Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Devouring Bob Filner

Predictions of doomsday have officially fizzled.  This past November voters elected the liberal Democrat Bob Filner as mayor of the city of San Diego and -- happy to report -- the world (as we know it) remains intact. 

In fact, our city seems pretty much the same as ever.  For example: 

  • Our downtown heavyweights still scurry around in perpetual motion, determined to infiltrate and control the mayorhood
  • Our elected officials still get that faraway look in their eyes as they prime their pumps for higher office or a lucrative move to the private sector
  • Our local news media (daily newspaper, weeklies, online deliverers) still cling to their fixation on one-upping the new mayor with snarky, sneaky, snippy, snaky, sneering, snarly, and snide political coverage – unable to set aside overblown egos and get down to delivering responsible, informed, mature journalism
  • Our failed mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio still pursues his obsessive compulsion to privatize government functions in the city of San Diego -- a dry run for his dream of privatizing state and federal government
  • Our other failed mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher still has his well-shod foot planted firmly in multiple doors, continually reinventing his persona as man-for-all-seasons and persuasions -- biding his time until he's summoned back to the campaign trail 
  • Our low-keyed public is still easily distracted by traffic alerts, surf reports, and UT-TV drivel and willingly hoodwinked into believing that the city is A-okay as long as the weather holds out, their potholes get filled, and our team wins.
On the other hand...if you pay close attention you might catch a glimpse of the prescient ghost of that other Bob.  It looks like, even here in San Diego, the times they are a-changin'...

During the brief few weeks since Bob Filner took over the mayor's office he's been wielding his mayoral position like a new broom, sweeping clean thick layers of accumulated dreck from under the rugs of City Hall.  His early spring cleaning and vows to steer public resources  in the direction of the greatest number of people -- not just the richest ones -- have already caused a lot of powerful old-timers (and some fellow politicians) to hack, cough, sputter, and wheeze.  "Insolence at City Hall" shouts this week's U-T editorial.  

There's one thing you can be sure of: the select few in the inner sanctums of the Chamber of Commerce, San Diego Padres, and Manchester boardroom are hard at work plotting Filner's early demise.  Same goes for the dense circle of chameleons now transformed into the mayor's best new friends.  

But our mayor is equally at risk of being eaten alive by his famished supporters -- labor, latinos, lgbt's, blacks, environmentalists, social justice folk, stoners -- each group taking credit for catapulting him into office and pulling at his sleeve with demands to be his favored child – NOW!  

Which side will devour Filner first?

We'll be tackling questions like this one in the upcoming NumbersRunner series called: What You Always Wanted to Know About (…) but Were Afraid to Ask!  

Stay tuned.