San Francisco: Bathos by the Bay

San Francisco, as hymned by the faithful, is not the American Paris; Paris is the French San Francisco. Yet last week even the most ardent San Franciscan had to admit that there was also an uncomfortable similarity between the city's lackluster politics and those of the preDe Gaulle Fourth Republic. As evidenced by the stampede of undistinguished candidates for mayor, San Francisco is in danger of becoming Bathos by the Bay.

When Mayor Jack Shelley announced in September that he would not seek another four-year term, candidates popped up like mushrooms; 18 in...

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