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One Hand Clapping

Nov
24
2003

Over at the Chron, where they’re green-baiting like crazy, what with all that hand-wringing about Greens actually winning, Ken Garcia looks at the record and decides that he doesn’t like Matt Gonzalez.
Garcia’s got some good points. Gonzalez, he says, ignores ballot initiatives and other indications of what neighbors and city residents want when he casts his votes on the Board of Supervisors. Well, there’s something to be said for that. It would be nice, for once, to have a city — hey, here’s an idea, a state — that’s run not by grand, sweeping (and expensive) ballot initiatives but one that’s run by people who actually want to do the job they’re paid (and paid well) to do.
The problem isn’t that Gonzalez ignores voters. It’s that he and others, in the “Alice in Wonderland” distortion that goes on in city politics nurture the idea that opposition by its very existence creates a moral high ground.
When he casts votes, Garcia claims, Gonzalez is just as keen to reward supporters, pay off backers, and keep the “progressive” coalition together as any machine-backed ward heeler. That means he’s a politician just like, oh, pick one, Willie Brown. Having opposition doesn’t necessarily mean Gonzalez is leading anyone anywhere new. But in a city dominated by a progressive coalition, Gonzalez can wrap himself in the virtuous mantle of the Left and claim to not only be good but right.
This argument, which was perfected by the Clintons while they were in the White House and now trotted out regularly by any besieged Lefty, is hermetically sealed. It lets in no other thinking: maybe there’s another way? Maybe we’re wrong? It bastes in its own glory and much of that glory is past (which is why the only Liberals walking the national stage are in the 60’s and 70’s. They’ve clearly never heard of a ‘farm team?’). It looks backward to days of past triumphs over social ills and injustices and not forward to find new solutions to problems.
SF Weekly columnist Matt Smith has already said much of this. But it bears repeating. Again and again.

Share  Posted by Chris Nolan at 12:18 PM | Permalink

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