Perhaps it is a sign of our absurd political times that the stupidest theater can reveal the gravest truth.
Just look at San Francisco.
As my Times colleague Julia Wick reported this week, conservatives — long convinced that the Bay City is a progressive hellhole of homelessness, unchecked crime and drug addiction — are holding their noses to encourage the 49ers in Sunday’s Super Bowl. Anything to avoid taking advantage of the Kansas City Chiefs and Travis Kelce and his girlfriend, the omnipresent Taylor Swift.
This is, of course, the natural culmination of the many go-to MAGA conspiracy theories circulating on social media, most of which insist that Swift, Kelce and perhaps the NFL are plotting with Democrats to defeat Donald Trump and send Joe Biden back to the White House. November.
“I wonder who’s going to win the Super Bowl,” trolled Vivek Ramaswamy, the odious former Republican presidential candidate and vice-presidential hopeful. “And I wonder if there is any major presidential support coming from an artificially culturally supported couple this fall.”
Not to be outdone, the man who runs the wildly popular and aptly named far-right X account End Wokeness posted: “What is happening with Taylor Swift is neither organic nor natural. It’s an operation. We all feel it. We all know it.
And now we have influencers like Rogan O’Handley (aka DC Draino) proposing a two-week truce with San Francisco to encourage more Americans to support the 49ers.
“Mr. Pfizer and his girlfriend will travel the country as ‘world champions’ to help elect Joe Biden,” he said. “World War III will likely follow in a second Biden term and millions will die. The fate of the free world rests on your shoulders.
In response to such puzzling backhanded compliments, Assemblyman Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) told Wick, my Times colleague, that it was “a little strange to see people who usually hate San Francisco now applaud San Francisco.”
In response to his response, I say it’s clear these people weren’t paying attention. Because if they did, they wouldn’t hate San Francisco. Because they would know that many of the city’s recently proposed policies are more consistent with the policies of a far-right conservative than those of a far-left progressive.
While those of us in Los Angeles were busy electing an abolitionist to the city council, San Francisco began by ousting its reform-minded district attorney and then escalated the criminalization of homelessness and drug addiction.
Why this is happening – at least on the surface – has a lot to do with Mayor London Breed. She was never really progressive. But since the pandemic, she has moved even closer to the wealthy, organized right, trying to appease increasingly jaded residents and, in doing so, win an uphill battle for re-election.
To that end, when voters recalled Chesa Boudin as district attorney in 2022, Breed supported former prosecutor Brooke Jenkins. Since then, Jenkins has been criticized for all sorts of unprogressive things, including the time she said the quiet part out loud in supporting frequent encampment sweeps because unhoused people “need to be made to feel uncomfortable.” comfortable” to accept accommodation offers. .
During this time, Breed emerged as an early and vocal advocate for getting the U.S. Supreme Court to decide, once and for all, whether it is unconstitutional for Western cities to clear encampments from public property . And, in January, the high court announced that it would indeed review rulings from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which has long held that denying unhoused people a place to sleep constitutes cruel punishment and unusual.
You wouldn’t know it from watching Fox News or following MAGA types’ posts on social media, but Breed isn’t alone among Democrats in complaining about tents on sidewalks and RVs under highways, and how the courts have limited their ability to do much about it.
Rather, it is the progressives—those who apparently no longer dominate politics in San Francisco—who are actually worried about the Pandora’s box that conservative Supreme Court justices are about to open. Even Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said last month that she was concerned that cities were moving “in a direction where we then start criminalizing unhoused people because we can.”
But I digress.
Additional reasons for the far right to reconsider leaving their hearts in San Francisco:
The policy where police arrest not only drug dealers, but also drug users, detain them until they are sober and then try to force them into treatment – you know, because it worked so well during the war on drugs. All in an effort to eradicate the very real problem of open-air drug markets that conservative commentators love to mock.
There’s also the upcoming ballot measure that would require adults on welfare to submit to drug testing and, if found to be addicted, to enroll in treatment to continue receiving benefits. financial advantages.
“There is no more ‘anything goes’ without accountability,” Breed told the San Francisco Chronicle, with words straight out of the Reagan era. “No more handouts without responsibility. »
Responding to these accusations of lawlessness, there is also a plan to ask voters to relax both limits on police vehicle pursuits and requirements for reporting police use of force.
And just days ago, Breed announced she supported a ballot measure that would gut parts of Proposition 47 — the 2014 law that is often criticized by tough-on-crime Republicans because it transforms simple drug possession and crimes against property worth less than $950. crimes.
The new measure would make it easier to throw the proverbial book at people, especially those selling fentanyl.
“We are making progress on property crimes,” Breed said, according to my Times colleague Anabel Sosa. “But the challenges we face related to fentanyl and organized retail theft require real changes to our state’s laws. »
I could be wrong, but that sure doesn’t sound like what someone who is mayor of a progressive hellhole would say.
So fear not, far-right social media trolls and MAGA conspiracy theorists. On Sunday, confident in these serious political truths, you can root for the 49ers guilt-free — and maybe even for San Francisco the other 364 days of the year.
Travis and Taylor already have enough fans.
Note: The content and images used in this article is rewritten and sourced from www.latimes.com