San Diego Soliloquies

Friday, June 20, 2003

Center of the Universe

San Diego is many things. Beautiful, lucky, more often than not tranquil, and easy on the eyes. There is one thing it is not. It is not blessed with the brightest of inhabitants.

There are pockets of intelligence to be sure, concentrated around UCSD, SDSU, USD and the more bohemian areas of the city. For the most part they serve as a counterbalance for our own little Bible belt, the arc of East county communities such as Lakeside, Santee, El Cajon that sponsor mega-churches and minor minds. It is no accident that the Institue for Creation Research is headquartered in Santee. The rock-noggined insistence that modern science's only concern is the promulgation of Satan's lies plays well to its neighbors, not so well to the bio-engineers carving the furture on mesas overlooking the Pacific. Higher real estate costs correlate to greater perspicacity here in San Diego (with the usual provisos about causation of course).

Anyway, San Diego is proving its dunderheadedness again, by being the leading supplier of signatures for the petitions to recall Gray Davis. Now San Diego did vote overwhelmingly for Davis's opponent in last year's election (that would be Bill Simon), but he lost. Last year. Seven months ago.

California's recall laws were created of a piece with the initiative process back in the reform days of Gov. Hiram Johnson. Johnson led the effort at the time to undercut the political power of the Southern Pacific railroad which was known to be in partial or complete ownership of the members of both houses of the California legislature and usually the governor too. Now I'm starting to look fondly on those days. At least then we had entities acting in well-informed ways for their own self-interest. Anyone who thinks California is going to get anything good out of this act of petulance is as stupid as Darrel Issa.


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