The now-recalled SF District Attorney Chesa Boudin may have been the wrong guy at the wrong time with the right basic goal. There’s no doubt we need criminal justice reform. But when the wrong messenger brings that message during a pandemic and a deadly fentanyl crisis, things can go sideways. And they did. There’s still a broader question about these recalls. We already have enough elections with politicians running year-round. More elections will worsen that trend. There will be no time to lead. The New Yorker’s Benjamin Wallace-Wells seems to get the SF recall story just about right. Why San Francisco Fired Chesa Boudin. “When I visited Boudin’s office in 2021, a video had just surfaced of a group of ten thieves sprinting out of the city’s Neiman Marcus department store lugging huge handbags. Boudin’s staff was being asked to come up with a response to reassure the public, but I sensed a sotto-voce disbelief among them. It was like asking Allen Iverson about practice. Incarceration rates and murders were down. We’re talkin’ about handbags?”

+ The crime and homelessness that San Francisco residents complain about is hardly unique. The pandemic exposed and widened America’s biggest problem: the economic divide. And it’s not just the broke people who are paying the price. The great Eli Saslow in WaPo (Gift Article): Anger and heartbreak on Bus No. 15. “Forty-five years old, she’d been driving the same route for nearly a decade, becoming such a fixture of Denver’s No. 15 bus line that her photograph was displayed on the side of several buses — a gigantic, smiling face of a city Suna no longer recognized in the aftermath of the pandemic. The Denver she encountered each day on the bus had been transformed by a new wave of epidemics overwhelming major cities across the country. Homelessness in Denver was up by as much as 50 percent since the beginning of the pandemic. Violent crime had increased by 17 percent, murders had gone up 47 percent, some types of property crime had nearly doubled, and seizures of fentanyl and methamphetamine had quadrupled in the past year.” (You can’t law and order your way out of problems like these.)

+ “Rising homicide rates don’t tell the whole story. When you dig deeper into data on deaths, you’ll find the more urban your surroundings, the less danger you face.” Is CityLab right? New York City Is a Lot Safer Than Small-Town America.