The San Francisco Treat
I must confess to a good chuckle every time I hear New Hampshire Republican Party chair Gov. John Sununu make reference to the state Democrats’ San Francisco agenda. I understand his broader point that the bills being passed out of the New Hampshire House of Representatives these days, on issues like gay marriage, transgender rights, and medical marijuana, are typically associated with the liberal (or progressive, as they now prefer) wing of the national Democratic Party, which has a strong presence in places like San Francisco.
But the reference feels quaint. It mainly reminds me of my high school years in the 1970s, when New York City and the Bay Area really were viewed as almost mythical meccas of liberal licentiousness, in comparison to the rest of the country (Studio 54 anyone, or perhaps the Dead up in the Haight?). But increased mobility and technological advances have led to such a dispersion of cultural attitudes around the country that I don’t think this particular geographical reference really carries much weight anymore. Pick any city, and you will find these issues being debated in earnest nowadays (and in many small towns, too).
There is actually a serious political point to be made here. I have noted on a number of occasions that the Republican Party is in danger of losing an entire generation of young voters. When Gov. Sununu was selected to head the state party, I wrote that a politician of his vintage might have some trouble branding the party for the next wave of voters. The recurring “San Francisco agenda” reference is a perfect case in point. It may rally some older conservatives to the party’s cause, but I can guarantee it is pretty much lost on anyone under the age of 35.


Posted On: 04-09-2009 20:04:53 by Jim Splaine
It's mostly about the fear factor, as we know Dean. It is sad, however, to see a "new" generation of some young Republicans who are State Representatives who really ought to know better -- and I think DO know better -- whose votes in the NH State Legislature make John Dad Sununu look moderate. Maybe he is having a regretable impact on a new generation through his intimidation and backward leadership. But when one attacks issues of fairness and fighting discrimination by calling them far-out ideas, he becomes irrelevant to serious political discussion. Just where has John Sununu been for the past 60 years?

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