Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Leftie I Can't Respect

I've been bashing our Commander-in-Chimp quite a bit, and lately also Governor Schwulenegger here in California, but my aim is to be an equal opportunity dispenser of satiric vitriol. For that reason, today I'd like to tell you a little bit about former San Francisco mayor Willie Brown.

I hope you can tell from my writings so far in this blog that my objections to His Willieness have nothing whatsoever to do with race, and I expect it's quite clear that I'm not at all offended that he authored and championed legislation to legalize private sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex. Indeed, that's an accomplishment that I honor.

My objection centers on his style of governance. When Willie Brown ran for mayor for the first time in 1995, having been removed from the Assembly by term limits, a good friend of mine said, "Yeah, he's a crook, but he's our crook." In other words, because Brown consistently toed the good liberal policy line, any shady dealings he may have engaged in to get there were badges of honor rather than charges for a grand jury. Brown not only engaged in, but actively reveled in petty political payback. Brown's political friends could park anywhere in the city with impunity — a valuable perk in a city where one often needs to allow more time to circle for parking than to actually drive from Point A to Point B — using such things as an expired press pass for a radio station that no longer broadcasts. If I may play on a hackneyed analogy, Willie Brown enjoyed the making of the sausage even more than he valued the end product.

I don't respect Willie Brown because I don't believe he dealt honestly with the citizens of San Francisco. Call me naïve (Ooh, I love it when you call me naïve! Say it again, big boy!), but I believe that political leaders, from the local dog-catcher to the President of the United States, should always be forthright and honest with the public. The occasional exception to that rule — such as FDR's outright lies to the American people in the build-up to World War II, repeating in the 1940 election that he had no intention of sending American boys to fight in a foreign war even as he held secret meetings with then First Lord of the Admiralty [roughly Secretary of the Navy] Winston Churchill — only serves to highlight the extremity of circumstance that justifies breaking it. Building a combination foo-ball stadium and shopping mall isn't even on the same planet.

In short, except for minor differences of goals, Willie Brown would be an excellent fit in the administration of either George W. Shrub or Arnold Schwulenutter.

P.S. Happy Flag Day!