Debra J. Saunders

Golden Gate Law School Dean Peter Keane, who personally opposed Prop. N, figures there's a 60 percent chance the decision will be reversed. When authority is in doubt, Keane explained, "the default is always with the people. "

In San Francisco, the default is almost always with inertia.

Critics now suggest that Newsom compromise with the very city pols who want to grind any substance from Proposition N.

Newsom (three cheers) says no. Imagine if there are amendments and compromises, Newsom argues, "and we magnanimously don't go along with the will of the voters so we (the supes) can all get along" -- and then the courts uphold Prop. N. If the board cares what voters think, Newsom argued, it should save the city anguish and legal bills by voting to approve Proposition N as is.

When Frank Jordan lost re-election, the rap was that he couldn't get things done. I hope Newsom has learned this much (and I think he has): In San Francisco, when you try to work with people who don't want change, they sabotage you, then dismiss you as the guy who can't get anything done.

They're Olympians at inertia, but you're the fall guy, the bumbler. And city voters will forgive deliberate inertia, but oddly, they don't tolerate failure.

Debra J. Saunders

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