George Will

The city has about as many camels as Republicans, so Newsom is called a "conservative." This smear gained currency even though Newsom supports "transgender rights," meaning the city pays for its employees' sex change operations, including -- this may be more than you want to know -- expensive hormone treatments. Newsom courted the large LGBTQI constituency, an acronym he can almost explain. It stands for lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgender people, questioners and "intersex." What is that last group? He is not sure.

Newsom does say inflammatory (to "progressives") things like: "You can't redistribute wealth you don't have." And he does not share progressives' enthusiasm for shuffling students around to fine-tune each school's "diversity index." Fewer than 60,000 public school pupils are left, half of whom speak a language other than English at home. Newsom says the high school dropout rate is high, and the average Latino grade is only slightly higher than the African American average of D or D-plus.

San Francisco spends more than any other city on the homeless, so naturally it has more homeless people per capita than any other city. Newsom drafted the "Care Not Cash" bill to provide treatment and housing rather than cash, which attracts the homeless, who use cash injudiciously. Voters loved Newsom's idea, but progressives like Gonzalez and their allies in the judiciary have blocked it.

Newsom says "no one knows" how many homeless people there are, partly because progressives have blocked the gathering of data. He guesses between 5,000 and 15,000, with a chronic street population of 3,500. Arrest someone for aggressive panhandling, and, Newsom says, a pro bono attorney appears to fight a $50 fine that cannot be collected anyway.

Gonzalez did what Dean has done: He told the left that its hour had come around at last. The Iowa result suggests that Democrats understand the warning that radiates from San Francisco, America's most hospitable habitat for Deanism.

That impulse, or something very like it, crested short of victory. If it can't make it here, it can't make it anywhere.

George Will

George F. Will is a 1976 Pulitzer Prize winner whose columns are syndicated in more than 400 magazines and newspapers worldwide.
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