My husband and I made a wager.

He insisted that San Diego Mayor Bob Filner (Democrat) would be forced to resign once the women in Democratic Party leadership began clamoring for his ouster.  I said that he would never leave office willingly — he would need to be forced out legally.

Looks like I am being taken out to my favorite sushi place for dinner, as the mayor announced Friday he would be entering a rehabilitation facility to treat his apparent addiction to sexually harassing women:

Mayor Bob Filner, who has been dogged by calls for his resignation over sexual harassment allegations, called his treatment of women “inexcusable” Friday and said he would undergo two weeks of intensive behavioral therapy but not relinquish power.

“I must become a better person,” Filner said in a statement he read before a throng of reporters. “And my hope is that by becoming a better person I put myself in a position to someday be forgiven. However, before I can even think of asking for forgiveness, I need to demonstrate that my behavior has changed. And that will only happen over time and only if such incidents never, ever happen again.”

This is despite the fact that leading women in the Democratic Party (e.g., Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schultz) have asked for Filner to resign.

Just before the press conference, there was talk among our local punditry that Filner would be taking a “leave of absence”. However, he couldn’t even muster that much contrition.

To say that most San Diegans are disgusted with Filner’s attempt to avoid the consequences of his disgracelul behavior is an understatement. In fact, one of the seven victims who has come forward is a professional psychologist who says he is not likely to be rehabilitated:

[Morgan] Rose, a psychologist with the San Diego Unified School District, described to KPBS a 2009 interaction with the then-congressman when he tried to kiss her and said her eyes had bewitched him. She’s watched and listen to other stories revealed this week and said it suggests a longer pattern than should be expected to change in a short time period.

“You don’t rehab these kinds of people,” she said. “He doesn’t even understand what we’re talking about. He doesn’t even have the wiring to understand how a woman feels when he does something like that.”

Filner may be smart, but he has made a dumb calculation. San Diegans will not forget about these incidents over the next few weeks. At this point, the efforts to recall him will formally begin next Monday unless he leaves willingly.

While I anticipate the local Republican party is looking forward to a “redo” after the close November election, I would encourage the area’s Democrats to strongly back the recall as well. Otherwise, it will be another 20 years before one of its party members will see the inside of the mayor’s office again.

One extra bonus: Just after Friday’s press conference, the mayor experienced a little “due process.” Filner was served with a subpoena to appear at a deposition on August 9, in the case brought by former communications director, Irene McCormack Jackson. City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said it took several days to find Mayor Filner to serve him with the subpoena.

Looks like his whereabouts for the first several weeks in August will be well known.


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