A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Monday, January 5, 2009

Vive la Californie!

Phil Trounstine, once a deliciously cantankerous political writer for the Mercury News and now a political "consultant" (whatever the hell that is), was quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle today on the subject of Bush's attitude toward California: "He regarded California sort of like France -- as a foreign entity for which he had nothing but scorn. Except for this: He did more damage to California than he ever did to France."

Nicely put, and it reminded me of one of the defining moments (there were so many of them) of the Bush presidency, when he mocked a reporter traveling with him for speaking French -- to a Frenchman. In Bushworld, the only foreign languages allowed were apparently a few phrases of schoolbook Spanish that he came out with for stump speeches in Miami and the Southwest.

Bush rarely visited California, the article notes, and never San Francisco. To do so might have signaled some kind of endorsement of "San Francisco values," the right's anathema. To my mind, San Francisco values include fair-mindedness, diversity, and a concern for the rights of minorities and the welfare of the less fortunate. So I guess I can see why the Republican Party might reject them.