By Steven T. Jones
Frankly, I'm not terribly disappointed to hear that Matt Gonzalez isn't running for mayor. Having basically bowed out of public life after losing the last mayor's race, I just didn't see how he was a good rallying point for the progressive movement, let alone a real threat to win.
But I was a bit irked to read Gavin Newsom's campaign manager Eric Jaye's comment to the Chronicle: "They're in total collapse," Jaye said of the city's progressives. "They had all year to organize themselves ... as they get weaker, we get stronger."
Really? A strong mayor might stand up to the Police Officers Association to demand reform or accountability, or to the downtown forces that are suing to kill the city's new health plan and going to the ballot to undo neighborhood-based parking policies developed over the last three decades, or showing leadership (rather than a petulant "take it or leave it" attitude) in fixing his flawed wifi proposal, or doing something to create more affordable housing rather than just kowtowing to the developers of million-dollar condos, or doing his job and initiating official misconduct proceedings against Sup. Ed Jew. Instead, Camp Newsom seems to believe that they get stronger by taking weak stands and thus preserving political capital.
Apparently, it's a strategy that has been effective enough to stay popular and clear the field of competitors. But as long as we keep buying our ink by the barrel, the Guardian will keep countering the self-serving spin of our ineffective by photogenic celebrity mayor.
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