Tag Archives: Californians

California’s next governor might take office with a minority of the vote — but wouldn’t be governor for very long

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Fascist-Repugnican talk-radio host Larry Elder, shown with his buddy former “President” Pussygrabber in a Tweet that Elder posted himself in July 2018 (and again in October 2020), just might become California’s next governor in the September 14 gubernatorial recall election with millions of fewer votes than the number of votes for current Gov. Gavin Newsom to keep his job — but there’s no way in hell that Elder could win election outright in November 2022, which he’d have to do in order to keep the job.

Having lived here in California since September 1998, I think that I’m qualified to state that with each passing year, I’ve agreed more and more with the assertion that the nation’s most populous state inherently is ungovernable.

Nonetheless, the nation’s most populous state has a governor, and soon, the right-wing nut-job minority of the state might be handed the reins of governance.

California has a gubernatorial recall election — the second one since I’ve lived here — on September 14, and, as two law professors correctly and importantly pointed out a few days ago in a piece in The New York Times, we could see the scenario in which current California Gov. Gavin Newsom loses his job by falling just short of the 50.0 percent of the vote plus one vote that he needs to keep his job. Yet thus far, only 18 percent is the highest that I’ve seen for the candidate who is polling the best of the 46 potential gubernatorial replacement candidates who are on the recall ballot.

This means that even if, say, 49.9 percent of the state’s voters elect to keep Newsom in place, a much smaller amount of voters (say, only around 18 percent of them…) could override the wishes of the much higher amount of voters who essentially had voted for Newsom — and put right-wing nut-job talk-radio host (of course…) Larry Elder (the aforementioned front-runner for Newsom’s job, according to the polling) in the governorship.

This is the dream scenario for the increasingly fascist, increasingly authoritarian, increasingly anti-democratic Repugnican Party: rule over the majority by the minority. (Indeed, we saw this in 2000, when Al Gore won the popular vote yet loser George W. Bush became “president,” and in 2016, when Billary Clinton won the popular vote, yet loser Pussygrabber became “president.”)

Politico reports on this issue: “‘The [recall-election] ballots are out, so I don’t think a judge is going to unwind this [election],’ said Jessica Levinson, a professor at Loyola Law School. A [law]suit could be more ripe after the election, she said, if it turns out that Newsom loses but receives more votes than the winner of the recall.”

Indeed, that’s exactly what should happen if a “new” “governor” is put into place by a smaller number of voters than the number of voters who voted to keep Newsom: it should be challenged in court as unconstitutional, violating the democratic principle that the candidate who wins the higher number of votes is the one who wins the election (any other outcome is blatantly anti-democratic, and yes, for that reason, the antiquated, blatantly anti-democratic Electoral College must go, too).

In the meantime, California’s recall process needs to be fixed so that the will of the higher number of voters always fucking prevails. (Even just requiring a run-off election — instead of allowing a candidate with a small plurality of the vote to become governor — would be an improvement in California’s recall process.) This is, after all, supposedly, a democracy.

Of course, even if fascist-Repugnican Larry Elder becomes the next governor — and his lovely political stances include opposing a minimum wage, opposing the right to an abortion, opposing the idea that there is systemic racism in the United States, and, of course, being a fucking homophobe — he very most likely wouldn’t be governor for very long, and in the quite foreseeable future we even could see the return of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Why?

Because if Newsom is recalled, that doesn’t mean that he could not run for governor again, even in the next cycle, which is next year; he could if he wanted to. And regardless of who wins the September 14 gubernatorial recall election, whoever wants to be governor as of January 2023 must run in the regularly scheduled June 2022 gubernatorial primary election and be one of the top-two vote-getters in that primary election to be able to move on to the November 2022 gubernatorial general election — and then must win that election, too.

I don’t see any Repugnican doing that, not in a state whose voters are 46.5 percent Democratic to only 24 percent Repugnican at last count. Indeed, so deep blue is California that Newsom won election in 2018 by 62 percent to his pathetic Repugnican challenger’s 38 percent, and Joe Biden won California by 63.5 percent to Pussygrabber’s 34 percent.

Despite these daunting numbers, however, fully expect the fascist-Repugnicans to claim that if Newsom keeps his job, as he probably will, it was only because of “election fraud.” (An election is legitimate only if the fascist “wins,” you see; that is a central tenet of fascism, as we’ve seen played out as Pussygrabber & Co. still fascistically, treasonously and anti-democratically claim that Pussygrabber actually won the 2020 presidential election despite having lost it by more than 7 million votes.)

Newsom could lose his job in next month’s recall election, though; for quite a while now California’s voters have been run through the fucking wringer, as California experiences perhaps an unprecedented number of big problems all at the same time, including wildfires (mostly in the northern part of the state, along with Oregon), recurring drought, a serious lack of affordable housing and rampant homelessness* and, of course, probably first and foremost in most voters’ minds, the never-ending novel coronavirus pandemic that probably would have been over by now had the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap-wearing fucktards** not have tried to turn efforts to beat the pandemic (such as by the use of the three available vaccines and the use of face masks) into some backasswards tribal, political statement.

I mean, it’s ironic that the Repugnicans help to create the problem, such as the wholly unnecessary and wholly preventable extension of the COVID-19 pandemic, and then seek to benefit politically from the problem that they helped create, but we’ve seen this page from the fascist’s playbook before, such as with the Reichstag fire (and even with the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election, in which Repugnican Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger had had a secret meeting with Enron — and then used Enron’s raping of the state via a manufactured electricity crisis to get himself into the governorship in that recall election).

Whatever California’s big problems are now, however, under a fascist-Repugnican like Larry Elder (who wholeheartedly supports former “President” Pussygrabber, of course), the state would get even worse.

Therefore, of course I’ll be voting “NO” on Gavin Newsom’s recall, probably within the week (I should receive my vote-by-mail ballot within the next few days and probably will mail it back within a day or two).

I’m not wild about Gavin Newsom — I’m a “Bernie bro,” not a Democratic Party hack (indeed, I’m registered as an independent because I have real fucking problems with the pro-corporate, income-inequality-loving-but-nauseatingly-“woke” Democratic Party establishment) — but right now Newsom (for whom I did vote in November 2018) is our best bet to be at the helm of the nation’s most populous state (which, because it has the highest number of people, of course should have the highest number of problems…).

If we Californians think that we have it bad now, all that we need to do is to allow a Repugnican to take the reins — even if for only a relatively short period of time.

*California has only about 12 percent of the nation’s population, yet has about a quarter of the nation’s homeless. The fascist-Repugnicans like to say that this is because California is an inherently failed state, but no, clearly, homeless people are coming to California from other (I surmise mostly red) states, knowing that much if not most of California not only has a more favorable climate that do most other states, but that California isn’t nearly as mean-spirited toward the homeless as most other (supposedly “Christian”) states are.

**Indeed, it seems to me that Afghanistan right now is being overrun by its own type of teatard/Pussygrabber-loving/Q-Anon/anti-vax animals. Indeed, the only difference between the members of the Taliban (“Islamofascists”) and the “Christo”fascists here in the United States is the content of their backasswards religious beliefs. Otherwise, they’re remarkably similar, including their hatred of democracy, science, logic, reason, human rights, actual religious freedom, etc.

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Affirmative action: Two wrongs don’t make a right (and yes, Paul Ryan is racist)

Updated below (on Monday, March 17, 2014)

The Sneetches are out in force with the warming weather.

Ah, springtime approaches, which means that it’s time for all of us to emerge from hibernation — and engage in more race wars!

The topic of affirmative action is rearing its ugly head again here in California, and Pretty Boy Paul Ryan is in some trouble (rightfully so) for a blatantly racist remark that he recently made.

In 1996, California’s voters approved Proposition 209, which made affirmative action by the state government, including at the state’s universities, illegal, by writing this prohibition into the state’s Constitution. Of course legal challenges followed, but the courts have upheld the constitutionality of Prop 209, whose language remains in the California Constitution today (if often ignored by those who still practice affirmative action, illegally, in California anyway).

Affirmative action is, I think, for the most part well-intended: to right the wrongs of the past, especially where adverse racial discrimination is concerned.

But, like Communism, affirmative action has looked much better on paper than it has in practicality. Did it ever achieve the equality that it promised it would? Um, yeah, no.

Practicing affirmative action now doesn’t help those who were harmed by racial discrimination in the past. It only creates even more racial discrimination in the present. Only it’s “nice,” “good” or “beneficial” racial discrimination, you see.

Bullshit, in my book. In my book, racial discrimination, whether intended to harm or to benefit someone, is wrong.

And of course the plutocratic powers that be love it when we commoners are fighting each other based upon our race, just like Dr. Seuss’ star-bellied (and plain-bellied) Sneetches. Because when we commoners are fighting each other (perhaps especially over something as superficial as our race), we’re divided, we’re not united in fighting the plutocratic powers that be.

The problem in California is that there are more who want to go to a state college or to a university than there are resources for those individuals. When scarcity arises, people want to start making cuts, but cuts based upon race is not the way to go.

If we truly want to be a post-racial society, then race has to stop mattering. (It will stop mattering — at some vague point in the distant future, the proponents of affirmative action argue. Um, yeah, no. The only time is right now.)

Asian students, for instance, are significantly over-represented in California’s state universities based on the Asian population in the state as a whole. And many if not most Californian Asians oppose the re-legalization of affirmative action in California because a return to a race-based quota system — and that’s what affirmative action creates, no matter what its short-sighted proponents may claim otherwise — would cut their admission numbers drastically. And, of course, many if not most (mostly non-Asian, of course) Californians view these Asian Californians as assholes for appearing to wish to perpetuate their “unfair” advantage.

What, exactly, is their “unfair” advantage? That they are Asian or that they are academically gifted — or that they are academically gifted while Asian? If they are academically gifted, why must they be penalized for that fact if they happen to be Asian?

I don’t see that it’s any more fair to shut out Asians than it is to shut out any other racial group. Racial discrimination is racial discrimination.

True fairness and justice have to come on a one-on-one, case-by-case basis, not based upon one’s racial group.

And like Communism was (let me emphasize that I’m talking about big-“C” communism and not about democratic socialism, which I support), affirmative action has been another failed attempt at social engineering. Human beings aren’t lab rats; they, we, are human beings, not some fucking lab experiment.

All Californians who have demonstrated the aptitude for college-level work should have the opportunity to go to college or to a university, regardless of their race. If the problem is that there aren’t enough resources for all of those individuals who wish to do so — and that is the problem here in California — then the solution is to expand that opportunity for everyone of all races by demanding that it be expanded, demanding that our tax dollars stop going towards things like the bloated-beyond-belief military-corporate complex and start going toward actual human needs, not to obscene human greed.

(And, of course, if part of the problem is that our public elementary and high schools are failing too many of our students, and I understand that they are, then we need to tackle that problem, too. [No, for-profit/charter schools are not the answer. Whenever profiteering is the No. 1 goal of any enterprise, that enterprise always will suffer, since profiteering is its main reason for existing at all.] And let’s not blame it all on our public schools; we lazy, selfish Americans are failing our young people as a whole, and it’s not fair for us to blame that on our public schools and their underpaid employees to the degree that we do!)

The solution to the scarcity of spots in California’s state universities is not the Procrustean bed of insisting that the racial composition of state university enrollment strictly matches the racial composition of the state at large.

This “solution” superficially seems fair, but it’s deeply unfair to many, many individuals, unfair to too many individuals for us to be able to deem it “fair” overall.

Two-thirds of the California Senate not long ago voted to put the repeal of Prop 209 on the statewide ballot. The state Assembly also would have to vote by a two-thirds margin to put the repeal of Prop 209 on the ballot for the state’s voters to decide whether to reinstate legalized affirmative action, but the state Assembly has yet to take the matter up. (Hopefully, it never will.)

Should the repeal of Prop 209 it make it to the ballot, I will vote against it and otherwise fight it. Affirmative action is a poorly thought-out practice that takes us further from, not closer to, a truly post-racial society (an ideal that, quite admittedly, we human beings might never meet before we annihilate ourselves).

And then there is former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, Repugnican Tea Party U.S. representative from Wisconsin, who recently remarked that here in the United States we have a “tailspin of culture, in our inner cities in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value of work.”

Reuters reports that

[U.S. Rep.] Barbara Lee of California, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, called Ryan’s remarks a “thinly veiled racial attack.”

“Let’s be clear, when Mr. Ryan says ‘inner city,’ when he says, ‘culture,’ these are simply code words for what he really means: ‘black’,” Lee said in a statement.

I agree with Lee — not just because Ryan is a Repugnican Tea Partier and I abhor the Repugnican Tea Party and its adherents, but because Ryan’s remark was meant to convey two false ideas:

(1) That certain individuals, based upon their race, inherently, even genetically, are lazy, do not want to work (while others, of course [like Ryan, of course], inherently, even genetically, are industrious); and

(2) That if someone does not want to slave in a minimum-wage job on which he or she cannot even live — and this is the only kind of job that the vast majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want the vast majority of us Americans to be able to have (the Repugnicans and their allies always have opposed even modest increases in the minimum wage, and they vehemently oppose a living wage) — then this means that he or she is “lazy.”

No, this means that he or she simply wishes to be paid the fair value of his or her work, and not be a fucking wage slave in perpetuity.

That’s what this means.

This is how the plutocrats long have defended their theft of our wealth: by calling us, the victims of their theft, “lazy.” Should we commoners point out the simple fact that the plutocrats have been robbing us blind forfuckingever now, the plutocratic traitors among us then accuse us commoners of waging a “class war,” when, in fact, they have been waging a class war forfuckingever in order to maintain their unfair lofty, gilded status. In fact, there is no other way for them to maintain their 1-percent status other than by waging their class war against the rest of us. And they wage this class war against us in a thousand fucking ways every fucking day.

So Paul Ryan told a dual lie: he insinuated that the members of certain races (and while Barbara Lee apparently was looking out for her own racial group, I don’t believe that Ryan was referring only to black Americans) inherently are lazy (a blatantly racist belief, a textbook, dictionary-definition example of a racist belief), when, in fact, because of institutionalized racism and white supremacy since the nation’s inception, some if not many members of the historically-socioeconomically-oppressed-by-the-white-majority groups have to a large degree just given up on chasing the so-called “American dream,” which, should they pursue it, they institutionally are set up by our plutocratic overlords to fail to catch. (And, to be fair, this trap catches most white Americans, too. Too much discussion of race presumes that most white Americans are wealthy when that is not the case, and the national discussion of class has long suffered at least in part because it has been so overshadowed by the national discussion of race.)

Yes, besides his racist lie about one’s level of industriousness being inherent (that is, race-based), Ryan retold the long-running lie that the United States of America is a meritocracy (and not a plutocracy), a system where your hard work actually will get you somewhere.

We commoners are acutely aware of the value of our hard work — our hard work indeed is so valuable that the plutocrats like Ryan and his ilk institutionally/systematically steal the value of our work from us, leaving us only crumbs. (This blatant thievery is called “capitalism,” which is deemed to be “good” — so “good,” and so inherently and intrinsically and self-evidently “good,” in fact, that we commoners may not even discuss the goodness or the lack of goodness of capitalism.) The plutocrats’ historical, blatant theft of the value of our commoners’ hard work demonstrates that they value hard work, too — our hard work, of course.

And, of course, when the far-right likes of Paul Ryan talk about “the value of work,” I cannot help but remember the signs that the Nazis erected above the entrances to their concentration camps: “Arbeit macht frei” — German for “Work makes you free.”

In Nazi Germany, it was the members of the Nazi Party telling their concentration-camp victims that work would set them free.

Today in the U.S., it’s the members of the Repugnican Tea Party assuring their victims that work will set us free.

Of course, it’s never the Nazis or the Repugnican Tea Partiers who are doing the hard work, is it?

And under their thumbs, no matter how hard we should work, we’ll never be free.

Update (Monday, March 17, 2014): California Assembly Speaker John Perez has announced that he will not allow the repeal of Prop 209 to come up for a vote in the state Assembly now, so that the repeal of Prop 209 will not appear on the November statewide ballot.

Three state senators who previously had been among the two-thirds of the state Senate to vote for putting the repeal of Prop 209 on the ballot reversed their positions and asked Perez not to proceed with issue in the Assembly, where Perez apparently wouldn’t have been able to muster the necessary two-thirds vote anyway.

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