A furtive movement is gaining power in the political bowels of San Francisco. Motivated by left-leaning public opinion and gaseous presidential ineptitude, this mounting force threatens to slide onto the November ballot and, finally, blow wide open in January at the very moment George W. Bush leaves office.
The so-called Presidential Memorial Commission, an informal city-based group of half a dozen left-leaning jokesters, has gathered more than 4,000 signatures since mid-April to rename a county sewage treatment facility the George W. Bush Sewage Center. The Oceanside Water Pollution Control Plant is located beside Great Highway near the zoo, and processes up to 65 million gallons of treated water per day. If commission volunteers collect at least 7,200 valid signatures by July 8, the initiative will go on the November ballot. The initiative's proponents also hope to coordinate a citywide "synchronous flush" at the very moment the next U.S. president is sworn in.
Passersby have responded enthusiastically to the commission petitioners, though a large proportion have apparently commented that, while Bush may stink to high heaven, he doesn't deserve memorial status of any sort after he leaves office. Hey, raw and treated sewage deserve better.
"These people would like to forget he ever existed," said T. Wayne Pickering, the commission's chairman, who can be found petitioning most Wednesday evenings at Market and Noe. "But it's important that society remembers politicians as they ought to be remembered, not as [the politicians] choose to be remembered, since many politicians turn around and write their own glowing memoirs."
The Republican Party of San Francisco has threatened to send out a mailer asking voters not to support the initiative, should it reach the ballot. Pickering suggests any publicity is good publicity, and welcomes any attention the local GOP helps bring to the campaign.
With the approach of the Haight Street Fair and Gay Pride weekend, Pickering and his pals expect to collect perhaps double the signatures required for balloting the initiative, at which point S.F. voters can decide whether to send the current head of state out of office and back to the ranch with a flush that will last for years.