improve the quality of their service.

  8. ” If customers make it expensive for companies to take such positions”

    I doubt it would make much difference.

    Lyndon Johnson once said. “In my part of the country, once a politician is bought, he stays bought.”

    I suspect the same is true of local politicians and cable companies.

  9. Oh, and I’m about to start Caro’s biography of Johnson on audio books. That should take care of a few months.

  10. Oh, most certainly certain corporate entities wanted to hop on board the latest trend, and display their hip SJW attitudes; cheap grace, rather than improve the product. But now they are finding there is an unexpected cost to the virtue-signalling, which has only become apparent to them lately … and now the more sensible and far-sighted of them are trying to walk it back before it is too late.

  11. The short answer: No; this is how you get more Trump.

    The alt-right only exists because the Left created it. It’s the fruit of their identity politics, pissed off white people who don’t feel the least bit privileged.

    The Left is not going to get more sane; they are far beyond that. The Right is going to start using the Left’s tactics. To quote a (in)famous personage: Punch back twice as hard.

    I find it a bit sad, but well-deserved.

  12. “observe the rapid-fire sacking of Kathy Griffen and Reza Aslan,”

    The real measure of whether they have been really affected is if – and how soon – they get rehired for a visible position. I hope never. But in Kathy Griffen’s case, I still wonder about the extent of the photographer’s participation in coming up with those pictures. Did she approach him? Did he approach her? He should also be shunned.

  13. A.C.
    But in Kathy Griffen’s case, I still wonder about the extent of the photographer’s participation in coming up with those pictures. Did she approach him? Did he approach her? He should also be shunned.

    I don’t remember where, but I believe I read a blog comment where the commenter claimed to know the photographer.

    Given the hit that digital has given to photographers’ incomes, one can see how some photographers might be less likely to consider good taste when it came to monetizing their skills.

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