Updated below (on February 11, 2021):
Associated Press news photo
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, pictured above in Los Angeles in December 2020, might be thinking, “You’re going to save my political ass, little vial!”
“President” Pussygrabber finally is gone (good fucking riddance!), so we have to get our overfill of political drama elsewhere these days.
Marjorie Taylor Greene is loads of fun, but really, with her level of clinical cray-cray, there’s only so much entertainment value there; it exhausts itself rather quickly, as there’s not much more beyond, Yeah, she’s a fucking lunatic barking at the moon, but there’s nothing more to see here, so move along now…
Juicier, at least here in California, is the chatter about a possible recall election against Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Full disclosure: I voted for Newsom in 2018. Yes, he’s a bit slick, and no, I’m not wild that he comes from aristocrats, but was he the best candidate for governor that California could cough up? Probably. So I voted for him.
Then along comes the novel coronavirus pandemic, in the beginning of Newsom’s second year as governor. Unfair, but it is what it is.
Has Newsom made some missteps in handling the COVID-19 pandemic? Yes. That said, it’s quite the fucking tightrope to walk, with public-health concerns on one hand and on the other a business community that is in the minority but is vocal and has some money and some power.
Add to that the anti-maskers and the anti-vaxxers — the same death-cult members who demand the “freedom” to infect others with a potentially lethal virus and/but who at the same time demand that we change absolutely nothing about how we go about our daily business — and yeah, fun!
Could anyone else have done a significantly better job managing the pandemic in California than Newsom has done? No, I fucking doubt it.
This is a once-in-a-century pandemic and we’re still undergoing a slow nationwide vaccination campaign, which is mostly out of Newsom’s hands. That and even once we finally get a vaccine in most people’s arms, there’s nothing to stop us from having to do this all over again with a new strain or strains of the novel coronavirus. (Or, yet another virus, such as the flu virus, can mutate into something much more lethal than we’ve seen in a century. Or we even could have more than one kind of lethal virus out in the public at the same time.)
So while it’s fun and easy to blame all of this on Newsom if you’re a Californian (and even if you’re not), if you do that, you have your fucking head up your ass.
Especially if you think that a Repugnican governor would do a better job than Newsom is doing — especially after we just watched Repugnican “President” Pussygrabber do next to fucking nothing about COVID-19, because it was inconvenient to his “re”-election campaign. (COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. now exceed 441,000.)
Let’s travel a bit back in time for a moment: In 2003, in a circus-like environment, former Democratic California Gov. Gray Davis was ousted in a gubernatorial recall election and replaced by Repugnican Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger as governor.
People are comparing 2003 to today, but that’s comparing apples to pineapples.
Gray Davis had won a second term as governor in 2002 by only about 5 percentage points over his Repugnican opponent Bill Simon, whose campaign had been a bumbling disaster. Still, Simon still did as well as he did, and so California’s Repugnicans smelled Davis’ blood in the water.
They then used the Enron fiasco, in which Californians were issued sky-high electricity bills and experienced rolling blackouts, as their excuse to boot Davis. Even in his capacity as governor Davis could have done little to nothing about the Enron fiasco, in which Schwarzenegger very apparently participated — only to then replace Davis as governor. (Interesting how that worked out, that Schwarzenegger had met with Enron’s felonious Ken Lay during the manufactured electricity crisis and then later ran to replace Davis as governor, using that manufactured crisis as the “reason” that Davis should go and he should replace him.)
Like the Nazi Party, the Repugnicans love to put a good crisis to good personal and political use (as Schwarzenegger sure the fuck did, even though he distances himself from his father’s Nazism today) — and a good crisis (like the novel coronavirus pandemic) is about the only way that the Repugnicans could win a statewide election in California, 46 percent of whose registered voters are Democrats, only 24 percent of whom are Repugnicans, and 24 percent are independents.
Take a look at two recent statewide elections in California: Newsom won office in November 2018 with 62 percent of the vote to his Repugnican challenger’s paltry 38 percent. And President Joe Biden in November 2020 won California with 63.5 percent of the vote to Pussygrabber’s pathetic 34.3 percent.
Does California really look like it’s just itching to have a Repugnican as its governor?
That said, Newsom’s approval rating has dropped in the wake of COVID-19. One recent poll put his approval rating at 46 percent (again, 46 percent of the state’s registered voters are Democrats, so I think that about 46 percent of California’s voters are Newsom’s base, those who aren’t going to abandon him) and another recent poll put Newsom’s approval rating at 52 percent.
Thing is, it’s COVID-19 fatigue that’s driving Californians to sour on Newsom, but over time, we should see some significant, perhaps even dramatic, improvements in the pandemic, as more and more people are vaccinated. (Only if mutations of the virus enable it to continually defeat the already-developed vaccines, it seems to me, might this thing be more protracted that we might have thought initially, after the initial announcements of the successful development of vaccines.)
In fact, in California we’re already seeing a dramatic drop in new COVID-19 cases. The state’s public-health department’s data show that while daily new cases were in the 40,000s and even the 50,000s just last month, right now they’re in the 20,000s and below. Here is a screenshot of the state’s data from today:
Yes, daily deaths in California are increasing, but obviously those are from people who were infected a little while ago, most of them probably during the holidays, when they failed to keep precautions (indeed, the graph on the left shows that the spike in new cases occurred during the holidays). As new cases plummet, the deaths also will plummet, after a lag time, obviously.
So a crisis is good for the Repugnicans only for as long as it persists, and I’m thinking that even if the proponents of recalling Newsom obtain their necessary 1.5 million valid signatures of registered California voters by their March 17 deadline — if I had to bet money on it, I’d bet that they won’t obtain that many valid signatures — by the time that the gubernatorial election came around, already we’d have seen significant to even dramatic improvement in the novel coronavirus pandemic in California (and nationwide).
Indeed, pundits think that if the Newsom recall election happens, it might not be until November or December of this year. Even the recall proponents (probably optimistically) think that the election would be in August or September.
Even by August, if the current trend of plummeting new cases of COVID-19 in California continues, Newsom’s political fortunes should have seen a remarkable turnaround, since his political problems now are due mostly to the ongoing pandemic.
So will Newsom be recalled?
Given the numbers — the number of registered Democrats vs. registered Repugnicans in the state, how well Newsom did in 2018 and how well Biden just did in California in November, and given the current COVID-19 pandemic trajectory that suggests that it’s entirely possible that California will be fully (or at least significantly) opened again by the time that a gubernatorial recall election even could occur — I think fucking not.
Nice try, though, Repugnicans, to try to force another gubernatorial do-over election in a state in which your party is so unfuckingpopular that not even fully one-fourth of its voters are registered with it.
P.S. On that note, the attempt to recall Newsom began well before The Events of January 6, in which the nation and the world watched, in real time, Pussygrabber’s band of treasonous flying brain-dead monkeys attack the U.S. Capitol to try to reverse the outcome of a decisive presidential election, for fucking fuck’s sake.
The Repugnican brand is in the shitter these days, especially here in California.
Those Repugnicans who think that they actually can take the governorship of California again any year soon are as delusional as is their fellow “patriot” Marjorie Taylor Greene.
Update (February 11, 2021):
Fivethirtyeight.com yesterday posted its analysis of a potential Newsom recall election in a piece titled “California’s Gavin Newsom Will Likely Face a Recall Election — But He’ll Probably Survive It.”
The piece makes many of the same arguments that I did, but does add that in 2003 in California, when former Gov. Gray Davis was recalled, Repugnican voters made up 35 percent of the state’s electorate, compared to only 24 percent of the state’s electorate today — and Democratic voters made up 44 percent in 2003, but are at 46 percent today.
Indeed, the Repugnicans have lost a lot of ground in the state over the past many years, and for that and other reasons, the state’s political landscape today is not what it was back in 2003.
I differ with fivethirtyeight.com in that I, for at least one, haven’t bought into the widespread claim that yes, this recall election probably going to happen.
The recall proponents have been widely, loudly publicizing their claim that they’ve already reached, first, more than 1.3 million signatures, and now, more than 1.4 million signatures, but thus far, the state’s secretary of state’s office has reported not even a half-million verified-valid signatures — and the recall proponents need just shy of 1.5 million verified-valid signatures by March 17.
I don’t automatically believe the very same group of people who have supported former “President” Pussygrabber, QAnon & Co. that they’re on track to get their required 1.5 million verified-valid signatures. They’ve always been nothing but a pack of pathologically lying sociopaths and traitors.
I’ll believe that they got their required signatures only when/if I see it, officially, from the state’s secretary of state’s office.
But the recall proponents have been effective in getting their batshit-crazy right-wing propaganda out there, and believed by many (including, apparently, fivethirtyeight.com); as I noted, the twice-impeached one-termer former “President” Pussygrabber has left a political vacuum, and Newsom has been a convenient target for the Repugnicans to try to get their “revenge.”
I put the chances of the Newsom recall election happening — because the necessary number of verified-valid signatures are gathered by the March 17 deadline — at no more than around 40 percent to 45 percent. Should the recall election happen, I put the chances of Newsom being booted at no more than about 20 percent to 25 percent (and even then, that would have to be with no significant improvement in the novel coronavirus pandemic by the time the recall election happened).
If the Newsom recall does happen, it very probably won’t remove Newsom, but it will waste millions in tax dollars (which the Repugnicans claim they are against) — and only for a Repugnican vanity project — and it will just create even more political drama, as though 2020, which still is spilling over into this year, weren’t enough.
P.S. Here is the graph from the California Department of Public Health’s COVID-19 dashboard from today:
Note that the number of daily new cases of COVID-19 in the state continue to fall dramatically, and that the daily deaths from COVID-19 in the state also are dropping.
As the recall effort fairly hinges on COVID-19, this direction in the pandemic is good for Newsom (and good for the populace of California) and bad for the recall proponents — who, if they manage to get their recall election, will be publicly exposed as the same-old familiar right-wing extremists that they are.
The recall proponents are of the very same ilk of those who treasonously attacked the U.S. Capitol on January 6 — yet they’d actually have us Californians believe that they’re here to save us. And they think that they’re going to conquer California.
Oh, hell no.