I Left My Gun In San Francisco

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In 2004, Morgan Quitno Press ranked San Francisco as the ninth safest American city with a population over 500,000, putting it in the top 30%. This apparently did not impress Republican consultant Ed Rollins, who, on Wednesday, declared that House minority leader Nancy Pelosi “comes from San Francisco, one of the bastions of lawlessness in this country.”

Rollins’ point about Pelosi was that she “is certainly not going to be the one that’s going to convince Americans that the Democrats are going to get tough” on issues of national security.

Bad grammar aside, Rollins’ comment, made on Lou Dobbs Tonight, is a reliable Republican talking point that has grown even more popular since Americans have indicated that they are fed up with the war in Iraq. There is also a concentrated effort to brand Pelosi as a “San Francisco liberal,” a phrase which conjures up such notions as free love, drugs, gay sex and “radical” ideology.

This is an old theme. I remember standing in the Post Office line right after the 2004 election and hearing one of the clerks say to a customer, “Thank God the ‘other one’ wasn’t elected. Can you imagine what would become of us?” I was hoping to wind up at her station so I could say “Yes, a war hero and geo-political expert–that would have made a really scary president.” Unfortunately, I didn’t get to say it.

Unless the opposition can do an effective job of showing the obvious–that the Bush administration has made America less safe than ever–the “Democrats cannot protect you” theme is guaranteed continued success.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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