If one wishes to understand what is wrong with American politics, or what has happened to the Republican Party only needs to look far west in the nation.
When California Governor Gavin Newsom demanded that the public adhere to some basic rules of the road so as to combat a deadly virus that was impacting health professionals and decimating the economy some Republicans thought they had an opening so to play partisan politics. When Newsom acted in his personal life without regard for his own mandates conservatives were quick to make a point of the mistake. Knowing that there would be enough chuckleheads they could persuade to make a pandemic into a partisan attack conservatives went for the big play.
Or what they thought could be a big play.
Instead, the recall election Republicans orchestrated once again demonstrated, not only to voters in the Golden State but nationwide, that they are void of morals, scruples, decency, and most assuredly common sense. During a pandemic–now in its fourth wave with a deadly variant placing young children into intensive care units–conservatives who wanted to win a recall race ranted about promising to swiftly roll back sweeping government orders.
There is no doubt that Newsom should have been more mindful of his personal actions, not only for the political image they created, but more importantly as health safety must be issue number one. During a pandemic, leaders must lead. All the time.
Having said that, however, a lapse of judgment does not in any way warrant a recall election!
But thinking that Newsom would be weakest at a time when many in California are weary of masks and mandates, and wanting to somehow show strength after the national spanking the GOP took for pushing Trump, Republicans cranked up a recall election.
The cast of characters who showed up, wanting to be the next governor, was a sorry joke.
Republican businessman John Cox, who ran and lost against Newsom in 2018, proved he just likes to be annihilated in public. Well, I guess some are into that type of thing. I am not here to judge. But considering Newsom defeated him with a 61.9% share of the vote, which was greater than any Democratic candidate for governor in state history might have been a hint of what was going to happen again for Cox.
Or any other candidate not tethered to electoral sanity.
But when it comes to crazy wrapped in GOP bunting nothing in California came close to Larry Elder. What the hell is wrong with him? His campaign left the tracks early and then picked up speed with an endless supply of idiotic comments so it could crash more dramatically into reality Tuesday night.
“At the state level, I’m not going to require any kind of public worker to wear masks, any kind of public worker to have a vaccine. I think that’s an assault on freedom”.
Without a doubt, Elder was the absolute epitome of stupidly playing a dangerous game with the lives of California voters during a pandemic.
All this underscores that the Republican Party no longer is driven by think tanks, large policy ideas, or a desire to connect with the needs of the majority of the electorate. Instead, they race about making every effort to be as shallow and deplorable as the base of the party from which they need money and votes.
The math was on the side of Newsom for a couple of weeks as data from the roughly 8 million mail ballots returned in the election, and as reported by newspapers in California, showed Democrats had voted in greater numbers than their share of the electorate. That was very important news heading into Election Day.
But there is another reason that we need to rejoice all over the nation about this win for Governor Newsom. The fact is that the California Republican Party cannot hope to win the governorship in a regular election. They need to game the system, play underhanded cards, and act without regard for the sensibilities that our institutions require for sound governance to occur. Worse, we have now seen in rather horrible detail how low they will go to even undermining public health so to try and win an election.
We have seen the Republican Party for what they are. It was ugly.
It was soundly rejected, however, by the majority of voters.
That was the only fitting ending for such lunacy.
And so it goes.