Last weekend, the California Republican Party held its convention in Sacramento. As it was nearby and featured a speech by neutered bogeyman Karl Rove, I went to the event and sought out those rarest of creatures, San Francisco Republicans.
“Are people nice to you?” I asked, figuring Bay Area delegates must get snubbed or at least tossed into the swimming pool by the confident delegates from rural areas.
Said local Tom Moyer: “There are certain people who say, ‘Well, you can’t really be a conservative because you’re from up there.’ And actually, we’re more conservative because we have to live with more people who disagree with us.”
In fact, Moyer is a typical Bay Area Republican in his socially libertarian view that “government should be out of your wallet and your bedroom.” He’s in the overall minority, for now.
And while I’m a lifelong Democrat, I’ll admit that it was great to see San Francisco’s very own Harmeet Dhillon elected as vice chairwoman of the state GOP. She’s the first female VP and first Sikh and, while I haven’t specifically researched it, I’ll go out on a limb and say she’s also the first former board member of the American Civil Liberties Union to be elected to the post.
Sadly, in the weeks leading up to the convention, some GOP members wrote hateful nonsense about Dhillon, accusing her of being a terrorist sympathizer. But party leaders swiftly shot down the comments.
At Dhillon’s party Saturday night, San Franciscan Howard Epstein explained the comments. “All political movements have their share of crazies, whether they’re on the right or the left,” Epstein said. “We have our fair share. The Democrats have their fair share. The Libertarians have their fair share.”
Calling out the crazies, I think, counts as progress.