In a classic case of buyer’s remorse, San Francisco voters by a large margin chose to recall controversial District Attorney Chesa Boudin Tuesday. The tally was 61% to 39% in favor of a change as the progressive DA was widely perceived as soft on crime.
Anyone who ever made an expensive purchase and quickly realized they would regret it knows how voters in this uber-leftist city felt.
Boudin narrowly won his 2019 race in part of a brief national trend towards progressive district attorneys vowing to upend the criminal justice system. An electorate awash with guilt decided to cleanse themselves and in the process ended up with cities far worse off than before.
Boudin, the son of a pair of Weather Underground domestic terrorists from the ‘60s and ‘70s, dramatically overplayed his hand.
He forced his prosecutors not to pursue cash bail, press adult charges against juveniles — even for murder and rape — and ignored enhanced sentences over the suspect’s gang affiliation. So-called “quality of life” crimes under his watch spread like wildfire.
That’s the exact opposite of the old “broken window” approach that former NYC Mayor Rudy Guiliani implemented and finally tamed the city’s chaos. Boudin combined it with his push to end “mass incarceration.”
So, if criminals are suddenly off the hook, will they turn away from their lives of crime and express their gratitude to society by bettering themselves and their communities?
Brazen daylight robberies and organized attacks on businesses became a way of life in the liberal Bay Area. This along with open drug markets and seeing the DA’s office often aligned with the poor misunderstood criminals instead of the victims and public.
These and many other issues led to the recall, and though Boudin tried to paint the effort as a Republican power grab, less than 7% of San Francisco’s registered voters identify with the GOP.
Nima Rahimi, a member of the state Democratic Party Executive Board, wrote a piece for a city paper saying getting Boudin out of office “will save lives.”
Give Boudin credit. When you are too radical for San Francisco you’ve really accomplished something. Reports say he had a base of support from the old hippie neighborhoods such as Haight-Ashbury. Maybe, but the grownups, at least this time, made a wise choice on Tuesday.