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Friday, August 14, 2009

Lanny Davis: Boycotts are evil

Lanny Davis, best known as a supporter of Lieberman in 2006, for being appointed to serve as the only Democrat on Bush's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (great job, Lans!), and more recently as a lobbyist for the Pakistani government, is backing Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, accusing the left of mirroring "extreme tactics on the right."

Surely that can't mean he opposes the work of Rosa Parks and Cesar Chávez, though who can really say for sure. Davis says that Mackey provides health care to all his employees (a claim Mackey himself disclaimed in his op-ed piece).

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an Ayn Rand inspired libertarian in your private life. Many young white men with two to four years of college and an interest in business find themselves attracted to social darwinism. Why wouldn't they, after all: born on third base, they are very well disposed to buy theories that tell them they've hit a triple. A little education is harmful indeed.

So Mackey is a successful CEO who isn't a deep thinker. That's hardly a sin, or, for that matter, a novelty. But surely he isn't a bad businessman. As the CEO of a company with a dark blue consumer base, he should have known better than to fight one of the progressive movement's central dreams. He was just insulated enough from reality to think that no one would notice. He surely won't make that mistake again. But as long as he takes public positions that are diametrically opposed to his clients' conscience, there is no reason for the company he founded not to pay the price.

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