By John Zaring
Guess what? Despite their own best efforts, Republicans are still alive in the Golden State.
But, just barely.
Democrats control every statewide elected office, nearly all of the major local leadership positions as well as the Congressional delegation.
Since the GOP can’t win on the merits, they’re resorting to junking up not with gears of democracy with yet another attempt to recall yet another Democrat governor. You know, the same kind of tomfoolery as the fake ballot boxes which popped up around the state last November (including at least one here in the Santa Clarita Valley).
Recall worked once, of course, when film icon Arnold Schwarzenegger rode his celebrity fame all the way to Sacramento, but California’s political landscape has continued its progressive evolution since Gray Davis watched his career go up in political smoke, so the same outcome is wildly unlikely this time around.
Californian’s are not supposed to vote again for governor until 2022, but for only the second time in the state’s history, a gubernatorial recall effort appears to have qualified for the ballot, exceeding the 1.5M signatures required (three percent of the electorate) after a judge granted an extra six months for collection.
For me, that meant an extra six months of eye rolls at wackadoos outside the grocery store.
Truth be told, it wasn’t just the Trump loving right-wing loons bedecked in all their finest “Stop The Steal” paraphernalia under bedazzled Trump flags, but an unlikely coalition of science-averse anti-vaxxers and just enough misguided progressives to put this effort over the top.
Wait, what? Progressives?
Yep, Governor Newsome pissed-off some of the Left’s fringe with his ‘what the hell were you thinking’ mistake of joining a birthday party at a fancy restaurant in the Napa Valley after advising the rest of us to stay home.
Let’s be honest… having an overpriced meal at St. Helena’s storied French Laundry restaurant is always dumb. But worthy of a recall? Come on, progressives! Go hug a tree instead.
Assuming the ironically-named “Stop the California Steal” movement fails to convince enough petition signers to withdraw within the thirty-day grace period, an election will happen before year’s end, likely after October.
Yippee! For most political geeks – and if you are reading this column, you my friend are a giant wonk (or you’re my mother) – there can never be enough elections. Right? Can I get a hallelujah?!
Of course, this whole exercise is widely expected to fail at all but wasting the many hundreds of millions of dollars it will take to stage this special election. In a tweet, Newsom said, “This Republican recall threatens our values and seeks to undo the important progress we’ve made – from fighting COVID, to helping struggling families, protecting our environment, and passing commonsense gun violence solutions. There’s too much at stake.”
Translation: Gavin is busy. And this is dumb.
We’re now in a thirty-day grace period for anyone who signed up for the recall but has since changed their mind, to withdraw. So, if you’re one of those Lefties who suffered a momentary lapse in sanity, get on that. Oh, and then go stand in a corner for a full twenty-four hours.
Polls show that Governor Newsom has the support of the majority of Californians. His administration has vaccinated more of us than every other state and most nations, and despite the challenges created by the pandemic – not Newsom – the state is running at a surplus with the economy poised to explode from the pent-up demand. With Democrats holding 46% of the electorate and only 24% registered as Republicans, that means there are more “others” in California than Republicans.
Unfortunately, California has a very low threshold for triggering a recall, and while that must change, a recall vote will be held at some point before the year is up.
This kind of revenge isn’t happening in a vacuum. All across America, Republicans are doing everything they can to increase their odds at winning, and most of it is not only despicable but unconstitutional. Well, everything except by trying to win hearts and minds of voters. This recall is part of the Grand Old Party’s last gasp, the outrage of the GOP (or as I like to call them, the “Grumpy Old White People”).
Sadly, the GOP simply doesn’t understand their own country. Or don’t like it. Take your pick.
A recent NBC News poll of registered voters (taken April 17 – 20), showed that a majority of American adults – 58% — believe it is more important to ensure that all who want to vote can, while only 38% prefer prioritizing making sure no ineligible people vote. That same poll showed that the priority for R’s – an embarrassing 77% – feel the opposite, with only 20% of Republicans preferring to expand voter access.
Too many of them bought into the vanquished last guy’s lies about “rampant voter fraud” and it led to an insurrection. Sadly, some of those insurrectionists are still in Congress, including our own “Stop The Steal” enthusiast (and consort to the Q-a-Loon Queen, Marjorie Taylor Green), Congressman Mike “Did you know I was a fighter pilot?” Garcia.
Folks, our representative in the House betrayed his oath of office if not his country, and needs to be sent home to his cushy job as a defense lobbyist. I won’t call for his “recall” because, well, smartly, that isn’t allowed. We can instead vote his butt out next year and replace him with a rational alternative who won’t betray her country, local gal and former state Assemblywoman Christy Smith.
But first, yes, you’re going to have to vote – AGAIN! – this year, to protect Governor Newsom (if not the future of California). California’s Republican party is counting on your blissful apathy, hoping you won’t vote, so they can throw out a governor the majority of Californians support and voted for.
Don’t do it. You were geeky enough to read this far. Now VOTE, because in California, when Democrats vote, Democrats win. Everything.