In the latest New York Magazine, Jonathan Chait has an article on the Republican Congress' sabotage of Obama. No matter how ridiculous the accusations against Obama (muslim, fascist, communist, socialist, racist, liar, Chicago-style thug), the relentless hysteria set up a narrative that supported total gridlock and calls for impeachment for Obama's first 2 years.
Though the San Diegans who consider themselves the rightful owners of the top local offices are amateurish in comparison to congressional Republicans and their media shills, there are parallels.
Currently, only a few recent stories are available online that recount the closed session set-to, in June, which outrageously led to a thinly veiled accusation that Filner engaged in racism by getting angry at Andrew Jones. (We all remember: Filner is famous for fighting racism all of his life, and Andrew Jones is an African-American.) The most recent recounting of Andrew Jones' complaint is found in a July 15 World Net Daily report. Jones says, "This was shocking… I am the first African American to ever hold a position this high in the city attorney’s office. I had not said a word, he attacked me with no provocation. ... That’s a violation of the law, and it goes far beyond the pale of (what) any decent human being would expect." Importantly, Jones' original lament, that he self-identified with Rosa Parks, is not mentioned in WND. That's a good clue that someone realized too late the racism card not only could never work against Filner, but that it was also a total embarrassment to even play it.
The whole stupid ginned-up run-in worked, however, to reinforce the "bully" narrative that was constructed by Filner's enemies from Filner's first day in office. And so now, here we are, with Filner's tough, hardball, schmaltzy persona opening the door wide to the next set of complaints. As Chait says, "the nature of [the] opposition ... has proved impossible to modulate. ... The caricature justified the hostility, and the hostility, in turn, has authenticated the caricature."
Filner was blinded by hubris. He should do a secular mea culpa as he is doing.
We have to quit placing politicians on a pedestal. Most of them are rather poor role models, ad it turns out.
How politicians sell out for campaign contributions is a national disgrace.
Just hitting on several women is largely a symbolic problem compared to loss of civil liberties, the economy, war and the environmental catastrophe.
Some of the victims need to get over it, quite frankly, take their settlement proceeds and move along. Most should have come forward sooner and they would have saved the rest of us this huge embarassment.
Hitting on several women is also nothing compared to Republican efforts to completely ban abortion, or deny women equal pay, or otherwise demean women. Bob Filner may be an ass, but he hasn't denied women their rights.
BlueSouthPark: Filner has spent his career fighting bigotry and idiocy such as vaginal probes. He has also done stupid things such as making suggestive remarks to successful women who are his peers. But in 60 days we could have a recall. Unfortunately, it will be a long time after that before we know who put up the $300,00 to gather the signatures. Best, Don Bauder
KayL: Excellent point. Republicans are effectively banning abortion in several backward states, even though it is legal nationally. Filner has fought for rights of minorities and women. But that doesn't seem to make any difference in this environment of hysteria. The women who feel Filner must go will have regrets when they see $800 million of taxpayer money go to a football stadium. Best, Don Bauder
Diogenes: That gets to the heart of what I am talking about in this blog. A sex scandal sells. The public can understand it. The Spitzer matter is a great example. He was exposing Wall Street's thievery. What he was exposing was far more grave than his hiring a prostitute. But a sex scandal resonates. Derivatives that bring the world to the brink of financial collapse do not resonate. As I have repeated many times: the essence of financial fraud is contrived complexity. You can steal all you want under that cloud. Best, Don Bauder
For too many, a sexual sin is the gravest crime imaginable. We have Diane Feinstein calling for Filner's head on a platter while the US allows torture and wiretapping and almost 100% of Wall Street crime was rewarded instead of prosecuted. Millions are out of work. Wars are killing millions.
I'm sorry but getting your panties in a bunch over this allows the voters to ignore the important issues. Sure, don't make working at a $125, 000 per year job harder. No one died, however. Hurt feelings matter more than jobs, torture and wiretapping, not to mention wars and the environment that supports life on this planet. Filner helped women in the past by standing up for them.
For too many, a sexual sin is the gravest crime imaginable. We have Diane Feinstein calling for Filner's head on a platter while the US allows torture and wiretapping and almost 100% of Wall Street crime was rewarded instead of prosecuted. Millions are out of work. Wars are killing millions. Damn are you good.................you just hit a home run with that comment....DiFi and her pu**y ass cabal haven't done jack shit to fix the nation as a whole, and is letting the elite few, 30K , on Wall Street destroy the country..she can go suck eggs
We should remember that Filner can't be embarrassed into desisting, that's part of his problem, but also one of his strengths. I haven't heard anything that suggests he will resign soon, or ever. I believe he would resign for the good of the City, but nothing this chorus of hypocrites sings suggests that any respect will be paid to the wishes of those who elected him. They want a do over on the last election. He should stay on for the good of the City.
dwbat: Gee, now it's a "lifetime" of such behavior. Then why in the world didn't this become an issue in the mayoral election? Dwbat: you have to admit this was a setup and Filner was stupid to get caught in it. But the people behind the trap, who are feeding dubious information to the media, and orchestrating the ladies who are coming out, hide their motivations. Best, Don Bauder
dwbat: Wait a minute. I said he has always been arrogant and abrasive. You are talking about his gauche sexual aggressiveness with successful, powerful women, and saying it is a lifetime affliction. Best, Don Bauder
SurfPup: I am still looking in vain for a quid pro quo, for actual sex, for abuse of anybody young and naive, for Filner keeping at it after being told to stop, for anything other than stupid and injudicious hugs and comments to mature, successful women, many of whom may have an axe to grind. Best, Don Bauder
•Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentaries about an individual's body This too is an overly broad and vague, therefore unconstitutional, description of conduct. If one says you "...look pale today", BOOM, sexual harassment charge-sorry, does not cut it.
While at MoPA I attended numerous galas with a member of "the Filner 7." Or is it 8? One of the complaints she leveled concerned kisses on the cheek. I cannot tell you how many times I witnessed this woman both give and receive facial pecks. She was like Dicky Dawson on the old "Family Feud." Hell, on an occasion or two, I may have been guilty of giving her a greeting smooch. Now, when there's a flimsy bandwagon to hop on it's considered sexual harassment.
And don't you find it odd that these women told their stories to vanilla KPBS instead of going to the U-T?
I admire the ferocity with which you are covering the story, Don. I'd hate to see all of Filner's hard work go to waste. Thanks!
Get over it dwbat. Have you ever padded an expense account? Ever claim office supplies as your own? Same thing, smaller scale. If we were to try every politician that padded an expense account the jails would be full of them.
What about Filner's holier-than-thou accusers who sat silent for years? How many lives could these thoughtless servants of the people have spared from the humiliation of the dreaded Filner headlock? Why don't we investigate the rumors that surfer dude Donna Frye has a DUI or two to her credit? How about the allegations against Jan Goldsmith for Domestic Violence? Who cares about alleged drunks and wife beaters? We have a fanny pincher on the prowl!
I once dated a lawyer who encountered on-the-job sexual harassment. She wrote off the first offense as the liquor doing the talking at an office party. The second time he touched her she said, "The next time you lay so much as a finger on, I'm calling the cops AND you'll be wearing your balls as a scarf." Filner's accusers are tough, credible career women, not helpless haufraus given their 15 minutes of fame on "Oprah." Had a retired Navy rear-admiral and college dean come forward as individuals, do you really think anyone would have ignored their allegations? In PC terms, doesn't that make them all Filner-enablers? Instead, they wait for someone to put a package deal together for them. The whole thing stinks.