the business of america is business
recent protestors at a morton’s steak house concerning a supreme court justice raise the issue as to whether hospitality businesses and their customers should be subjected to harassment from those desiring to express their first amendment rights.
before discussing the the morton’s case, i wish to share a story of when it was a democratic leader who was perhaps deserving of criticism.
during a period of early covid-19 hysteria, restaurant lockdowns were occurring. the issue was not vaccine mandates, it was whether outdoor dining could be permitted.
a big new story came out that a government officials was abusive towards the restaurant industr. an elected los angeles county board of supervisor sheila kuehl ate at a santa monica restaurant hours after voting to ban outdoor dining. this was remarkable as she was reported as saying “outdoor dining is probably more dangerous in terms of contagion than any other kind of business.”… at the tuesday meeting. “the servers are not protected from us, and they’re not protected from their other tables that they’re serving at that particular time, plus all the hours in which they’re working.” smmirror.com
ms. kuehl’s eating at the restaurant after the vote evidenced hypocrisy at the highest order. if she truly believed what she said, she would have not eaten at the restaurant after making that statement! her actions, which were around christmas time, deprived restaurant owners and their staffs significant business and gratuities in a time that they were needed. ms. kuehl, a former child tv star, cast herself as the real grinch who stole christmas. her statements affirmed to many that politicians are not trustworthy. she gravely damaged citizens’ faith in government. she is truly the poster child of what it is to be an irresponsible elected official.
like ms. kuehl, i am also fan of the santa monica restaurant, il fornio. i have been a customer of the restaurant for about 28 years. the owner and the staff are like a big family. many of them have worked there for decades. i will get an undeserving hug and a back rub from the owner at my infrequent visits. i recommend the restaurant. if i am in the area, it is always considered as an option.
like the restaurant, i am also familiar with ms. kuehl for over 3 decades. she was a professor at my law school and became an elected official where i lived.
after her controversial vote, open air dining once again resumed. she shamelessly continued to go to il fornio. almost every time i would eat there, she would be there. i frequented the restaurant at that time to support the business and hand out good tips. every time i saw her at il fornio, i ranted to my partner how i would love to go up to her and tell her how horrible she was to the restaurant.
i didn’t do it, however. if the owner let her in to eat, which i wouldn’t have, i respected his decision that he wished to provide hospitality to all. i was astonished as she ruined a holiday season for his business, his workers, and their families. as such, i respected what the owner was trying to do. it was his business.
this experience took me the protest at the morton’s steakhouse of brett kavanaugh. the steakhouse issued a statement: “ politics, regardless of your side or views, should not trample the freedom at play of the right to congregate and eat dinner. ‘there is a time and place for everything. disturbing the dinner of all of our customers was an act of selfishness and void of decency.’ dailymail.com i congratulate morton’s for taking this stance. they are trying their best to deliver memorable occasion for all of their customers.
in sum, having shown personal restraint, i can, with a clear conscience, declare, along with morton’s, “let them eat steak!” in these troubling times, we must be grateful to the restaurants for keep their doors open to provide the comfort of having a wonderful meal.
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