In defense of Buc-ee’s

Let us get something out of the way, first and foremost. I love Dr Pepper ICEEs. No, that is not a hyperbolic statement in the least, I love those drinks with every bone in my body. Fortunately, the Valero Gas Station proudly furnishes the heavenly beverage at many convenient locations, both near my home in Houston and my place of temporary sojourning in Austin. I also love club sandwiches, but this has already been established, as we all know. Both Houston and Austin host many exciting restaurants that serve club sandwiches, though I cannot say Valero is one of them. The only place I know that sells both Dr Pepper ICEEs and [fantastic] club sandwiches is Buc-ees. Accordingly, this is my absurdly long-winded way of saying that I love Buc-ees. No, I love Buc-ees, the bathrooms, the food and the general atmosphere.

Therefore, this news figuratively broke my heart. Dan Patrick, the fiery ultra-conservative Republican primary candidate for Lieutenant Governor, has received the endorsement of the Buc-ees owners. I take it most people have heard of this. Congressman Joaquin Castro (D-San Antonio) will be boycotting the establishment, as will many of my Democratic compatriots. I, however, will not, for a few very simple reasons.

First, the company itself is not doing the ugly politicking, that would be owners individually. Now, I know that most on the left groan at any notion of the “corporations are people” dogma, but legally speaking, this is how the world works. I distinguish it from the case of Chick-fil-A, who directly donated corporate revenue to “charities” that truly served as fronts for homophobic hate groups. However, after facing severe blow-back, Chick-fil-A ended these corporate gifts. The owners are definitely still homophobic bigots, but the company does not directly contribute to the prejudice, so I still eat there.

I also ask, where would my fellow Democrats now stop on their treks between Houston and Austin, Dallas or San Antonio? A Cracker Barrel? A Wal-Mart? A Kroger? I will add that all those aforementioned establishments, you will not find employment protections for LGBT employees and all those employed will be paid the absolute minimum wage.

Lone Star Q also reports that these same Buc-ee’s owners have a history of donating thousands to Democrats, including President Obama’s re-election bid in 2012. The article also touts protections against a transgendered employee facing criticism from a bigoted customer base and a pledge to introduce domestic partnership benefits for employees.

Buc-ee’s also pays a starting salary of $11.50, 62% higher than the Federal & State Minimum Wage. For all those liberals who will rant about how awful this company may be, I challenge you to find another retailer chain with a higher introductory salary. Even good ole Costco, a fan favorite of the left, pays the same.

Perhaps it is just me, but I do not see the big deal in who the corporate executives support with their personal money. To me, there is little distinction between this and a rank-and-file employee who would use her salary to do some nefarious deed. Either way, the company is not directly subsidizing the act in question that is frowned upon. We should all remember that. So on Sunday, when I drive back to Austin, I will make sure to stop at the Bastrop Buc-ee’s, drink a delicious Dr Pepper ICEE and eat a fabulous club sandwich. I encourage you to join me.

Dos Centavos, Off the Kuff and Texas Leftist have more.

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