(Second in a series. Part 1 here.)
Now that's a heck of a political sign, even by San Francisco standards. Krissy Keefer does not leave you in any doubt where she stands. She has an agenda and she's not shy about sharing it. And she is committed to this campaign:
The sign is actually pretty good at something too many candidates flunk: it screams the name voters need to remember. A surprising number of candidates neglect to sell their name in this city where all politicians are called by their first names.
On the other hand, the figure firing the slingshot pretty well captures the reality of this campaign. Keefer, a dancer, choreographer and progressive activist, can't be running to win -- she is running to take her shots at the incumbent. She is the Green candidate in Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's district.
While the rest of the country thinks of Pelosi as a raving leftist, we, her constituents, find her depressingly timid about the war and the President's law-breaking. Many of us hold a grudge against her for making the Presidio national recreation area into a profit turning "public-private" partnership.
So some of us will vote for Keefer to send a feeble message to our Congresswoman that we'd like a little more faithful representation. I will. We'd love to see the Democrats take over Congress, but we also want more from them than we expect to get. Voting for Keefer is a symbolic way of saying this. If she campaigns energetically, Keefer might get as much as 15 percent of the vote. That would beat the Republican's tally in 2004; that year's sacrificial elephant got 12 percent.
What should have happened in this district was an energetic challenge by an antiwar leader to Pelosi in the Democratic Party primary. Such a challenger wouldn't have knocked off Nancy, but the campaign would have made the point where it needs to be made. The Democrats we get are the Democrats we, the people, kick into shape.
Third parties simply can't be done in our political system. And the Greens don't cut it for me; I don't trust them to act as a party rather than as a vehicle for ambitious, but ungrounded individualists. (Last time I wrote something like this Michael-David Sasson wrote a thoughtful rebuttal that more people might want to take a look at.)
So this year, it is Keefer for Congress for me -- and I treasure this "in your face" sign.