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In the cool grass of Telegraph Hill on Tuesday, the voters of San Francisco teed up their district attorney and drove him 500 yards into the Pacific Ocean.
Their club of choice was a wooden driver called Proposition H, “the recall of Chesa Boudin,” and they swung it to maximum effect, sending him into the surf by a 20-plus point margin.
As Washington, D.C., Democrats prepare their hyper-partisan, primetime show-trial on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, real people like the Asian Americans of San Francisco were up before sunrise on Tuesday preparing to get out the vote in their beleaguered city.
By day’s end they were victors, swatting away extremism in the same way Georgia Republicans had done two weeks earlier when they teed up Donald Trump’s signature candidates and drove them into the Atlantic.
Why San Francisco rejected Chesa Boudin
Average Americans are doing the necessary work of removing the extremists from our political culture, restoring some sanity that existed before radical national populism and radical social justice began to eat the country alive.
San Francisco, one of the most liberal cities in America, made the mistake of electing an extremist such as Chesa Boudin. The son of left-wing militants who were part of the Weather Underground, he was separated from his parents when they were convicted in the felony murders of two police officers and a security guard. Other members of that domestic terrorist organization took over the job of raising him.
They made sure he got a good education, but he would take his Yale degree and Rhode scholarship and become a translator for Venezuelan strongman and communist Hugo Chavez.
When he became the San Francisco district attorney in 2020, he set out to decriminalize crime, refusing to prosecute many serious offenders.
He abolished the cash-bail system, let criminals walk. And, as one would expect, the bad guys who should have been behind bars were back robbing, assaulting and even killing San Francisco citizens.
Crime was rampant; Asian Americans were hard hit
Many of those being battered were Asian Americans at a time when Asian Americans were under assault in urban areas across the country.
Consequently, polling revealed that Asian Americans along with Pacific Islanders were most likely to support the recall, some 67% of them in favor.
By spring of 2021, more than 30 prosecutors had grown frustrated and quit the San Francisco D.A.’s office, reported National Review. Already Boudin had fired “seven veteran prosecutors who were not on board with his radical views.”
Smash-and-grab theft grew so commonplace in San Francisco that retail stores reduced their hours of operation and eventually their number of outlets. All across the urban center car windows were smashed out.
One San Franciscan was so exasperated, he merely duct taped a piece of cardboard over his smashed-out hatchback window with the scrawled words, “Recall Boudin. Save S.F.!”
Broadcast newsman Luke Russert came upon this and tweeted out, “Saw this a few months back. Knew #ChesaBoudin was done.”
San Franciscan Richie Greenberg witnessed this same intensity last year when he set up a petition table at the Clement Street Farmers Market with the banner “Recall Chesa Boudin.”
People weren’t just meandering their way to the table, he told the New Yorker at the time. “They come over with purpose. They come over angry. They say – their words – ‘Give me the f---ing pen.’ ”
Voters are sick of extremism on both sides
The breakdown of law and order was wearing on everyone. And the mood had swept up Michelle Tandler, who tweeted out:
“One of my best friends in SF was burglarized and robbed last week while sleeping. Two days later she saw three men peering into her backyard. She called SFPD sobbing. They did not come. ‘I've never lived someplace where the government just doesn’t care about you,’ she said.”
All over the city people sounded like these two:
“I’m sick of Boudin’s disingenuous campaign. I believe recalling Boudin will save lives. ...People have died and will continue to die as a result of his choices.”
- A male voter to the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I enthusiastically voted for his recall. ...He was a complete failure.”
- A 62-year-old woman to the Wall Street Journal.
Those were the Democrats. Imagine what the Republicans were saying.
If you’re an Arizona conservative or a Beltway progressive or a Georgia Republican who has taken the bit too hard, you might want to wake up.
Americans are sick of the pandemic, sick of the crime, sick of the guns, sick of the social upheaval and sick of your wild-eyed zeal to defund the police or stop the steal.
Two weeks after Georgia, the people of San Francisco have spoken. “Just give me the blanking pen.”
Of such things national movements are born.
Phil Boas is an editorial columnist with The Arizona Republic. Email him at email@example.com.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: San Francisco voters just said 'to hell with the extremists'