H. Brown: Goodbye to all that, we hope

Ah, that old school New Left he-man feeling

In an SF Weekly piece published yesterday, it was announced that progressive political blogger and gadabout H. Brown – an "irascible" man who has attained a specific sort of fame in equal measure for his political connections, his egregious sexism, and his unfortunate alcoholism -- was leaving San Francisco. Where’s he going? The article didn’t see fit to mention. It’s whatever. One can assume Brown’s destination is that netherworld set aside for those whose behavior was enabled by the old school boy’s club blinders of the San Francisco progressive movement, still worn at the dawn of the 21st century.
“Last Call For Know-It-Alls: Classic Specimen of Old-San Francisco Bon Vivantery,” the article was called. It was written by a man; if a woman had written it, the title might have been closer to: “I Just Bought an Evil Eye Necklace, Don’t Look at Me You Cursed Troll.”

Do I sound angry? In 2008 at a DCCC, Brown inquired at top volume and in front of an ex-President of the Board of Supervisors if I was the politician’s escort. When said political leader bailed on the situation, Brown interrogated me on camera about my knowledge of local politics. I wrote about it, most names omitted, for the Guardian. In the article’s wake, I received thankful and supportive emails from men and women across the San Francisco political scene. On his part, Brown sent out multiple emails about me to his prodigious correspondence rolls, one in which he shared an communique from his niece calling me an “ignorant cunt,” another in which he addressed an un-cc’ed me about the election night in question: “You tried to make up for your ignorance by wearing revealing clothing. I was mocking you. And rightly so.”
Nearly every woman in San Francisco politics has one of these stories. When a male politician was accused of any wrong against a woman, Brown could be depended on to dig through the Internet to find evidence that the victim had been asking for it. Those unwilling to suffer him had to opt out of the hobnobbing happy hours and salons in the homes of city leaders, at which Brown was a constant presence.
Ah, old San Francisco bon vivantery. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you don’t have to care about Brown. You do have to care that this man was your Supervisor’s drinking buddy, that he took Speedo-clad swims in the Bay with progressive leaders. You do have to wonder about what that did to the strength of our political movement. And you might want to wonder about the dynamics behind ubiquitous bigots who are tolerated by people who should know better.
“If comedy is indeed tragedy plus time, however, Brown will leave 'em laughing for posterity,” wrote Weekly reporter Joe Eskenazi. “Friend after friend recalled anecdotes of offensive, bourbon-fueled behavior invariably culminating with Brown being instructed to "Get the fuck out, H.!" But, always, these were happy memories, if not happy occasions.”
None of these friends -- “former supervisors, consultants, academics, political Svengalis, and other city luminaries” – in Eskenazi’s article were women. (The writer, whose work on city issues I do appreciate, told me he did interview women, but apparently none of them said anything printworthy.)
Let’s remedy that now with a few female voices. Not coincidentally, most of these bourbon-fueled memories took place in ex-Supervisor Chris Daly’s since-closed Market Street progressive gathering spot, the Buck Tavern. None are happy.
“This was the first time I was introduced to H. At a benefit at the Buck Tavern I walked in and there were all these progressive journalists sitting around a table with him. He said ‘you’re the one with the great ass!’ He started asking me if I had family members he could date. I was standing there horrified, I just didn’t know what to say. I’m a mouthy lady, and even I couldn’t think of anything to come back with – not just to him, but to every other progressive journalist who was sitting there listening to him who laughed! I said hi to a few people, and then I left the event.”
- Laura Hahn, president of the San Francisco Women’s Political Committee
“Really, I don't give much of a shit about one sad dude calling me a slut and a spy (for Newsom or Pinkerton Guards, depending on the year), but seeing some (not all) progressive men continue to put up with him was pretty demoralizing."
- Anonymous volunteer on several progressive political campaigns
“The confrontation started because I came in to wish [ex-Supervisor and then-owner of the Buck Tavern] Chris Daly a happy birthday and have a drink, and H. asked Chris ‘Who the hell is she?’ To which Chris said, ‘She's the President of the Harvey Milk Club.’ To which H began, ‘You're not even gay, are you?’ I replied, ‘I'm queer.’ ‘Queer?!’ he said, ‘What the fuck is that? Some Shona Gochenauer shit? You're not gay. I can tell you're not gay by looking at you. She doesn't know anything about politics. Look at her -- she's clearly just a vanity president.’ He said something about enjoying things because, "that ass isn't gonna last forever, sweetheart. They [the other patrons in the bar] are only standing up for you because they want to fuck you.’"
- Stephany Joy Ashley, ex-president of the Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club
“As a purveyor of alcohol, I found that the man was a lawbreaking mooch and a pain to deal with.  As a woman, I found him pathetic, insulting, gross, or all three, depending on his mood. The first time I met him he cussed me out for an imagined slight in a way that was actually shocking -- and it takes a lot for cuss words to flummox me. For a time, I simply refused to serve him.”
- Siobhann Bellinger, Buck Tavern bartender
“H. is a bully and a sexist. If you want to look at why the progressive movement is failing it’s because it alienates youth, women, and people of color. Deifying somebody like him is shutting women out, the message is they aren’t welcome. It’s not separated from the fact that progressives are really faltering right now with no leadership and very little inspiration.”
- Debra Walker, artist and longtime activist
“His behavior symbolized the running joke amongst some progressive men that women were there for their own entertainment to be mocked and harassed with no one blinking an eye. FUCK. THAT.”
- Anonymous ex-City Hall aide
These women – and the progressive men who were their allies – were not laughing at the hijinx of a mouthy old man. But people were, and they will be at the party that will be held in honor of Brown’s departure and attended by member’s of our city’s progressive elite.
Supporters say the guy’s behavior was a premeditated mockery of San Francisco’s political correctness, that he was an actor in the grand tradition of political theater. But if he is remembered by generations to come, it will be as the embodiment of an age-old archetype: the dude that other dudes keep around because he says the shit they can’t say to people who aren’t them. After all, who can control their own id?
Eskenazi compares Brown to F. Scott Fitzgerald and notwithstanding that both are writers, I’d like to posit an alternative historical precedent for Brown’s passionate trolling. Remember Bobby Riggs, the proud chauvinist who taunted tennis legend Billie Jean King until she wiped the floor with him in the widely broadcast Battle of the Sexes match? Man, that guy should have been in politics.
Brown was allowed to establish through constant bullying both online and off that only men have the right to feel comfortable in our city’s high-powered progressive circles. As San Francisco continues to cozy up with its new moderate identity, I hope he is remembered less for being a bon vivant and more as a sign that our once-vaunted avatars of progressivism were spending too much time pounding double shots at the Buck Tavern -- while the world changed around them.


The left would rather hate on an effective voice of reasons of political correctness, than embrace an ally.

SF progressives are ineffective because they spend more time hating on each other than on fighting the cause.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 5:19 pm

posting on the Fog City Journal and here screeching about non progressives comments, doubt anyone who can't read opinions that do not agree with him could beat anyone in a battle of wits.

Also his youtube videos show a shrieking nut.

Posted by guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

the one dominated by a clubby male fraternity of progressive men who excused sexism and misogyny from their supporters, is fast disappearing and h. knows it. This is a man who once claimed he was one of the "progressive intelligentsia" and who now is persona non grata amongst the same people who he once felt worshiped at his feet - it's gotta hurt.

All his old buddies are out of office, his old haunts are closed or have banned him, Jane Kim would never put up with being told her ass looks great in that dress, casual antisemitism and AIDS jokes are now passe' and h. sees the writing on the wall. He's a relic.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 6:48 pm

Jane Kim is actually cute, unusually for a SF liberal woman.

h. brown only called a frump when he saw a frump. Can't fault him for that.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

if he's fucking the female reporter who's covering him is reprehensible and disgusting behavior, made worse by the fact that ELECTED OFFICIALS witnessed it and did nothing. You may have a legitimate beef with Caitlin for whatever reason but she was doing her job as a reporter when she had a run-in with h. Brown and nowhere in her job description was sexual harassment a condition of employment.

Imagine if that were your girlfriend or sister for a second, instead of someone with whom you have an ideological disagreement. Are you going to sit there and tell me that type of behavior would be OK with you? Or that you think elected officials, who take an oath of office to uphold the law, should be excused for laughing about it when it's happened numerous times?

I've given Caitlin loads of shit on this site for her columns but what she went through at the hands of this disgusting old antisemitic reprobate is inexcusable. And if you're a real man you'd feel the same.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:32 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:54 pm

His former buddy marcos refers to himself the same way. When he finally realizes he has no friends left in SF either and follows h out the door, maybe the "progressives" can regroup.

On further thought, as long as Mirkirimi holds an elected office in SF, the progressive name is pretty much mud anyway. I'd already forgotten about JD until reading some of the posts here, but Mirkirimi's name keeps popping up in news articles to remind us that the late 20th century SF progressive movement may have started out as a shining light, but ended up with one lasting legacy: "I Am A Powerful Person." Ugh.

The demise of this group of political players can't come fast enough. Maybe someone like Peskin or Ammiano can try to pick up the pieces, but it won't be easy after all of the missteps the "progressives" have caused for themselves over the past 10 years.

Words can hurt. No doubt. But I'd rather occasionally cringe at one of h's many off-color, mean, addiction laced rantings than endure the passive-aggressive vindictiveness and pettiness of many of the other players who have run with this group. While jockeying for position among one another with their hatred and egos as the main weapons, they let the entire movement morph into nothingness. Kindness, conciliation, understanding, and forgiveness are what build movements. Instead we got mostly bullies and trash-talkers.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:40 pm

And this whinefest is a perfect example. The SF left has been cornered into a cul de sac and would rather eat their own than adapt to the new reality.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:57 pm

Biggest joke is that the Guardian is owned by the same Canadian corporation ad the Weekly ,and yet the Weekly is doing better than the Guardian. Given how thin the paper is nowadays ,and how short stafffed, I'm predicting the bean counters at corporate HQ will quietly let this "paper" die, and H will have the last laugh, as will anyone else who cares about quality journalism.

Another joke - the same person runs both websites! So keep on keeping on and let the corporate bosses merge your asses into the Weekly! BYE!

Posted by i. brown on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 5:17 pm

Steven, reincarnating Tim, appears outgunned. Sans wit, sans style, sans everything. And relying on a writer whom SFBG fired to do the dirty work.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 5:21 pm

The Weekly will do articles on how poorly the city is run, such as the MUNI bus purchasing deal over the last few weeks.

The Weekly doesn't pick and choose who is off the progressive island every election cycle. If you are not a progressive, like the majority of the city, infighting is only funny for so long.

The Weekly doesn't talk down to the readership as if they are children in need of being told what to do and think. The agenda is so shrill that often times it's like reading a 30 page John Galt speech.

The Weekly has articles of general interest, not just self pity agitprop. Reading varied info is much better than reading some twitter complaint for a month, then a tech bus complaint for a month, then a month of this or that person is not a real progressive....

Posted by Grist on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 5:35 pm

If I want to know what is on at the movies, or what is going on in the city, I need just one, and ideally one that doesn't try and hector, lecture and intimidate me like the hopeless, hapless SFBG.

The fact that they had to drag out the fired, tired, disgraced Caitlin to do her 15 minutes of inadequacy over some guy who slapped her down years ago speaks volumes for the decline of SFBG.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 5:43 pm

Perhaps there's another site you'd prefer to infest instead of this one? I'm sure they would have no problem with your leaving, as your whining and trolling contributes absolutely nothing to this one.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

You are the one who appears to have a problem with the comments here, so maybe you'd be happier elsewhere?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 6:27 am

let alone read the publication, is there?

Posted by Guest III on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 10:40 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 11:07 am

Then go to the Weekly and stay there. Problem?

It must be absolute torture for you to be forced to come to this site against your will.... a site you don't like or agree with. I can't imagine what they must be like for you. You have my sympathy.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:03 pm

I will leave.

Or not. I feel I've made some real freinds here.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 11:08 am

After few years of making excuses for stupid behavior of terminally stunted loudmouths most people move on from their buddies that are always causing problems every time they go out. This guy probably got dropped by any friends he had, then decided he could torment progressives at his leisure and so jumped on board the bandwagon.

I can understand why Daly and Mirkarimi would put up with him, birds of a feather.

It sounds like he picked his targets and politics correctly, no progressive over the years ever promised and then delivered a beat down?

Posted by Grist on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 5:27 pm

He didn't just put up with h., he mentored him. That is, Gonzo got h. to do his dirty work for him, so he could appear to be above the fray. In truth, h. was just an old barracho that no one took seriously, yet highly useful as an attack dog.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 3:27 pm

I highly recommend the new article on The Verge on Fanboyism. It also applies to politics.

There are folks who choose a side based on self interest, or collective interest, or moral choice; and, increasingly in our time, those who choose purely out of self-actualization and nothing more. To these folks politics is a lifestyle badge, like a brand of beer, or their favorite band.

Harold is one of those folks. Harold is a fanboy.

But who sold him the bill of goods, folks? Along with the Joe Camel and hooker ads?

Harold is the headless chicken who came home to roost, and now he's flown the coop.

No use bemoaning an elephant turd when the elephant is still in the room, guys.

Happy Canada Day.


Posted by Able Dart on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 6:27 pm

Thought you'd have a stroke or heart attack by now. Congrats on making it to what, 60?

How's that Bathroom Wall doing ever since you kicked off all the progressives? Looks like the last posts are from July, and they're all your own. You always were a hero to your own heart. How sad. Even your conservative buds stopped going there years ago. On the downside, I think they've all been reincarnated as trolls on the SFBG site.

Yeah, you and Harold deserve each other. You just hate him because he's so much like you, but better. He's better at the two things you like to do. That would be writing, and being a generally despicable swine. You two should kiss and make up because you two deserve each other. Maybe you can go with him and suck his dick.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

Wishing others death and casual homophobia - give him a couple more hours and he'll be slurring about rape and joking about the Holocaust.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

Abel Dart is the Michael Petrelis to Brown's Scott Wiener, making the bad look good in comparison.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:37 pm

boys and girls,

Geez, you usually have to get
elected to office or marry someone
to be hated as much as the Guardian's
Caitland Donohue hates my ass.

I'm saying this cause the lady is
forming a lynch mob over on the Guardian
and pointing them at your own Dawg.


Here's why and, trust me, the ornery
little critter didn't tell the half
of it.

I was pissed at Steven Jones and the
Guardian for not endorsing Hope Johnson
who was head of the Sunshine Task force
(watch the hearings she was best since
Brugman his very self and Bruce founded

Hope had also won the last Barbary
Consulting 'Best Political Mind in the
City' contest.

Great writer and activist.

And, she's a woman and they needed
another woman on the ticket.

Paid her dues.

Guardian's surely gonna endorse her
on one of the dozen or so slots open.


They endorsed a 22 year old guy with
zero resume.

I was convinced that was all Steven T.
Jones and I was gunning for the Guardian
when Tony De Renzo and I entered the
after election party of the DCCC.

You might not like us and frig you very
much for that but we've been covering
local politics for many years and we
were both wearing our own version of
what a press pass should look like.

I'm sure everyone in the bar other
than the plaintiff knew us.

I spotted Peskin who was the head of
the DCCC chatting with a pretty woman
who was taking notes at the bar.

I cued Tony (he's the camera and I'm
the satirical bullshit artist) ...

Cued Tony and walked over to the pair
to razz Aaron.

Using her as my foil to reach the two
time BOS president I asked the woman:

"Are you a paid escort?"

She looked startled and Peskin quickly
saw the camera and ambled off.

"I'm a political reporter for the Bay
Guardian." she says.

Yeah, right to my face.

Jesus, what a lob at the net.

"Do you know anything about San Francisco
politics." I said.

Um hum, I sure did say that.

Right to her face.

Turns out she didn't know shit.

>From how many voters there were in the
City all the way to who was the Budget
Analyst and shit like that.

She got zero.

I then told her that since she didn't
know anything that she probably got
her job with her looks.

My real target was Jones.

Still is.

He's the worst City editor the Guardian
ever had.

Still is.

But, as Ms Donohue mentioned in her piece
in today's Guardian web page, Tony filmed
the entire thing.

Now, let me call Tony and see if he still
has the video.

Ah, modern technical stuff.

You can lie all you want and write all
the lies you want about someone but
there's always that chance that someone
has one of those pesky videos of what
really happened.

And, for my 3 year tour beginning with DC?

I'm learning to twerk.

Chicks love that.

As my dad used to say ...

"Kid, don't let your act stand still."

Go Giants!


Posted by Guest h. brown on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 6:55 pm

You've still got it.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:01 pm

As usual. The narcissistic old troll really tells it like it is. All those females were just overly sensitive bitches.

Get fucked you asshole.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:34 pm

I've met several of them and they are.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

most women should endure in their pursuit of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - we get it.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:09 pm

but the kind of middle-aged frumps that form the corpus of progressive women in this town tend to be humorless, and lack the wit and style to come up with a decent comeback.

If a woman like Debra Walker cannot handle some banter, cut and thrust, how could she possible have succeeded as a Supervisor?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 6:26 am

@h. brown - You don't need to worry about any "lynch mob," most of them afraid to stand by their words with their own names. Your own contributions just keep proving her point.

Using an innocent bystander as a foil in a quest to razz Peskin? Bullying.

Doing so by treating her as a sex object? Sexist bullying.

Peskin leaving? Cowardly, but somehow he's no longer your focus. For some reason your mission has switched to razzing the woman with the temerity to point out that no, she's not a paid escort. Why?

I wouldn't expect an intern on her first assignment to have total mastery of every aspect of city politics. The point of an assignment is a fresh perspective, someone who will ask what a more jaded correspondent would find tiresome, even obvious. Ideally this would lead to a story of interest to a wider readership.

Anyone with a few years on them and a modicum of insight should be able to figure that out, but instead you chose to lord your insider status and experience over her. Bullying. Then made a remark about her appearance. Sexist.

Now you think digging up a video for more bullying would make you look better, and for the big finish, refer to "chicks." Because sexism.


Posted by Jym Dyer on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:55 pm

Maybe it's because I've spent many years around people with differing mental capabilities, but I find it fairly easy to spot people who have "issues." Judging them based on what I'd expect to be proper behavior in a particular setting is my failing, not theirs. If someone wants to call out someone with Tourette's Syndrome for saying the "f" word repeatedly, that's their perogrative. But I'd judge the judger, who has their full intellect and exhibits well-grounded behavior in appropriate settings, much harsher than the person with the mental issue.

Apart from any hard-wiring issues hapening in someone's brain, alcohol and pot addiction are "real" diseases too that almost always lead to self-destructive behavior. Often they are part of a multitude of complicated mental health issues, with the addictions caused by self-medicating because someone lacks the resources or awareness to get the help they need to address the underlying behavioral or hard-wiring mental issues.

I'd challenge all of the people quoted in the article whether they lifted one finger to try to understand what was causing h's behavior and tried to steer him into some sort of support services, either directly or via one of his friends. More likely in SF politics, bad behavior will be used as a weapon to go against rivals or adversaries. I wonder how many "progressives" have ever had a heart-to-heart with anyone who wasn't a close ally whose behavior or outbursts were hurting themselves or the movement? Maybe "progressives" just aren't as "progressive" as they pretend.

I'm glad this piece got written, not because it allowed all of the h bashing, but because it holds a mirror up to the progressive community that it's mostly just as venal, ambitious, hateful and striving as the corporate drones they love to denigrate. I've often seen corporate drones exhibiting more empathy towards others than I've ever witnesssed in the "progressive community," which might be one reason (of many) why the corporates keep winning and the progressives keep losing.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 9:00 pm


Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 9:36 pm

but you sound too certain of that to allow for the fact that you might be wrong.

I've never met Caitlin or h. brown but, based on this article and thread, I'd posit that Caitlin has more "issues" than brown.

Why sit on an incident for years waiting for a chance for a cheap snide shot? That's borderline pathological.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 6:24 am

It was written about at the time.

The problem is that some dude over at the Weekly embarrassed himself by writing a fawning piece about this piece, when really he should have let him slink away into the night.

If the Weekly is going to have a lovefest about a profane, drunken misogynistic bully, then perhaps Caitlin felt she needed to remind everyone about the other side of Harold Brown. She'd probably have let it go at this point if not for the Weekly piece, but given that the piece was written, it's an appropriate time to provide some background and perspective.

And I think it bears repeating that all you guys -only guys, I'm sure -are showing your true character when you make excuses for a pig like Brown while calling the victim of his bullying "pathological."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 9:36 am

That that would irk a woman who got a putdown she couldn't handle years ago tells us far more about Caitlin than it does abour Harold.

No matter. Within a year or two, SFBG will be merged into the Weekly and such exercizes in card playing and political correctness will be a thing of the past.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 11:04 am

I'm no fan of bombastic, boorish and crude language, but the guy does know how to turn a phase. Too bad his superego couldn't control his id or he would have been one hell of an asset for the progressive team instead of an embarrassing liability.

But as much as I respect Caitlin's writing too, and feel the pain in her words from her latest post, I despise these gotcha retribution pieces years after a painful encourter takes place. The time for addressing bad, boorish and insulting behavior is when it happens or shortly thereafter. Harboring anger and hate for so many years doesn't do anyone any good. Whether it be at work, or within a circle of friends, or in a indeterminable group such as the "SF Progressives," the time for a response is shortly after an offense occurs. I'm not sure if a sit down with h and 1-2 other 3rd parties to air Caitlin's justified grievances would have controlled h's future behavior, but if Kay had sat down with JD with 1-2 other 3rd parties after she felt wronged, it might have had a positive impact on his future behavior.

We should ask ourselves if we're trying to improve the movement and the people within it, or if we're merely making a list of who's naughty or who's wronged us to be pulled out five years later to let them know what we really think of them. That's almost as equally disgusting since the aggrieved party had a chance to try to improve another person's behavior, but instead waited for the right time to smear them instead. It's the kind of thing that happens in cut-throat corporate offices. It's sad to see it here as well.

SF progressives might have had some good ideas about policy issues over the years, but their pettiness, vindictiveness and internal hatred towards others in the supposedly same group are what ultimately led to their downfall. Congratulations everyone. Now we get "progressives" like Scott Wiener who wants to change zoning rules to allow builders to add even more sardine cans within an apartment building. And since some of the new occupants will one day make and save a few dollars from their tech jobs, they'll begin to look around the neighborhood for something else to buy, perfectly positioned to scoop up one of the 200,000 rent-controlled apartments that will be sold off as TICs. As Pogo says ...

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:25 pm

Good post.

The progressive stalwarts are as angry with the those who call them on their role in the decay of the progressive coalition as they are the violent sexist language.

The point here is to ratify relationships within the tribal unit more so than move any sort of coherent policy agenda. There is more concern with making sure that nobody's feelings are hurt then with holding them accountable.

Accountability is personally offensive to them. This insulates them from any challenge to the legitimacy and efficacy of what are essentially their public sinecures.

These people don't get fired for failing. To the contrary, they get to keep their jobs and have things named after themselves.

The only way to make a credible run at electoral power is to build the broadest of coalitions. In a racist, sexist and homophobic society, you're going to have to work with racists, sexists and homophobes on issues that you agree on. It is the height of narcissism to demand that everyone adopt your standards before you'll work with them, especially in a diverse city like this.

I am not excusing bad conduct, but like the previous poster, I feel that it devalues the currency of emancipation that these incidents are used as political cudgels to be pulled out for tactical advantage. The way that we get people with whom we disagree to see things our way is to walk with them, not to yell at them.

Yep, the shark is jumped on any progressive nucleus for political wins moving forward, it is too tied up in ethical conflicts. Once the noncombatant volunteers who came out of the woodwork began during the Ammiano and Gonzalez campaigns began to retreat after the toxicity of the professionals competing for city dollars became apparent, progressive electoral prospects began to wane.

"The people" who say they represent "the people" really don't like "the people" and it seems that "the people" find the feeling to be mutual.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 8:22 pm

they are not the cause of their failure so much as the result of it.

As the left has lost it's grasp on power and relevance, they have retreated into the most unattractive forms of political correctness and identity politics.

SF has always been tribal, which is really just a politically acceptable form of bias and prejudice, but as the city has grown and developed more or less along the lines that business and Wall Street wanted, the left now lashes out in anger and bitterness, often at themselves rather than their supposedly common eneny.

And you are not immune from that either, as you bitch about most everyone else on the left claiming that they betrayed you or sold you out.

The truth is that there was never a plurality or quorum for the left to succeed. You were all always a dollar short, except that now it is two dollars short.

Either you accept that you lost or you lash out at others and blame them. The latter feels more comfortable, sadly.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 7:26 am

Guest, I've sat through countless hours of city task force and committee meetings and often found common ground with people on a wide range of issues, only to have the energy I've raised sabotaged by people who claim to hold my politics and who hate me for not being one of them.

So, yeah, I'm cranky and vindictive. But my vindictiveness is not because I've been personally sullied or because my own financial standing has been threatened or abrogated. No, I get worked up because the people who claim to stand for a set of values and politics stand for no such thing. They stand for themselves, identitarians wrapped in a cloak of invulnerability where they grant themselves the unique franchise to attack while claiming sanctuary due to their higher moral position.

Consider me the warning plaque on the fence surrounding the site of a nuclear accident who in no uncertain terms warns off future comers from these barren fields. I own my failures, that is the only way to learn to avoid making them in the future. Learning like that is painful but it is in the end more rewarding than painful.

There is no path forward over that toxic ground, the sinecures who style themselves as progressive leaders are impediments to contesting corrupt corporate dominance. Clearly they have no interests in learning from events of the past decade as they've been willing participants to their own cooptation and the screwing of everyone between the super rich and those few who receive their social services.

So the task I've taken on is to delegtimate the stalwarts and to warn others off of this path. That is called learning. When there is entrenched dysfunction, there is tremendous resistance to learning and correcting conduct. That is to be expected. The more they complain, the more they marginalize me, the more the trolls stalk me here, the more I know that I'm hitting home and am on the right path.

The stakes are this City, a gem where I chose to live my adult life, which under their stewardship has been yanked out from under us. If they're taking the City down with them and getting paid for it, then I'm taking them down so that they can do no more damage.

Only after their power and standing has been grounded out can we begin to contemplate a replacement non-corporate coalition that can contest the corrupt regime. But given the dawdling and dilly-dallying of the degenerate leftist poverty mitigators and labor thugs, it might very well be too late.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 25, 2014 @ 9:44 am

This is probably the most action a SFBG comments thread has seen in quite some time. H wins again ...

Posted by Fjgallagher on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:14 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:52 pm

April Fools in January.

Posted by Zaphod Beeblebrox on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:27 pm

h had a trajectory of cognitive deterioration that was probably exacerbated by Daly's Buck Tavern which led me to break with him in 2011.

Before he went off of the cliff, he managed to work tolerably well with many women. He had a keen eye for discerning the operators from the real deal and if you're an operator, then he'd go ballistic, increasingly viciously sexist to certain women over time. There's a difference between someone from an older generation calling a young woman a cupcake and some of the violent language quoted above that goes beyond breaking PC code.

Of course he had no compunctions about being an operator for Adachi and Gonzalez and bristled similar to the women quoted in this piece when called on it himself.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:31 pm

You are at least as big a non-entity as h. brown, and he has a more refined sense of wit.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 7:50 pm

You cared enough to comment, so the answer to your question is you.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 23, 2014 @ 8:08 pm

But in the morning you still won't matter.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 6:21 am

Oh, noes, my self esteem depends on the validation of anonymous internet trolls, woes is me.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 6:52 am

"cut h. brown off" as if access to you is somehow an asset.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 7:26 am

To the contrary, association with h brown had become a taxing deficit, after a while I got tired of throwing good time after bad.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 24, 2014 @ 7:52 am

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