Standing up for “San Francisco values”

by on July 29, 2008  •  In Uncategorized

As a non-native but devoted immigrant New Yorker (ok, now awol), hearing others snidely diss how "unliveable" or "dirty" the city was always burned me.  Not because a sane person couldn’t hold those opinions, but because the ease with which they were accepted as conventional wisdom seeped like slime into code words for NYC being too non-white, too non-straight, too non-Christian. Perhaps it’s because I grew up in a small town, but my perception of those jabs at New York has always been inflected with a sure sense that I knew what most of the people in non-urban America were really saying when they dissed NYC.

The more explicitly anti-gay version of the old NYC-is-too-dirty refrain is "San Francisco" whatever (Democrat, values, etc.) Republican hacks and their media lackeys  routinely use the phrase "San Francisco Democrat" as a snarky way to describe Nancy Pelosi’s philosophy as well as her home district; I guess it’s their version of a double entendre.  Barack Obama and Al Gore and probably every other modestly progressive Democrat have also drawn the same epithet.

So I found myself cheering Pelosi’s retort to "San Francisco values":

Pelosi: "San Francisco Values" Tag Used To Smear Gays

… "San Francisco values to me means that every child in our city has health insurance until they are 25 years old. San Francisco values say we don’t have a minimum wage, we have a living wage. In San Francisco we respect the dignity and worth of every person, and respect is the order of the day there. Issues like protecting the environment aren’t issues for us — they are values and ethics."


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