Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Brains vs. Boycotts: The Capitulation -- of the Boycotters

And as it seems, the "boycott" of Ford Motor Company is over.

Ford released a statement today outlining its position, which I thought was a marvel of good corporate writing -- short, to the point, and a nice bitch-slap to the irrational idiots who had been screaming about a boycott.

As I mentioned before, the "coalition members" -- and before you argue that AmericaBlog and John Aravosis aren't reflective of HRC et al.'s positions, read it and weep -- put out a list of demands that were "required" for them to call off their "war on Ford".

Ironically, Ford didn't give them what they wanted -- and what they got, they had before this meeting ever came about.

Ford had already made a strong statement against discrimination. Ford was already advertising Volvo in gay publications. Moreover, Ford did not say that Jaguar and Land Rover would continue to advertise in gay publications; they merely said that they would run "corporate ads" featuring ALL Ford products in gay publications, not specific Jaguar and Land Rover campaigns, and that the content will be "appropriate and effective". This does NOT mean it will be "gay-specific", as demanded; indeed, they defended Jaguar and Land Rover's decision to NOT advertise as a "business decision".

More or greater funding of gay events? No promises there -- and a veiled statement that they would be doing less for "business reasons".

Releasing the details of the "secret deal"? Nope, which makes me wonder if, indeed, it ever happened.

Firing executives? Don't make us laugh, pimps.

This, however, was my favorite part:

Finally, you expressed your strong objections to our having even met with one of your harshest critics. We meet every day with people and organizations on many issues, and, as a business, do not wish be drawn into those that detract from our effectiveness in the marketplace. That said, we expect to be measured not by the meetings we conduct but by our conduct itself. Our record on tolerance and inclusion speaks for itself and I am proud to be judged on that record at any time.

Beautiful. Patronizing, vaguely insulting, and laying spot-on the fact that they will conduct their business as they see fit and meet with who they want, their record speaks for itself, and you insulting, gossipy little bastards can mind your own business.

Of course, when I pointed this out to Aravosis, the response was quite predictable, and easily refutable:

First off, of the list of demands I made, how do you know they each had the same value?

Because you said so. I quote:

Ford needs to meet the following demands to call off our War on Ford.

Next up:

Second, how do you know I didn't throw some demands in as red herring bargaining chips?

Because you're telling me that after the fact. But if you want to admit your original demands were irrational and you were lying through your teeth when you said Ford needed to do the following, go right ahead.

This was my favorite, though:

And third, if your definition of victory is jeopardizing a deal because you don't get 100% of what you want, but only get 95% of what you want, then you really don't understand the real work of politics and of winning.

That explains why Dallas and Fort Worth both have nondiscrimination ordinances, Dallas's with protection for gender identity. That explains why the city of Dallas has had multiple gay City Council members and candidates, an extraordinarily pro-gay Mayor, and a lesbian sheriff, plus would have had a transgender councilperson (endorsed by the conservative Dallas Morning News) if not for Hispanic Democrats, with the connivance of the Democratic Party, running a whisper campaign about her.

By the way, this is all done in one of the reddest of red areas, with one of the highest attendance rate of evangelical and Catholic churches in the country. While I certainly can't take credit for all of it, I've done my part in getting these individuals, most of whom are Democrats, elected, these ordinances passed, and numerous gay causes and charities supported.

Meanwhile, HRC et al. and their surrogates run around calling Ford Nazi-supporters, liars (for not confirming an unsubstantiated charge based on anonymous, unidentified "sources"), anti-Semites, repeatedly. This is, of course, after dropping millions of dollars on antigay bigots who they call "pro-gay" and "gay-supportive", or suddenly going blind when it comes to dealing with Democrats who support the FMA and the gay Democrats who give them money -- and still coming up with a record that even the Detroit Lions would spurn.

I may not know much, but compared to the people who claim to, I daresay my results are infinitely better. :)

In summary, this for me has been a win-win situation. Ford won without promising to spend any additional money or make any particular changes; both the AFA and gay extremists lost, because they can no longer protest the conditions to which they agreed. A public triumph of smart, savvy businesspersons over morons.

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