Two Headlines, and a Third

October 26, 2004

Did I wake up in a different dimension?

Ariel Sharon, the man who has been relentlessly bombing, bulldozing, and walling off the Palestinians, is acknowledging that Jewish settlements in the Palestinian areas are only a liability to Israel, and wants to dissolve them. His own party is split on the proposal, as is the rest of the country.

But what a reversal.

Here's a man who, after decades of maintaining a hardline, no-compromise anti-Palestinian position, is basically admitting the error of his previous position. And doing something quite radical to amend it. He has been so obstinate in the past, I'd never have thought him capable of seeing things differently.

And Gavin Newsom, our coverboy mayor. He is always full of surprises. His gay marriagefest won over a lot of skeptics, SF liberals who virulently campaigned against his slick fratboy-ness, his establishment-backed golden boy status in favor of Matt Gonzalez, the Green candidate who we thought could ring in a revolution.

We didn't get Matt, but Newsom has been a surprising treat. Threatening the hotels (including the Four Seasons, the Mark Hopkins, Holiday Inn, and Hyatt), on the side of the workers? Telling them the city will boycott their businesses --for years to come-- if they don't end the lock out of their bellhops and cleaners and servers? Siding, in many ways, with the browns against the whites?


I wish we had a president who could surprise us like that.

Especially after hearing the third thing that woke me up:
Chief Justice Rehnquist has cancer.




and not only that, but Newsom actually came through on walking the picket lines yesterday. too bad all he has to bring to the table is the "prestige of his office" and a boycott threat. cheesy as it sounds, i felt really proud to be a san franciscan last night while watching the news and thinking that, for the first time in my life, the leader of a city i live in is doing politically exactly what i would have him do. kerry, how hard is that, really?