Like They Have A Target Painted On Their Backs

Target, the Minnesota-based retail giant, is being attacked as being “anti-gay” by the usual crowd of radical left-wing groups, including Why is Target being attacked? Because they’re actually hostile to gays and lesbians?

No, they’re not. They’re actually one of the most “progressive” corporations out there. They give generous benefits to same-sex partners, and have sponsored local and national GLBT events.

So why in the world is Target “anti-gay?”

Because they had the temerity to donate to Republicans. But not even directly. Target gave $10,000 to a pro-Republican PAC called MNForward. MNForward is supporting Tom Emmer, the Republican candidate for Governor of Minnesota. And allegedly Emmer is somehow “anti-gay”, despite taking the very sensible position that the real issue here is jobs, not battles over cultural wedge issues. Not only that, but MNForward isn’t a social-issues organization: they are expressly about pro-business issues like taxes and regulation.

So, to these radical left-wing agents provocateurs, Target is “anti-gay” despite not being remotely anti-gay because they gave to a group that supports a Republican candidate for governor who doesn’t care that much about gay marriage. And somehow, that justifies an astroturfed smear campaign against Target.

If all of this sounds more than a little idiotic, you’re right. It is.

The reality is that the gay rights issue is a convenient bludgeon. These groups, largely funded by Emmer’s opponent, Mark Dayton, are just out to intimidate Minnesota corporations so that they no longer feel safe donating to Republican or conservative organizations. It is, to be blunt, a campaign of fear and intimidation designed expressly to prevent Minnesotans from participating in the political process. If the right had done it, the cries of “MCCARTHYISM!” would echo from the rooftops.

But this sort of behavior is par for the course from the radical left-wing, who have used such campaigns successfully in the past. Sadly, it appears that Target is buckling under the pressure, having “apologized” for their donation. This sort of behavior only encourages these groups.

These groups, especially the execrable, represent the most disgusting part of American politics. Stewed in the juices of Alinskyite activism, they have a no-holds-barred attitudes towards political intimidation, and will do nearly anything to support the radical left in this country. Their values are representative of the farthest and most radical reaches of the Democratic Party.

It’s time they were called out for what they are. A smear campaign won’t stop me from shopping at Target—if anything, it makes me want to go there more as a sign of solidarity. And like cockroaches, these groups scurry when the light is shined upon them. Mitch Berg, one of Minnesota’s greatest natural resources, has been doing amazing work in tracking these groups down and exposing their astroturf campaigns and where their funding is coming from. The mainstream media doesn’t do this kind of in-depth journalism anymore, and so it falls on talented and dogged amateurs to do it. I assume that everyone who reads this humble site also reads Shot in the Dark, but if you don’t, you damned well should.

In the end, Minnesotans of both parties should stand against this kind of political intimidation. Target is not “anti-gay” for giving a donation to a Republican group any more than they are “anti-Christian” because they have a strong corporate commitment to gay rights. Here in Minnesota we don’t slam our neighbors because they disagree—and’s disgusting tactics will probably alienate far more moderate Democrats than it will impress. Minnesota isn’t New Jersey, and we rightfully have a low tolerance for hardball politics. We don’t need a bunch of radical left-wing activists attacking one of our most important employers in the middle of an already-painful recession. These tactics won’t play well here, and Minnesota’s voters should make it clear to all Minnesota politicians: regardless of party, we will not tolerate political intimidation. MoveOn should move on somewhere else.

Doing What They Do Best

David Weigel notes how the anti-war left is “moving on” after failing to “stop the war”:

If you’d said in January 2007 that Congress would fully fund the Iraq War, that there would be no timelines, and that a pro-war group fronted by Ari Fleischer would humiliate MoveOn… well, you’d be smarter than me.

It’s interesting to see that the surrender caucus has basically surrendered themselves. All the talk about how they were going to “end the war” ended up hitting the brick wall of reality. The Democrats didn’t have the votes, and the idea that there was a massive groundswell of opposition to the war never materialized. The reason behind that is rather simple: this war doesn’t effect most of us. This is not Vietnam. There’s no draft, the people fighting in Iraq are people who signed up to be in the military, not conscripts. Iraq is a theoretical issue for 90% of this country. They may not like the war, but it’s not something that directly effects them.

The other problem is that the anti-war left overplayed its hand. They immediately pronounced the surge to be a failure: which left them looking like idiots when the surge actually worked. To use a poker metaphor, the Democrats went all in thinking that they had a good hand—but when the flop actually came down, they ended up losing. Now the Democrats are in the unnecessary position of having to backtrack on their own rhetoric. It just proves the point that many of us have been making for years now: the Democratic Party is invested in failure in Iraq, and victory in Iraq is a loss for them. At some level, that comes down as unseemly, even for those who oppose the war.

I don’t think Iraq will be a major political issue. Al-Qaeda is unable to mount a convincing counteroffensive. Each day they wait they lose more, so if they had the capability of punching back it seems likely they’d have done it by now. Unless there’s a mass-casualty event, the American people have accepted Iraq as part of life. It doesn’t effect them, and it doesn’t fire people up who aren’t already anti-war.

That won’t stop the Democrats from using Iraq as a campaign issue, and Democrats respond strongly to it. However, it’s not the major issue that it was in 2004 and 2006 (and it wasn’t even the key issue in 2006). The Democrats bought into their own rhetoric: they assumed they won because of a groundswell of opposition to the war rather than the lack of leadership among the Republicans. They overplayed their hand, and now they’ve been forced to surrendering on surrender.