It is perhaps a sign of our pointless political times that the silliest plays can reveal the most serious truths.
Look at San Francisco.
As my Times colleague Julia Wick reported this week, conservatives who have long been convinced that the Bayside city is a progressive hellhole of homelessness, unchecked crime, and drug addiction will play the 49ers in Sunday's Super Bowl. We are doing our best to support them. Anything to avoid for the Kansas City Chiefs and Travis Kelce and his girlfriend, the ubiquitous Taylor Swift.
This, of course, is the natural culmination of the many inescapable MAGA conspiracy theories floating around on social media, most of which revolve around Swift, Kelce, and perhaps the NFL defeating Donald Trump and putting Joe Biden in the White House in 2020. He claims he is colluding with the Democratic Party to send him back to the United States. November.
“I wonder who will win the Super Bowl,” trolled Vivek Ramaswamy, the obnoxious former Republican presidential candidate and running mate. “And will we see massive presidential support from artificially culturally supported couples this fall?”
Not to be outdone, End Wokness, who runs the hugely popular and aptly named far-right X account, posted: It's an operation. We all feel it. we all know that. ”
And now, influencers like Logan O'Handley (aka DC Draino) are offering a two-week cease-fire with San Francisco to encourage more Americans to root for the 49ers.
“Mr. Fizer and his girlfriend are going to tour the country as 'world champions' supporting the election of Joe Biden,” he posted. “A second Biden term will likely result in World War III, with millions of deaths. The fate of the free world rests on your shoulders.”
In response to such perplexing backhanded compliments, Rep. Matt Haney (D-San Francisco) told his Times colleague Wick that “people who normally hate San Francisco are now rooting for San Francisco.'' It's a little strange to see.”
To his response, I said it's obvious these people aren't paying attention. Because if they did, they wouldn't hate San Francisco. Because they should know that many of the policies being proposed in the city these days are more in line with the politics of far-right conservatives than ultra-left progressives.
While we in Los Angeles were busy electing abolitionists to our city council, San Francisco began by ousting a reform-minded district attorney and ramping up the criminalization of homelessness and drug addiction.
Why is this happening? at least on the surface — has a lot to do with Mayor London Breed. She was never a progressive. But since the pandemic, she has moved further into the wealthy and organized right, seeking to reassure an increasingly fed-up population and win a tough fight for re-election in the process.
To that end, when voters recalled Chesa Boudin for district attorney in 2022, Breed supported former prosecutor Brooke Jenkins. Since then, Jenkins has come under fire for all sorts of unprogressive things. “You have to make it uncomfortable.” Accept the offer of shelter.
Meanwhile, Breed has emerged as an early and vocal advocate for having the U.S. Supreme Court decide once and for all whether it is unconstitutional for Western cities to remove encampments from public land. And in January, the high court announced it would actually consider the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals' decision. The court has long held that denying homeless people somewhere to sleep is cruel and unusual punishment.
You wouldn't know it by watching FOX News or following MAGA-type social media posts, but tents on sidewalks, RVs under freeways, and courts limit their ability to Breed is not alone among Democrats in his frustration about the state of affairs. Do a lot about it.
Instead, it's progressives, those who no longer seem to dominate San Francisco politics, who are actually worried about the can of worms that the Supreme Court's conservative justices are about to open. Even Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass said last month that she was concerned that the city was moving toward “starting to criminalize people who don't have housing.”
But I digress.
More reasons for the far right to reconsider leaving their hearts in San Francisco:
police policy Arrest drug users as well as drug dealers, trying to hold them until they were sober and then force them into treatment — you know, because that worked so well during the drug war. All in an effort to eradicate the very real problem of open-air drug markets that conservative commentators love to ridicule.
There is also. Future voting measures Adults on welfare would then be required to undergo drug abuse testing, and those found to be addicted would be required to enroll in treatment to continue receiving financial benefits. It will not happen.
“No more 'anything goes' without accountability,” Breed told the San Francisco Chronicle, using language straight from the Reagan era. “No more handouts without accountability.”
Some plan to applaud accusations of wrongdoing and ask voters to loosen both regulations. Police vehicle tracking restrictions and reporting requirements for police use of force.
And just days ago, Breed announced that he would support a ballot measure that would water down parts of Proposition 47. Proposition 47 is a 2014 law often criticized by tough-on-crime Republican lawmakers for turning simple drug possession of less than $950 and property crimes into crimes. Misdemeanor.
of new measures That would make it easier to throw the proverbial book at people, especially those who sell fentanyl.
“We're making progress on property crimes,” Breed said, according to Times colleague Annabel Sosa. “However, the challenges we face related to fentanyl and organized retail theft require substantial changes to state law.”
I could be wrong, but that doesn't sound like a statement from a progressive mayor of hell.
So, far-right social media trolls and believers in MAGA conspiracy theories, fear not. On Sunday, you can root for the 49ers without feeling guilty knowing these important political truths. And you can probably root for San Francisco the other 364 days of the year.
Travis and Taylor already have plenty of fans.