No joy


By Steven T. Jones
Contrary to the demented hopes of conservative ideologues like the Examiner's Ken Garcia, there is no joy on the left over the sordid sex scandal that has now engulfed Mayor Gavin Newsom. Sure, it opens up this year's mayor's race and illustrates some of the character flaws of Newsom's administration, which have manifested themselves in how he conducts himself professionally, not just personally. But nobody's happy to see this, not the Guardian (which has also heard these rumors for the last six months but couldn't confirm the story enough to print it) nor the politicians and activists on the left. Several of them happened to be gathered last night when the news hit, and I can tell you there was no glee in that room. Sup. Chris Daly's public comments have been respectful and reserved and in private, he genuinely felt bad for Alex Tourk. Everybody did. Matt Gonzalez, who has been rumored to be considering a run for mayor, spent more time considering how this incident places City Hall in a bad light and in legal jeopardy than he did calculating his own prospects. And my sweetie Alix Rosenthal, who is president of the National Women's Political Caucus, and the other women in the room are bracing for attempts to inappropriately delve into Ruby Tourk's private life and are ready to fight back if Newsom's people or their proxies go that route.
In the coming days or weeks, after the shock of this wears off and it becomes acceptable to make jokes or calculate its political implications, we'll rejoin the battle for this city's soul and actively try to help point the way forward from here. But today, we're all just shaking our heads.