By Steven T. Jones
Anyone who still thinks that Mayor Gavin Newsom is a liberal who has been unfairly maligned by the Bay Guardian and other wild-eyed San Francisco lefties should watch his appearance on Bill O’Reilly’s Fox News show last night, in which Newsom praises O’Reilly (a right-wing reactionary if there ever was one) as a political moderate, correctly calls himself an economic conservative, and said he watches O’Reilly’s show every night and agrees with much of what he hears.
While Newsom meekly disagrees with O’Reilly’s ridiculous main premise that the situation in Sacramento and San Francisco proves that “liberal governance just don’t work,” he spends far more time agreeing with O’Reilly than challenging any of O’Reilly’s ludicrous and inaccurate assertions.
For example, O’Reilly blames California’s fiscal mess on liberals (actually, the main problem is our Republican governor and a two-thirds budget vote threshold that has let conservatives hold the state hostage) and casts San Francisco as increasingly overrun with homeless people and pot clubs (both of which have declined, leaving SF with just 22 licensed and well-regulated cannabis dispensaries).
Instead of defending traditional Democratic Party values (those that existed before Bill Clinton and others allowed them to be coopted by big corporations and anti-government crusaders) and his party's current leaders, Newsom bends over backward to highlight his no-new-taxes stance and says, “We operate in a fiscally conservative manner.”
As the Chronicle reports today, San Francisco is facing a $522 million and growing budget deficit, which Newsom is only trying to increase with his proposed tax cuts and embrace of Reaganomics, while steadfastly refusing to work with others on finding new revenue sources. This is a recipe for disaster, but at least Newsom is sure to be invited back on his buddy Bill’s show, where he they can together celebrate the crash of civil society as we know it.