If you have been wondering, as I have, how it could have been possible for his party and colleagues to nominate hands-on San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, serial sexual harasser, predator, and master of “the Filner Headlock,” without knowing of his ongoing War on Women (karma’s a bitch, Democrats!), so have I, and so have a lot of San Diegans. Sure enough, it turns out that indeed the party did have advance notice that Filner had a problem (though not as big a problem as any female staffer who came within his reach), but inflicted him on San Diego anyway.
So says former Democratic assemblywoman Lori Saldaña, who told the media that in the summer of 2011 six San Diego women prominent in local politics, business and education alerted her that Filner had physically or verbally harassed them. Saldaña said she duly warned former party Chairman Jess Durfee about the evidence and Durfee was among a group of Democratic leaders who met with Filner to discuss the issue that summer. Nothing happened. Filner was nominated and elected, and the rest is history, headlocks, fanny pats, gropes, stolen kisses and mayoral solicitations of sex from subordinates and colleagues.
San Diego is such a friendly city.
“As disgraceful as Bob’s behavior has been, it’s been tolerated by our Democratic Party leadership,” Saldaña scolded.
This, as it turns out, is as true of Saldaña herself as it is of her party. Following the former assemblywoman’s self-aggrandizing announcement positioning herself as this scandal’s ignored whistleblower (all the better to re-ignite her political career), the media did a little checking, and sure enough, the noble, principled Saldaña (I apologize: I woke up sarcastic this morning) had endorsed Filner, who, by her own admission, she already knew was a burgeoning Bob Packwood. Oh, but she has an explanation for that: party leaders, she says, threatened her, saying that if she didn’t support Filner they wouldn’t receive their support again.
Here is a good time to recall the scene in “Jaws,” when the mourning mother of little Timmy Kintner, recently reduced to Great White Shark chum off the beaches of Amity, Massachusetts, walks up to the chief of police, Martin Brody (Played by Roy Scheider), and slaps him in the face, saying,
“I just found out, that a girl got killed here last week, and you knew it! You knew there was a shark out there! You knew it was dangerous! But you let people go swimming anyway? You knew all those things! But still my boy is dead now. And there’s nothing you can do about it. My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that.”
Brody, in his defense, had only one incident of an alleged shark attack to go on, while Lori Saldaña had six, and unlike the young woman’s shark-chewed torso Brody found on the beach, Filner’s victims actually told Saldaña that the Democrats were about to nominate a sick criminal. She is a hypocrite and a coward.
This is one of those times that it would be comforting to believe that there is a God, and that he divinely generated the current Democratic embarrassment in San Diego as condign punishment for, first,the outrageous “war on women” theme concocted last year to smear Mitt Romney—with Bill Clinton as a messenger!—and second, the Anthony Weiner follies in New York. I don’t think God is at work here, but it was bound to happen. The delicate balance of positioning itself as the champion of women’s rights while juggling a horrible record of tolerating, enabling, making excuses for and extolling the Kennedys, John Edwards and the Clintons was impossible to maintain, even with the help of a somnolent press. The wonderful part is Filner’s refusal to resign while using the ridiculous “the fact that I’m an out of control molester doesn’t mean I’m not a good mayor for San Diego!” argument on one coast while Weiner and his wife, she the representative of the ethical orientation of her boss, mentor and Machiavelli devotee Hillary Clinton, are making the even more ridiculous “the fact that I can’t stop myself from sending pictures of my penis ti strange women and lying about it doesn’t mean I’m not the best leader for New York City!” defense on the other.
It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry.
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