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Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, the pumpkin spice latte of presidential candidates, officially declared today the end of his officially annoying campaign. This greatly disappoints every voter in his bathroom. Schultz offered Americans an independent voice, one that dared to say, "Don't tax me just because I'm insanely wealthy!" We're not sure how independent those ideas are because Republicans have expressed them for decades. It's like re-releasing Garth Brooks albums from the 1990s on an indie label.

Schultz decided to call it quits because his overpaid advisers probably sold him enough invisible clothing to comfortably retire. There was no harm now in telling him that an independent run would definitely help re-elect Donald Trump. We pointed this out for free in February. It's not a shocking concept. Third party candidates historically screw over Democrats (and no, Ross Perot didn't help Bill Clinton win). But Schultz spent months dismissing this legitimate concern.

SCHULTZ: I think [Democrats] are over reacting. It's a very strong possibility that more lifelong Republicans who will have no place to go if there is a left-leaning liberal progressive Democrat, they will vote for Donald Trump.

Yeah, decent, patriotic Republicans will have no choice but to vote for the corrupt white supremacist who locks up children in cages if Democrats don't do the right thing and nominate Nikki Haley or the ghost of John McCain. It's downright irresponsible for the Democratic Party to field candidates who are "progressive," "liberal" or -- gasp! -- even "left-leaning." It's like they secretly switched all the sensible Uncle Joes with Folgers Communists.


Protester to Howard Schultz: If you run for president, you will help Trump win youtu.be

In his farewell address, Schultz delivered some parting homilies about "problem solving" and "accountability." We pretended to pay attention so he'd let us have the car this weekend. He insisted that "84 percent of Americans do not consider themselves far right or far left." We're not sure where he found this stat but it's as pointless as a Clover machine. Few Americans self-identify as "extreme." They think their opinions are "normal." All these so-called independents are really just "moderate partisans" who reliably vote for one party. In our experience, "independents" are usually white men who like to throw around the terms "common sense solutions" and "collaboration." They believe if people act in good faith, they will see the world as they do. It's why they talk about "getting everyone into a room." Gosh, there's no problem we can't solve if people would just sit down, listen, and realize the entitled white man is right. This was Schultz's entire approach to immigration reform:

WISE WHITE MAN: I'm about accountability. I'm about results. I would bring people into the room. I would say you cannot come in here with ideology or ego... What I want to do is I want to put an empty chair in a room and that chair represents the American people. And we're not going to leave the room until we solve the problem for the American people.


Eastwood's empty chair haunts the DNC www.youtube.com

Schultz believes most Americans aren't willing to consider backing an "independent centrist" candidate because it's too risky. And while it's true his candidacy could help re-elect what Schultz calls a "uniquely dangerous incumbent president," it's also true that everyone thinks he sucks. His favorability at one point was 4 percent. It was possible that number could change as people got to know him, but considering he suggested that we call billionaires "people of means," we don't think the number would've changed for the better. Rep. Ted Lieu joked that Schultz was less popular than Darth Vader, which is unfair because Darth Vader is a badass. Schultz is more like Anakin Skywalker in the Star Wars prequels. It's impossible to imagine that whiny brat becoming David Prowse with the voice of James Earl Jones. We considered it a similar leap to imagine Schultz as the centrist combination of his favorite presidents, Ronald Reagan and FDR. Whenever Schultz opened his mouth, it sounded like this scene from Attack of the Clones.

Star Wars Episode II - I don't like Sand www.youtube.com

WHINY BILLIONAIRE ... ER "PERSON OF MEANS": I don't like the wealth tax. It's coarse, rough, and irritating. And it gets everywhere! Not like my vaguely defined tax reform plan to reduce the deficit. It's soft and smooth, because I solve complex problems in unique ways.

Schultz fears Trump can win if Democrats nominate a candidate with "far-left policy ideas" that a majority of Americans mostly support (i.e. a "Democrat"). But he can't be sure Democrats will come to their senses and unite behind a Mitch McConnell punching bag before the deadline to get his name on the ballot. He'd gladly spoil the election if he knew the nominee would be some common Elizabeth Warren with all her plans and lofty goals. But what if the nominee is someone with no plans and no goals? He couldn't live with himself if he denied America the chance to sit still and smile for four years. He'll just have to gamble on mediocrity prevailing. It's how he made his fortune.

Now let's all take a moment to toss the rotting corpse of Schultz's vanity campaign into the same shallow grave as his idiotic Starbucks-branded magazine from 1999, which was also a colossal failure. You might recall the magazine was called "Joe," because Starbucks sells coffee and Howard Schultz is not a clever man but at least he's no longer a presidential candidate.

[New York Times]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He recently fled Seattle, where he did theatre work for Book-It Rep and Cafe Nordo.

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