Filner’s fate: The warring conventional wisdoms

by Chris Reed | August 11, 2013 6:30 am

touched.filner.square[1]There are two conventional wisdoms about Bob Filner, San Diego’s embattled pervert of a mayor, and they can’t both be right.

The first is that he simply can’t stay in office. Now that all nine City Council members[2] say he must go and statewide officials are issuing increasingly personal calls[3] for him to quit, Filner is dead meat. He knows he can’t beat a recall push that will kick into gear in a week, so why prolong the ordeal.

The second is that he will never leave office unless he can parlay his resignation into both a plea deal in a federal corruption investigation that seems increasingly serious[4] and into the city agreeing to pay part or all of his legal expenses from pending lawsuits over his treatment of women while mayor. (Filner can’t escape footing the bill for lawsuits from when he was in Congress and hitting on rape victims[5] who came to him for help.)

I think the second conventional wisdom is on far firmer ground. This approach insulated Spiro Agnew and lots of other pols gone bad from the full consequences of their actions.

Someone this weird may not think conventionally

But there is also another angle to raise: Filner is so off the chart weird and different that no one should assume he will think conventionally. He has been relentlessly obnoxious for 35 years in his political career and it’s somehow paid off for him with a long, successful run. He doesn’t see anything wrong with making open declarations that as mayor, he is running a pay-for-play administration[6] — telling companies seeking city permits, “you don’t get free things.” He doesn’t see anything wrong with hitting on rape victims.

Why would anyone assume his motivations are conventional when he displays industrial-strength depravity and thinks it’s just another day at the office?

  1. [Image]:
  2. all nine City Council members:
  3. increasingly personal calls:
  4. increasingly serious:
  5. hitting on rape victims:
  6. pay-for-play administration:

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