Belmont Club

Strike out

Legend says that in the fifth inning of Game 3 of the 1932 World Series, Babe Ruth pointed to a spot in Wrigley field. Moments later, he hit a home run to that very place. But not everybody can be the Babe. The Los Angeles Times  says that the ‘kiss in’ protest which was supposed to punish Chick-fil-A failed dismally, with “apparently far less than the huge show of support the chicken eatery received earlier this week.”

Huge crowds turned out Wednesday in a show of support for company President Dan Cathy, who ignited a national debate by publicly expressing his opposition to same-sex marriage. Critics have also said the company supports causes harmful to gays and lesbians.

The scene on Friday was much quieter at locations across the Southland.

It’s now possible to bury the notion a lot of myths. The first was that this was a fight between gays and straight people. Nobody went out to harass same-sex couples. And none but a few activists thought it was a particularly pleasant prospect to go into a restaurant and make a spectacle of themselves.

Activists often make the mistake of believing that their followers are as mindlessly fanatical as they are.  The second myth now lying in the ground with the shambles of the Kiss-in campaign is the myth that just because a person is gay, he’ll follow stupid instructions.  The big mistake of the leftist tacticians was not to underestimate their conservative opponents, but to underestimate the intelligence of their supporters.

By grandiosely announcing their revenge and failing abjectly at it, the activists have lost a lot of mojo. The first rule of intimidation is to intimidate. If you can’t, don’t try.

The Huffington Post notes that Clint Eastwood has endorsed Mitt Romney. “The Oscar-winning director and longtime movie star says he’s endorsing the Republican presidential candidate.”

In February, Eastwood told Fox News that he wasn’t supporting any politician at that time. Some saw the “halftime in America” ad he made for the Super Bowl as a nod toward President Barack Obama. Eastwood responded then by saying he was not “politically affiliated” with the president.

Doubtless Eastwood has his reasons for choosing Mitt. But one of them is almost certainly the calculation that Romney can win. Maybe he was still figuring the windage at ‘halftime in America’. Now he’s got the range. Eastwood will back Romney in November, as will a whole host of others, in part from an affinity for his Mitt’s program, but mostly because nothing succeeds like success.

The flip side of that slogan is that nothing bombs quite like failure. Alinsky always advised his followers to never pick a fight they couldn’t win. For a long time President Obama remembered that nugget of wisdom and made no enemies where he could make no friends. He was forced to “evolve” on gay marriage precisely because the polls showed the dangers of coming out like gangbusters the issue. But Rahm Emmanuel, by needlessly and gratuitously picking a fight with an obscure food chain did exactly what Alinsky advised against: he picked a fight that Obama himself didn’t want and which was a losing proposition.

But history is full of instances where defeat proves more fruitful than victory. The worst thing that could happen to Mitt Romney is if Barack Obama learns from this mistake. He may finally waken to the fact that the media can’t deliver the office to him in November. He has to actually earn his keep to deserve it. The problem is that he may have left it for too late.


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