By Allen Hemphill
Columnists are, by training and experience, reflective, not reflexive. They need to avoid breaking news stories, lest their subject matter have changed by print time — but what the heck.
When a fine politician with years of public service is found to have clay feet, one must grimace. When a hack politician is likewise found, it is time for a smiley face.
But when an arrogant, stupid politician, who has ridden his youthful Freedom Rider experience to a serial train wreck, aided and abetted by his fellow gutter-dwellers who have known of this aberrant activity for a LONG time, and only talked among themselves lest they derail the looming Democratic Party takeover of San Diego — then it is Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, sung in the Washington Cathedral by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
That he intends to tough it out is Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with real cannon and church bells, because there is nothing that will do the “progressive” movement more harm than the exposure of the length and depth of this problem, and how a political party which skewers a Republican congressman for foot twirling under a public restroom partition, can press someone with Filner’s past to the mayoralty of a great city, then continue to support him years after knowing the truth, that will (hopefully) set us all free of even greater hypocrisy.
Bob says he will make policy changes in his office to solve this problem. He is the problem in the mayor’s office! The mayor’s office doesn’t need a policy change, it needs a personnel change.
Men come in several varieties: Foppish (today’s genre of choice); male; aggressive; crude; and brutish. Their sexual approaches to women can be soft or hard. I once served with a fellow submarine officer whose direct method was to leave our occasional wardroom dinner at a fine establishment (there were five of us) to approach a woman eating alone. He was direct: “Hi, I am an officer from a submarine that just came into port. Can I spend the weekend at your place?” He accepted rejection amiably, but was successful one in every five tries. He was greatly admired by our wardroom, because he was direct but not crude, or boorish.
(I always believed in the John Wayne approach — hard to men and soft to women. If that appears outdated, so be it. The Duke once held aloft at a party a sign reading “Hemphill for President” — so yes, we had met.)
Filner apparently falls in the crude or boorish category, but it is not some recent brain lesion or tumor that causes his actions — he has always been that way, and his voters knew exactly what they were getting. He was duly elected by people who knew he was an honors graduate of the Alec Baldwin Charm School, a man who challenges the Will Rogers remark that he never met a man he didn’t like.
His fellow politicians have warned each other for years about Filner, but the Democratic county machine, so eager for a win, pushed him anyway.
Great! The longer he stays, the worse it is for progressives.
Stay, Bob, stay!
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