Willie Brown’s Warnings

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown (Stephen Lam/Reuters)

Willie Brown, the former two-term mayor of San Francisco, former speaker of the California Assembly, and former, er, special friend to Kamala Harris, wrote a column this weekend warning his fellow Democrats that impeachment will not do much to help the party in the 2020 presidential election.

…the Democrats will spend the next few precious months acting out a pretend cliffhanger to which everyone actually knows the script and the ending. No plot twists in sight. Remember health care, the issue that won so many elections for Democrats in 2018? You might, but they don’t seem to.

Come next year, Trump will have an impeachment victory and quite possibly a solid economy. The Democrats will have — what?

Some might question whether the Senate falling short of 67 votes to remove really counts as much of an “impeachment victory,” but President Trump is likely to interpret it as an exoneration nonetheless. And last week’s controversy about Elizabeth Warren’s plan to pay for Medicare for All — which included a belief that drug-makers will be convinced to start selling brand-name prescription drugs for 30 percent of the current prices — did generate some discussion of health care, but maybe not the kind of discussion that Democrats want. (The Democratic party knows exactly what it wants, which is free high-quality health care for everyone in country, including illegal immigrants, with no waiting, with no middle-class tax increases. The problem is that the numbers don’t add up, and they are unwilling to confront that reality.)

Elsewhere in his column, Brown laments that Oakland’s Fifth Avenue is “ lined with some of the biggest tents and shantytown structures I have ever seen — it made San Francisco’s worst encampments look like a Cub Scout sleepover” and writes that during the recent blackouts, numerous friends asked if they could join him in the gym in the morning. Asked if his friends really wanted to work out, most replied,  “no, but I could really use a place to shower before going to work.” The problems engulfing the San Francisco region and the Golden State are getting too glaring for even the most optimistic California cheerleaders to ignore.

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