Story 3 takes place in a bar, circa 1993. It was well into the second full year of Mayor Jordan's term, and I was taking some of his top aides out for beers at my then-favorite bar, Mad Dog in the Fog. At the table with me were two high-level aides, whose names I will not mention so as not to embarrass them, because they too have now reanimated themselves into posts of importance in San Francisco.
Newcastle was the lubricant of choice that night, and we drank far too much of it for our own good. As the night wore on, and we all got drunker, the two aides began to speak more and more openly about Frank Jordan. Their boss, according to the two ambitious young pols, was dumb as a rock, thick as a plank -- stupid! stupid! stupid!
The aides opened a debate with me that night.
Why, they asked, didn't the press simply say that the mayor of the City and County of San Francisco was an incredibly and thoroughly dumb man, incapable of grasping even the basic concepts such as how a toaster worked?
I told them I was sympathetic to their argument. I had once sat in Jordan's office talking to our boy-mayor for a startling 45 minutes, discussing city affairs with him, and I had decided that yes, indeed, it was true, the mayor was simple.
Still, I told the aides, it is the job of journalists to show and not tell, and the sum total of coverage of the mayor showed, without a doubt, that he was a remarkably stupid man with the intellectual capacity of, say, a 10-year-old boy.
Both aides dismissed my argument and said what was needed was a story that just reported the fact -- the indisputable fact -- that the mayor of San Francisco was mentally challenged.
One aide grew animated in her inebriation. "He doesn't have any books in his house!" she yelled, banging her fists on the table. "He has a big-screen TV, but not a single book!"
Frank Jordan spent the rest of his time in office letting others run the city, while he gathered luggage and opened mail. Willie Brown, not to anyone's great surprise, won the mayor's race in 1995.
Now that Frank Jordan is talking about running for mayor again and the press is treating him like a viable candidate, I will do what I should have done after my drunken night with the two Jordan aides.
I will opine that Frank Jordan is an incredibly and thoroughly stupid man. I don't know if he has ever had his IQ tested, but if he did, I would not be surprised if the result showed up somewhere in the negative range. On second thought, they may have to use the negative exponents known as imaginary numbers in mathematics to measure his lack of intelligence.
So, at the risk of repeating myself, let me just say once and for all time:
Frank Jordan is dumb, stupid, backward, an idiot, a schlub, a moron, a dink, a mouth breather, a slack jaw, a drooler, a knuckle dragger, a nitwit, a nincompoop, an imbecile, an ignoramus, a dimwit, a booby, a jerk, a fool, a simpleton, an eighteenth wit, a dullard, a numskull, an oaf, a bungler, a dolt, a blockhead, a dunce, a dunderhead, a ninny, a lummox, a yahoo, a bozo, a goofball, a bonehead. He's just plain dumb.
So a question arises: Why did and why do some people want such a putz as mayor? The answer brings us around, by happy circumstance, to another political zombie who, I wish, were appropriately entombed, the only declared and viable mayoral candidate, one Clint Reilly.
Before Reilly reanimated himself as a candidate, he was a political consultant. As such, he successfully ran Jordan for mayor in 1991. Like a lot of other slimeballs (among them Jack Davis, who has reanimated himself as a Brown adviser), Reilly manipulated the moron mayor into doing some of the most galactically stupid things imaginable.
That's why Jordan was such a disaster as mayor, and why his corpse is such a frightful sight today.
Jordan, in sum, was a front man for the personal agendas of others. Those agendas, as it happened, were thoroughly detrimental to the city, and no one ever saw clearly who was behind them because those people were, by design, hidden behind Frank Jordan's idiot smile.
In a manner of speaking, many San Franciscans were too busy watching Jordan watch the luggage to understand until it was too late what was really going on.
For his part, Reilly was responsible for manipulating the mayor into conducting one of the most disastrous political events in recent memory, the appointment of Dick Hongisto as police chief. Always a little nutty as a member of the Board of Supervisors, Hongisto put on his chief's uniform and suddenly and inexorably, to my eyes at least, and to those of many others, went completely mad.
As people began demonstrating against the 1993 verdict that cleared the cops who beat Rodney King, Hongisto accomplished a truly remarkable feat. He moved reality so far toward the realm of the insane that it finally matched the idiotic rhetoric of the far left. He turned San Francisco into an armed camp. We, indeed, were living in a police state.