California’s Governor won’t get what he deserves
Gavin Newsom faces no serious opposition despite his poor leadership
Once considered a golden boy for the progressive Left, California Governor Gavin Newsom has had a few bad months. Not only has his response to the Covid-19 crisis been inconsistent and exceedingly draconian, he was caught violating his own pandemic orders at the ultra-expensive, ultra-chic French Laundry in Napa.
This angered people in a state that has suffered the third highest economic losses of any state. Only tourism-dependent Nevada and Hawaii are higher. California, according to the state’s own outlook, is not supposed to get back to 2019 levels until 2025.
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At the same time, the state has also mishandled unemployment claims, hitting more than a million Californians whose unemployment cheques were delayed or claims frozen. Worse yet, the state last year was handing fraudsters as much as $11 billion to various scammers — including people in jail and criminals from Nigeria and Russia.
In light of this situation, will Newsom be forced out in a recall, as occurred with former Governor Gray Davis? The odds are not good. Newsom is not widely popular — his poll rating has fallen since September from 64% to 46% — but a new Berkeley poll suggests a recall is now supported by barely one-third of voters and has been losing ground.
The move is damaged further by the fact that the Republicans lack a strong candidate to place on the ballot to replace him; in 2003, they had Arnold Schwarzenegger, a muscular movie star with wide appeal. The prospect of John Cox, a nondescript wealthy investor from Illinois who was trounced by 23 points Newsom in 2018, running again should brighten Newsom’s already gleaming smile. In contrast to Gray Davis in 2003, whose own Lt. Governor ran to replace him, no prominent Democrat has stepped forward to oppose Newsom.
Perhaps more importantly, California is a far more Democratic state today than in 2003, with the percentage of Republicans down from 35% to 24% since that time, roughly half the percentage identifying as Democrats. To make matters worse, the state continues to lose middle class families, the very group that might favour recall. A large and growing poor population — California has the nation’s highest cost-adjusted poverty rate — expands the constituency of those dependent on the state’s largesse.
At the same time, the state’s famously fractious GOP continues to fight among themselves, divided between moderates and highly vocal Trumpistas. Newsom and the Democrats see a great opening there, in a state where Trump lost by almost two to one. He is already linking the recall effort to the “insurrection” carried out by insane Trump-supporters last month in Washington. Attacking the Orange Man is usually good politics in California.
Thanks to these realities, Newsom, despite his record of failure, is likely to survive the recall. The better question, perhaps, is whether the state will survive too.
I have lived in California for 55 years, much longer than needed to validate the maxim “There is no cure for stupidity.” Just one example ( there are literally hundreds of others): the Bullet Train to nowhere, also known as the “Innuendo / California Suppository Express”. Originally sold to the stupid voters of California in 2008 as a $9 billion expenditure, the estimated cost has now mushroomed to ten times that amount, and to my knowledge, not a single rail has been laid to date. The initial leg of the rail line, between Fresno and Madera, will serve the needs of very few commuters, and will need massive taxpayer subsidies to avoid immediate bankruptcy.
The majority of Californians are registered Democrats. The Democratic Party is fueled by contributions from public employee unions and high tech. 1/3 of all welfare recipients in the United States reside in California. We host close to 8 million illegal aliens, and more arrive daily ( none of whom are being screened for COVID ). All of these people have apparently not heard, certainly they have never heeded Margaret Thatcher’s famous warning the “Socialism works until you run out of other people’s money.”
California, the Golden State of my youth, has become the armpit of the nation. Thanks to progressivist policy. And stupid voters.
Truer words have never been written.
I do not know if it is stupid voters and progressive policy, I think it is all part of the great plan to break the independence and self reliance of the Western Middle class/ Working class, who never can be governed without their consent. The Great plan it to reduce their say in government by bringing in people who are of a very different mindset, and so break the votes up, divide and conquer, and lure them to the party who promises more free benefits. This is being done in all the West. I think many conspiracies are very real, why else is it going like it is? Did anyone ever vote on the social engineering policies of the Left? Is there a mandate to do as they have?
California is, however, still by far the largest economy in the US (and is in the top 10 for income per capita, alongside the usual suspects like DC, MA, CT etc), as well as being the world’s fifth largest economy (ahead of the UK).
So presumably some things are going pretty well for quite a lot of people there?
I’m also a lifelong resident of California. I don’t even recognize this state anymore. A completely different place then where and how I grew up.
I would move my family to a different state but we are stuck here due to our business being based here and not transferable. We would have to start over from scratch to move which would be crippling financially. It’s so stifling to be trapped here.
The only hope is for a semi libertarian socially liberal but not “woke” candidate to run against Newsom. I don’t think a moderate republican will win. Someone like Dave Rubin would be great.
We need to reopen our state economy and schools full time in person, fix our economy, education system, infrastructure, control immigration, deal with fire prevention in a tactical way, whether you believe in climate change or not, lower taxes, and deal with what looks like millions of people living in tents in urban and now spilling into suburban communities all over the state. It’s shocking the number of people living this way here now compare to even 10 years ago.
the cost of living here is off the charts now between housing, utilities, and food. If you are stuck in a category where you are in he higher tax rate, and qualify for no freebies or tax breaks, you are living a lower quality of life now then you would in other states right now.
I hope a candidate runs who represents people like us, but we are a silent minority outside the recall, so we will see how it plays out.
California got what it voted for and if Newsom is removed, someone very similar will take over.
Attacking the Orange Man is usually good politics in California.
It’s a convenient way of dodging any responsibility for decades of one-party rule and ties back to the original point – the state is getting exactly what it voted to get.
People will have the chance to vote him out. Or may be they will not do so!
The foundation of Newsom’s political career is that he was best friends with the son of the richest man in the world and that he looks like a Ken doll. He’s a safe pair of hands for the super rich who control the California Democratic Party. What do you expect him to do in office?
I used to live and work in California. Your comment summarizes the situation exactly.
Given the popularity of Trump, almost half of all Americans want a country run for/by the super rich, no?
He’s also Nancy Pelosi’s nephew. Ahem.
I think the situation could change very rapidly if some big name enters the picture, as Arnold did in 2003. Recall elections in Calif are non-partisan, after all. If the recall is certified, there would be an up-or-down vote on Gavin (irrespective of party), then a free-for-all in the choice for a successor. Arnold ran as a Republican, but he did not need to, and did not, secure the nomination of the Republican party. This might be a rare moment for a true independent to step in. Gavin’s support is as shallow as he is, I believe, and he has enraged the parents of schoolchildren, as well as restaurant owners and other small business types, to a degree not reflected in the polls. If an appealing alternative presents itself, Gavin will get whomped. If and when the recall petition is certified for the ballot, there could be dramatic developments.
If Gavin goes down, the window then opens for another necessary measure: a ballot initiative to limit and supervise the governor’s exercise of so-called emergency powers. The Dem legislature will never do this, so the task falls to the people. We can thank heaven that Calif’s practice of popular referendum, so often abused and trivialized in recent decades, can at last be put to a worthy, indeed an urgent, use.
In ‘Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy’ the search for the answer to ‘Life, the Universe, and Everything’ is always being worked on, but a theory is if it ever gets answered all existance will be wiped, and a new, and more weird, reality will be put in its place.
This kind of possibility is what I worry about if he is recalled.
Sadly that’s a reality in California. What this state truly needs is someone with common sense and pragmatism, who truly cares about fixing our states biggest problems, of which there are many in a crisis situation. People are sick of it, but who knows what type of even further left wing charlatan will come out of the woodwork and con people with more freebies and utopian falsehoods for a vote?
The only time when anything will change is when all the poor street homeless people start overflowing into the areas where the twitterati live
I heard one realestste person talk on how booming the construction of gated communities is now, with the urban diaspora, they want to make sure this does not happen – NIMBY.
Already happening in designated locations.
Check out some of the youtube interviews of the great Victor Davis Hanson where he discusses what happened to California over the past twenty years or so. Even that clever man is unable to describe a realistic scenario that pulls California back from the brink. Its downward trajectory seems inevitable now.
I am a huge fan of Hanson – I started sending my leftist/socialist (in the traditional sense) mother-in-law his articles and now she sends them to her leftist-socialist book group ladies.
They seem unaware that he supports Trump, and they love him.
I think it’s a bit of an overstatement to say that VDH “supports” Trump. While he has made a case for understanding the support Trump has, that’s a far cry from a personal endorsement.
“Trumpistas” is the word from this article, not that it means the writer meant anything by using it. That Bidenistas are running amok in the corridors of power now is also a judgement free statement by me.
Assuming you’re right, California is currently the world’s fifth largest economy, so where do you see its downward trajectory ending up?
“The better question, perhaps, is whether the state will survive too.”
This throwaway comment in the last sentence about whether the world’s fifth largest economy “will survive” pretty much sums up the quality of analysis of the piece overall.
It does seem pretty futile but at least its served the purpose of ending the never-ending lockdown?
California is blessed with extraordinary beauty, to an extent he can hold it for ransom.
Democratically elected by the people!
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