I Left My Gun In San Francisco


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.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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