Last month San Francisco got a new District Attorney, Chesa Boudin. The City-by-the-Bay’s new top prosecutor has made it his signature “policy” (if you can call it that) to not enforce laws against so-called “quality of life” crimes: public urination, prostitution, camping, drug use, etc.
On its own, this isn’t totally crazy. Incarceration isn’t the answer to everything. The real problem comes when this policy is combined with another: California’s Proposition 47, laughably referred to by its proponents as “The Safe Neighborhood and Schools Act.”
The 2014 ballot initiative reclassified a slew of felonies as misdemeanors, including the following:
- Shoplifting, grand theft, receiving stolen property, forgery, and fraud if the amount does not exceed $950 (including firearms!)
- Possession and personal use of most illegal drugs
Despite having never prosecuted a case himself, Boudin has already fired six career criminal prosecutors in the DA’s office, had a photo-op with Angela Davis, ended cash bail for all criminal cases, and dropped charges against a man accused of violently attacking police officers with a vodka bottle. In that last case, the SF police union has called for a federal intervention, and one can hardly blame them.
Boudin’s sympathy with violent criminals will have real and negative effects on law-abiding residents, property and small business owners. It will ruin public spaces in San Francisco and potentially endanger lives.
To understand Mr. Boudin’s revolutionary streak and assault on the rule of law, I think it’s worth tracing his radical origin story — a story he used to sell well-meaning progressive voters on his agenda of “reform.”
To no fault of his own, Mr. Boudin’s parents were members of the Weather Underground, a far-left militant terrorist group, and were imprisoned when he was a baby for taking part in a robbery that resulted in the deaths of three people. With his parents behind bars, he was raised by the radical leaders of that group.
After graduating from Yale Law School and Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, Mr. Boudin travelled extensively in South America to live “in solidarity with the working class.” He even wrote a book about it called “Gringo: A Coming of Age in Latin America,” of which a hilarious and brutal NYT review said, “it belongs in a yoga magazine, not between hard covers,” and “please make it stop.”
During this exotic tour of performative poverty, Mr. Boudin worked as a translator for the Venezuelan Government of Hugo Chavez. In an essay in 2009, Mr. Boudin congratulated Chavez for eliminating term limits on his own presidency and lauded the country’s socialist transformation:
“Few countries can boast such remarkable gains in just a decade,”
Mr. Boudin — herein referred to as Comrade Gringo — is actually right: In 2009, Venezuela was one of the richer and more democratic countries in the western hemisphere. Needless to say, that is no longer the case. Hugo Chavez set Venezuelan democracy on the path to backwardness, destitution, and dictatorship, or as his loyal servant Comrade Gringo might put it… “remarkable progress.”
It seems Comrade Gringo has frontline experience turning first-rate places into third-world hellholes, so naturally he’ll be perfect for San Francisco, and he has wasted no time getting to work.
In Comrade Gringo’s new San Francisco, a naked prostitute on heroin can defecate in a grocery store aisle, take up to $950 of goods, walk back to their tent on a city sidewalk, steal a handgun and drop some needles along the way, and then solicit sex or drugs‚ or both, to pedestrians outside a local business, with just a citation (if that).
But God forbid that prostitute should offer those pedestrians a plastic straw, for hell hath no fury like San Francisco officials when “The Planet” is threatened.
Think that sea-level rise and climate change are going to make the California coast uninhabitable in the next century? Newsflash: idiotic and lawless policies from the likes of “Comrade Gringo” Chesa Boudin are currently rendering one of America’s most beautiful and historic cities unlivable.