Groan: Dem-driven attacks on Filner depicted as ugly GOP coup

July 15, 2013

By Chris Reed

Sideshow.Bob.FilnerAt 11 a.m. today, there will be another press conference by the three longtime liberal supporters of San Diego Mayor Bob Filner who called on their fellow Democrat to resign last Wednesday over alleged sexual harassment. Former Councilwoman Donna Frye and environmental attorneys Marco Gonzalez and Cory Briggs are expected to offer specific details of allegations from “numerous” women. An alleged victim or two or more might show up to put a human face on the Filner scandal. If they do so in believable fashion, it could be over for the 70-year-old misanthrope who won narrow election as mayor in November.

On Friday afternoon, Filner’s fate seemed to be close to sealed after the former head of the San Diego regional labor council — Lorena Gonzalez, recently elected to the Assembly — called for him to go. Gonzalez had helped clear the field for Filner in 2011 so he was the only prominent Democrat running in the 2012 mayor’s race, wielding labor’s clout in his favor at a key moment. People watching from afar who think Gonzalez is a minor player don’t understand how she has consolidated the labor movement behind her.

But over the weekend, there were no new major defections or revelations. The only real news was the Twitter confirmation by Marco Gonzalez of the Monday news conference.

Hate, bile and conspiracies: Dumb de dumb dumb

What was arguably of most note in the first days of the Filner scandal was how completely unsurprised everyone was who’s ever dealt with him. After that what was probably most of note about the mess over the weekend was how much extreme stupidity it generated from so many online commentators.

How is it any dumber than the usual trolling, radibly predictable partisanship and idle onanism that makes smart, thoughtful comments rarer than honest early-career John Perez resumes?

Because of the dynamics of this scandal. If Filner is forced out of office, it was because people on the left such as Frye found that he was not remotely living up to his putative progressive ideals in how he dealt with women. On Friday, Filner himself directly admitted to indefensible behavior, said he was seeking “help” for his treatment of woman, and asked for forgiveness.

Yet even then, for many angry commenters, the fact that Filner was under fire at all showed that the criticism had to be illegitimate and coming from the right. This is how a commenter put it on the U-T San Diego website after Filner had admitted to intimidating women.

“This is not a dictatorship. these legislators cant bully him into resigning. WE r the only ones who get to demand he step down not them. This is a coordinated coup by the developers who r throwing a tantrum that they could not steal balboa Park the legal way.”

A stunning number of people seemed ready to throw Frye under the bus, too, and some in coarse and mean fashion. This is one of the tame comments.

“Donna Frye has chimed in in an obvious effort to jump start her failed political career….playing the feminist card for all its worth.”

In CA, being Dem means never having to say you’re sorry

San Diego Pension Reform DeMaio At TableBut then all this was foreshadowed last year in the mayor’s race, when Filner and his allies went after Republican rival Carl DeMaio with tactics that should turn the stomachs of “progressives.” Cal Watchdog commenter Bill Gore nailed it:

“Also there’s the tremendous irony of the union-financed gay bashing campaign that put this clown in office in the first place. This smoking gun has Lorena Gonzalez’s prints all over it. They were so terrified of DeMaio that they resorted to tactics that expose them as raging hypocrites. The ads were sleazy, dirty and loaded with homophobic innuendo aimed directly at DeMaio’s sexuality, right out of the 1950′s. And they got away with it.”

But it’s 2013. The ends justify the means, and gay-bashing is OK if you’re dumping on a Republican gay, and racially loaded remarks are OK if you’re dumping on a Republican judge, and all in all, no standards apply if you’re going after the loathsome scum whose views you disagree with.

The right does this sort of thing as well. On a national level, the hypocrisy is evenly divided, as the Internet era continues to act like a centrifuge and push people to extremes. The recent Travyon Martin trial social-media fallout featured an orgy of stupidity on both sides, with some people on the left pretending the case was airtight and some people on the right treating George Zimmerman as a hero.

But in a state like California — where the left is so much more powerful than the right, and so loudly self-righteous, and rarely gets the media pushback it merits — the left’s hypocrisy is more noticeable and influential.

Expecting apologies from Filner’s enablers? Be serious

So will even one person on the San Diego or the California left admit to having been wrong about Filner and dumb to have gambled on a guy with this much baggage? Nah.

OK, commentators. That’s your cue. Drag out your paranoid theories. Trash Donna Frye. Trash me. (Those pieces I wrote that show I’m far from a rigid righty? Forget them and just pretend I’m a one-note Charlie.) Or play the ageism card and suggest Filner at age 70 couldn’t be doing what he’s insinuated to have done, so this is just another example of the War On The Old.

You’re always right. The other side is always wrong. You’re always on the moral high ground. The other side is always Hitlerian. Sheesh.

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