The Rise and Fall of the National Organization for Marriage

What NOM is unintentionally dumping: Own organization’s perceived viability!

March 26, 2012, by Jeremy Hooper

By now, you've surely heard something about the National Organization For Marriage's "Dump Starbucks" campaign. If not, there is literally nothing more to know than that (a) Starbucks supports marriage equality, (b) NOM does not, so therefore (b) has decided to (c) to it that (a) suffers some sort of financial harm for daring to stand up for fairness in America.

But I am pretty confident that you probably have heard about it, because the thing's gotten a ton of attention. There has been much written and said about NOM's campaign, both in mainstream media sources and in political niche forums. That's actually one of the annoying things about a group like NOM, typically: That their efforts against equality sometimes trend into "man bites dog" territory, which affords them an easier path towards press attention than would a less headline-grabbing effort. A campaign like "Dump Starbucks" has a media leg up pretty much built-in.

Although this time, I'm actually not annoyed by the considerable attention that NOM has received. Why? Because even with (/because of) this heightened attention, NOM's campaign has proven to be CRAZY unsuccessful. The fact that it is so unsuccessful even with so much spilled ink? Well, that only compounds the insult.


Here are some measures that allow me to safely call the "Dump" campaign a bust:


#1: Social media. On the "Dump Starbucks" Facebook page, a large portion of the comments are pro-equality. Plus I have personal evidence that they are deleting disagreeing comments, which is a tell-tale sign of both fear and of pushback outweighing support.

On Twitter, their official @DumpStarbucks handle has only managed 151 followers at the time of this posting, with a large portion of those also verifiably pro-equality. Meanwhile, the scrappy little @PumpStarbucks counter-effort has been ahead from the beginning (it's currently at 222 followers).


#2: Starbucks stock. It's only climbed since Thursday's boycott launch.  I know I've been sure to patronize the coffee giant more than I normally would, even for things like a bottle of water or sandwich.  Others have surely done the same.


But the biggest marker of all is... 

#3: The "Thank You Starbucks" counter effort arranged by the Sum of Us site. This campaign hasn't received even a fraction of the mainstream press attention that NOM's effort has. Plus they launched the effort a full day after NOM's. Yet despite these and other burdens, organizers have outpaced NOM more than tenfold:

DUMP (as of mid-day, 3/26):
Screen Shot 2012-03-26 At 2.39.25 Pm

THANK (as of mid-day, 3/26):
Screen Shot 2012-03-26 At 2.37.14 Pm

This drastic outpacing is truly remarkable. This Sum of Us site is very new and the organizational effort has been completely netroots driven, yet every single day, the campaign has climbed much faster and higher than NOM's heavily promoted effort.  Oh, and I must also note that there are many questions about a weird and unexplained bump that NOM registered on Saturday afternoon, bringing raised eyebrows to even the signatures they do have. 


All in all, this thing is turning into a major public embarrassment for NOM.  It's a veritable espresso shot to NOM's increasingly less palatable public image.  That is *is* so public only increases the growing (and deserved) backlash.

It's delicious.  Like a Caramel Macchiato.