It’s a lucky thing the driver wasn’t crushed when a three-story-tall lamp post fell on top of a car stopped on the corner of Pine and Taylor Streets in San Francisco on a Monday evening last month.
The base of the lamp post had been corroded after countless soakings with urine from San Francisco’s ubiquitous homeless, prompting a spokesman for the city’s Public Utilities Commission to encourage people and dogs alike to water fire hydrants rather than light poles because the fire hydrants are made of stronger cast iron.
That collapsing lamp post is a perfect metaphor for urban Democrat governance. If you want to know what inevitably results from allowing the Far Left to run cities cleared of middle-class voters over decades, picture vast armies of homeless bums gleefully micturating on public infrastructure, while public officials merely beg for more clichéd choices amid terror of alienating a prominent, if noisome and not quite sane, constituency, until that piddle-drenched infrastructure inevitably topples.
That is, after all, what Democrat cities ultimately put on display.
It isn’t just urinating bums in San Francisco, after all. San Francisco is where Kate Steinle was murdered in a senseless spray of bullets from a drug-addled illegal alien criminal five times deported to his home in Mexico. Francisco Sanchez, the assailant, admitted shooting Steinle but denied he meant it — he said he found the gun wrapped in a T-shirt under a bench after taking sleeping pills he found from a trash can. He also claimed that he was aiming at sea lions and that the killing was accidental.
The sheriff in San Francisco, a leftist hack named Russ Mirkarimi, refused to cooperate with immigration authorities in turning Sanchez over for deportation despite holding him for a time on a local criminal warrant. Mirkarimi, who helped found the Green Party of California before turning to the Democrats in 2012, was elected to his position four years ago but was suspended by mayor Ed Lee after being charged with domestic violence battery, child endangerment, and dissuading a witness in connection with a December 31, 2011 New Year’s Eve brawl with his wife. To be removed from office requires a vote of nine of San Francisco’s 11 county supervisors, and only seven were willing to dispatch Mirkarimi.
The Steinles are now suing the city for all they can get as a result of his work, and God bless them for it.
In another sanctuary city, the Democrat mayor of New Orleans is fortunate not to join illegal alien criminals in the local lockup. Mitch Landrieu, brother of the recently-defeated former senator, was already under fire for a host of idiocies — refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities in a city where illegals are displacing an already highly-vulnerable local population from unskilled jobs, attempting to bulldoze a number of Confederate monuments around the city as he panders to its black community in the aftermath of the Dylan Roof shooting while that community cowers from the raging gang wars taking place each night in the city’s poorer neighborhoods. But last week Landrieu was found in contempt of court by a local judge for refusing to pay a judicially mandated obligation to the city’s firefighters of more than $100 million in back pay and pension obligations. House arrest was threatened, to which Landrieu responded that it would make his wife happier if he was around the house more often. No word yet on Judge Kern Reese’s response to Landrieu showing just how much contempt for Hizzoner’s court he actually has; perhaps it won’t be house arrest but a cell in Orleans Parish Prison, which is the subject of a federal consent decree due to its unsafe conditions.
Landrieu has a similar case going with the city’s police, a force so poorly treated by its politicians (including another consent decree which has crippled its effectiveness) and so poorly led that its current attitude has led to the common joke that its acronym really stands for Not Our Problem, Dude. Crime, even in the tourist areas of the city, has spiraled completely beyond control and the leading candidate for governor in this fall’s elections, Republican Sen. David Vitter, is touting a plan for a permanent Louisiana State Police presence in New Orleans in order to do for public safety what the Democrat cannot. For this, Landrieu compared Vitter to David Duke.
But as bad as Landrieu is, for sheer shady cretinism in office one can’t quite top Baltimore’s Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who this week agreed to a staggering $6.4 million settlement for the family of Freddie Gray, the serial street criminal whose death in police custody earlier this summer touched off a spate of rioting that placed Rawlings-Blake, the secretary of the Democratic National Committee, in the national media spotlight. Attorneys for the six police officers charged in Gray’s death were astonished at the settlement, as it would seem impossible for any of them to get a fair trial in Baltimore after such an unprecedented sum had been paid supposedly to their “victim.” Following statements made by another prisoner in the police van in which Gray suffered his fatal injuries that the deceased was throwing himself around the van in an effort to hurt himself and thus have a cause of action against the police, and word from the defense that the prosecution tried to suppress evidence Gray had done exactly this during his past encounters with police custody, Rawlings-Blake’s generosity is unquestionably suspect.
Baltimore’s taxpayers, who are sorely outmatched by the Democrat vote-farm in most of the city, can only continue decamping for the suburbs rather than stick around to be shaken down for the Gray family’s blood money.
And in New York, it’s the acrid stench of urine corroding not so much light poles but public morale. Since Bill de Blasio became mayor the city’s homeless population is growing at a double-digit pace. Homeless tourism has become an epidemic, so much so that nearly one in four of the city’s homeless now list an out-of-town address. And residents have noticed that New York’s bums, many of whom are college-aged junkies sporting ironic signs with which to panhandle, are not shy about public urination — in July, one of them turned up in the middle of the street on Broadway and let loose a golden stream of civilizational decline captured by a New York Post photographer. Given the city’s move to decriminalize the use of its streets as a latrine, the display was not especially surprising.
Those with homes don’t seem to be behaving much better under de Blasio’s leadership. Over the weekend the city’s annual West Indian American Day Parade festivities renewed their tradition as a bloodbath of shootings and stabbings, as the pre-party for the parade known as “J’Ouvert” became the venue for one of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s aides being shot in the head. The New York cops have been ordered to keep a low profile at J’Ouvert, unlike their firm supervision of more high-profile affairs like the St. Patrick’s Day parade; the not-so-subtle racism associated with the assumption that equal treatment would cause a riot among the darker-hued celebrants in Crown Heights not present among the pale Irish in Manhattan is hard to miss. Naturally, the result of such enlightened policies is that West Indians can’t have nice things; but if they could, why would they vote for de Blasio?
In the classic World War II naval film The Caine Mutiny, Humphrey Bogart’s incompetent character Captain Queeg fouls up an amphibious landing by piloting his minesweeper away from a beach to which he was supposed to escort Higgins boats; Queeg instead drops a yellow dye marker in order to point the Marines to shore while retreating to the safety of the open water. His disgusted crewmembers respond by singing derisive songs about “Old Yellow-Stain,” with the obvious connotation that he soiled himself in the face of a fight.
Well, the Democrats who run our major cities are producing multitudinous yellow stains of their own. Those don’t appear out of cowardice in the face of the fight to preserve Western civilization amid the non-potty trained barbarians inside the city gates. It isn’t cowardice afoot, but instead indifference. They simply don’t care about the smell — or the yellow-stained blues afflicting the rest of us.