San Francisco disputes liberal image
With SF liberal Rep. Nancy Pelosi set to become the first woman speaker in the history of the House of Representatives, her hometown, San Francisco, has been in the spotlight a little more so than normal, so much so that some San Franciscans are attempting to dispute the kook left liberal image it has around the country. Amusing. Via the AP:
They think we are tree-huggers and granola eaters,” Mary Graves, 47, a self-described mainstream Democrat, said with a laugh. “I explain that I’m just tolerant and love diversity and having everyone get along and respect each other.”
Aaron Peskin, president of the city Board of Supervisors, said San Francisco has such ethnic, cultural and political diversity that its elected officials must be masters of consensus-building.
“The kinds of skills you need to be an effective decision-maker on the local level in San Francisco – having to compromise between various constituencies – makes someone very well situated for doing that in our nation’s capital,” he said of Pelosi.
Ah. I’m getting a warm and fuzzy feeling at all this talk of tolerance and consensus-building for the Bay area. It sounds good, anyway.
Pelosi, a 66-year-old mother of five who is married to an investment banker, occupies the middle ground of San Francisco politics. California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, also from the Bay Area, respectively stand to Pelosi’s right and left.
That’s interesting because the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) rates Pelosi with a 95, Feinstein a 95 and Boxer 100. Who’s zoomin’ who? These gals don’t stand to the left or right of each other. They stand with each other.
More recently, the San Francisco area’s embrace of gay marriage, medical marijuana and the anti-war movement reinforced the city’s image as a loopy place out of sync with the rest of America.
That’s ironic, said Richard DeLeon, professor emeritus of political science at San Francisco State University.
“The values of the American creed – individuality, liberty, free speech, democracy and at least the aspiration of equality – can be expressed and experienced in San Francisco to an extent that’s hard to find elsewhere,” said DeLeon, who first came here during the 1967 Summer of Love. “San Francisco isn’t un-American. America has become less American, with a retreat from civil liberties and, in the White House, suppressive policies and pre-emptive war.”
“Individuality, liberty, free speech, and democracy”? Err, ok. For starters, did this guy sleep through the 2005 elections in San Francisco? I think he did, because if he hadn’t, surely he would have remembered how San Franciscans voted. I’ll give him the courtesy of a memory refresher (emphasis added):
SF Voters Pass Gun Ban; Oust Military Recruiters
SAN FRANCISCO — Voters approved ballot measures to ban handguns in San Francisco and urge the city’s public high schools and college campuses to keep out military recruiters.
With 100 percent of San Francisco precincts reporting on Wednesday, 58 percent of voters backed the proposed gun ban while 42 percent opposed it.
Measure H prohibits the manufacture and sale of all firearms and ammunition in the city, and make it illegal for residents to keep handguns in their homes or businesses.
Only two other major U.S. cities — Washington and Chicago — have implemented such sweeping handgun bans.
Supervisor Chris Daly, who proposed the measure, said the victory showed that “San Francisco voters support sensible gun control.”
Citing statistics that show most homicides in the city involve handguns, Daly said “every life that’s saved with Proposition H is a big win.”
Although law enforcement, security guards and others who require weapons for work are exempt from the measure, current handgun owners would have to surrender their firearms by April.
The military recruitment initiative also won with 60 percent in favor and 40 percent against.
Measure I, dubbed “College Not Combat” opposes the presence of military recruiters at public high schools and colleges. However, it would not ban the armed forces from seeking enlistees at city campuses, since that would put schools at risk of losing federal funding.
Instead, Proposition I encourages city officials and university administrators to exclude recruiters and create scholarships and training programs that would reduce the military’s appeal to young adults.
Dunno about you, but those votes certainly aren’t indicators of the liberty and free speech values Professor DeLeon believes are exclusive to SF.
Let’s also not forget that the intolerance towards the military SF has extends not only to hating military recruiters, but also to having the historic Battleship Iowa as a floating museum. Last year, SF supervisors opposed having the Iowa there by a vote of 8-3.
And on the democracy front, Professor DeLeon also must have forgotten SF Mayor Gavin Newsom’s tyrannical declaration back in February 2004 that gay marriage was legal – he ordered ordered officials to issue licenses to same-sex couples, declaring that he was merely ensuring equal treatment of gays and lesbians. Instead of doing things the democratic way, and taking the issue to the citizens for a vote, he declared it legal, and dispensed with that little formality. This isn’t the first time Newsom has acted in defiance of the rule of law: Back in April, the mayor said that SF wouldn’t comply with any federal legislation that criminalized efforts to help illegals. Mayor Newsom has also found “rights” in the Constitution which do not exist: the “basic right” to wireless access.
The bottom line is that SF, like so many other far left bastions, certainly does support free speech and democracy: provided you’re saying what they want you to say (and don’t offend their delicate sensibilities) and provided you don’t mind elected officials ignoring laws they don’t like.
I will say this for Professor DeLeon, though: He got that “individuality” thing exactly right.
Related left coast moonbat news: Student leaders at this Costa Mesa college in California have banned the Pledge of Allegiance from being recited at their meetings, saying “they see no reason to publicly swear loyalty to God and the U.S. government.” Read more via Michelle Malkin.