I do love the fall, right about now. Our infamous "Indian Summer" starts making itself known in October, and suddenly everyone is digging in the back of their closets trying to find their lighter clothes. We have baseball playoffs, football starting to get serious, and if you squint really hard and look just right you can just perceive the dim outline of college basketball.
Oh, and I almost forgot... it's conspiracy season!
Yes, with the presidential elections just around the corner conspiracies abound, debate strategies (it's a rope a dope!), facial expressions (he's firing up the base!) and everything means more than it actually does. And this season, oh proud citizens of the 49-acre woods, our local team is beating the rest of the nation at this game. Hands down.
It all went screwy around here (well, more than normal), with the Mirkarimi mess. It was a hit by the mayor to get a progressive sheriff! Of course, the fact that he was replacing a progressive sheriff that no one had a problem with got lost in the wash. No wait, that's not it. It's actually a hit by Willie Brown and Rose Pak because they seem to want to get rid of the progressives in power! Which would explain why the two of them have been swinging away nonstop at Supervisors David Campos and John Avalos. Wait, they haven't? Damn, there goes that theory too.
Conspiracies have a tendency to appear in moments of weakness. The strong don't need conspiracies because they are too busy consolidating power. Those without power have to make up excuses for that shortcoming. For instance, how many times do you hear the Raiders complaining that the league is out to get them? How many times do you hear the 49ers complaining? Exactly.
Of course, the problem with conspiracies is that they have an unfortunate tendency to unravel at the most inconvenient time. And so we find our local band of progressives in the proverbial soup once again. Now, mind you we just got done trying to untangle the tortured and contradictory rationales they proffered for keeping Mirkarimi as Sheriff. Things got so confusing that Supervisor Jane Kim felt it necessary to explain her vote. Five minutes after the first time she explained her vote. And apparently that still wasn't enough, since the following morning she was attempting to explain her vote yet again.
Another fumbling oration was given by Supervisor Olague. Too bad for her, we all knew that despite her long, head-scratching explanation of how she was worried about expanding the mayor's power, she cast a vote to consolidate her own power in District 5... Where she is up for re-election... Ross Mirkarimi's old district. But her vote wasn't politically motivated, she insists. I actually agree with her. It had nothing to do with Mayor Lee and everything to do with saving her own skin. Yes, Ross Mirkarimi did things that appalled and disappointed the Board. But that isn't half as terrifying to Supervisor Olague as the specter of the private sector.
But wait, we have conspiracies to explain this! It was really about getting back at Rose and Willie and their appointed challenger London Breed! That not working for you? Then maybe it was actually Olague working with Rose and Willie to make sure a pro development vote stayed on the board. See, and that way Mayor Lee gets the blame and they come out clean. How about, um, let's see, how about...oh lordy, I think I am getting a migraine.
And sadly for the progressives, it really is just a lot of noise and hand waving to try and explain that they voted to put a Sheriff convicted of false imprisonment, on probation, and in anti-domestic violence counseling, back in office. And now the progressives have to come up with a whole new set of conspiracies because they have gone and done it again.
The same progressive Supervisors who voted for one of their own, now have to explain why they are running away from one of their own. God I love a good conspiracy, and of course it had to be from District 5, right? Progressive candidate Julian Davis is being accused of groping a woman underneath her clothes and without her consent. And it all sounds sadly familiar. The long-standing rumors of inappropriate behavior. The warning signals from people close to the candidate to those around them, effecting the unswerving support from their fellow progressives despite this knowledge.
Before we had Ross Mirkarimi glibly telling us that it was "a private matter." Now we have Davis telling the SF Weekly that "No one pressed charges. We're not talking about anything criminal here."
But now Supervisors Campos and Avalos are running like hell from Davis, and that move also looks like a conspiracy (I'm not suggesting the victim was involved.) This one is to reward Olague, whose vote to keep Mirkarimi was crucial. Campos and Avalos' withdrawn endorsements deal a potentially fatal blow to Davis' campaign that benefits Olague. Avalos is out actively campaigning for Olague.
But when it comes to finding the truth about politics, Occam's razor always points in the same direction: politicians' desire for survival and power. Everything else -- women's rights, mayoral power -- is just after-the-fact justification for what they wanted in the first place. So Campos and Avalos vote for Mirkarimi because they are convinced that this will make them saviors of the movement and ensure their political futures. And they disavow Davis because it would be suicide not to after their votes for Mirkarimi. Other progressives will follow. As ever, for their own survival. Simple as that.