Politico has a story today about the Republican pizza store owner who was visited by Obama and is now facing a boycott of his pizza restaurant. There are so many things wrong with this story, I don't know where to begin in my critique, so let me just jump right in:
The owner of a Florida pizza shop says people are boycotting his business because he bear-hugged President Barack Obama on Sunday.“People are saying a lot of bad things and boycotting my restaurant,” Scott Van Duzer, 46, told POLITICO. “There’s no middle line anymore, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country right now.”
Problem #1: This guy is a registered Republican and will be voting for president Obama. Clearly he's not a serious Republican. Either he hasn't been paying attention to the problems with the president's platforms and agenda, or he doesn't understand them. $5 trillion in debt less than four years, a health care law that while deemed constitutional, is clearly not something that supports individual liberty, 8.1% unemployment after a seriously flawed stimulus, the Fast and Furious scandal, the list goes on and on and on. Any self-respecting Republican would not approve.
Problem #2: Worse still, There's no middle line? It's hard to compromise with something that is so fundamentally divergent from the conservative viewpoint (i.e. it is radical). But the worst part of that second paragraph is this sentence - that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country right now. That it is exactly what is NOT wrong with America right now. The country was founded on the idea of liberty and freedom of opinion and of expression. Conformity with the party in power is what's considered civil these days? If that's the case, then civility is not what society should be striving to achieve. That will lead to suppressed opinion and that is a step along the path to tyranny.
Problem #3: Given that Scott Van Duzer not only hosted the president, he embraced him, he has to deal with the fallout. He is entirely entitled to his opinion and his decision to bear hug the president. He is also responsible for the fallout of that decision. Recently the owner of Chick-fil-A made his opinion clear about gay marriage. That was his decision. He got a few protests out of hit, mostly from the political class including the likes of Rahm Emmanuel. He also got an outpouring of support and a record day across his stores. The point is that if you open your mouth - literally or figuratively - you own the consequences. Scott Van Duzer opened his arms to the president and will likely face the consequences.
The owner of Big Apple Pizza & Pasta Restaurant in Fort Pierce, Fla., said that both Democrats and Republicans are welcome in his store. But he also said he thinks Mitt Romney’s running mate Rep. Paul Ryan — whose sculpted abs are thanks to intense P90X training sessions — would lose to the president in a workout battle.
Problem #4: Politico ignores the possible boycott issue and launches into...whether Obama can take Paul Ryan? Are you kidding me? What the hell does that have to do with anything? Because the story is unfavorable to Obama and to an apparent supporter, Politico has decided to use thew headline to attract traffic to the website and then bury the story under a layer of fluff so that the president and his supporter are humanized and the real issue doesn't gain any legs. Don;t believe me?
The story never really returns to the boycott, instead after it veers it stays in muscle magazine territory.
Van Duzer’s June bike-trek was part of his Van Duzer Foundation, and helped raise awareness for blood donation shortages. Founded in 2008 to support a local firefighter whose house burned down, the foundation has since raised more than $600,000, Van Duzer said. Van Duzer said he rode with a few kids from the Boys and Girls Club and met with U.S. Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin to discuss blood shortages.Obama told The New York Times that Van Duzer’s effort in promoting blood donations was part of the reason the campaign decided to visit his pizza shop.
Problem #5: The real reason the president picked this pizza shop is no doubt related to the fact that he's a Republican who supports Obama. That looks really good with Independents and it's far more important than blood shortages (Obamacare blood-panel implications aside). After all, if the president really wanted to promote blood shortages, why not pick a Democrat-sponsored blood drive, or even a liberal supporter who is helping blood drives? Which leads to...
Problem #6: If Republicans are selfish and evil as the liberal story goes, how is it a Republican store owner is devoting so much effort to charity? And why is it that Politico didn't think to cover the story from that angle instead Scott Van Duzer's health and who is healthier than whom? And...
Problem #7: No one on this story thought to get into whether Scott Van Duzer built this enterprise himself? Scott Van Duzer didn't bring this up himself? The whole story lacks credibility from tip to tail. I wouldn't be surprised if Scott Van Duzer was only ever marginally attached to the Republican party and was a convenient way for the Obama story line to be pushed forward. Either that or Scott Van Duzer is a dupe and was taken advantage of by the president, though according to him, that's not the case
I say boycott his pizza store. That may be harsh, but hey, if liberals want to embrace him and are willing to step up, let them do it. He's your Scott Van Duzer now, enjoy.