Rule Five Newsom Nuisance News

Before we start, I had some thoughts on physical preparation for your annual big-game hunt over at Glibertarians.

Now then:  Issues & Insights (if you’re not checking them out daily, you should be) recently put out one of the better pieces I’ve seen on ever-more-loony California Governor Newsom’s political prospects at the national level.  Excerpts, with my comments, follow:

With a classified document scandal encircling him like a vulture waiting on a wounded animal to succumb to its injuries, Joe Biden’s chances to be a presidential candidate next year are closing in on nil. So who will be the Democrats’ flagship candidate? The smart money says it will be the foolish Gavin Newsom.

The California governor wouldn’t be the only candidate, of course. A lineup for the primaries is likely to include, at the least, current vice president and former U.S. senator from California Kamala Harris, as well as previous candidates Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, and U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Even former First Lady Michelle Obama appears in the betting lines.

The clear favorite, though, a year before the primaries, has to be Newsom. He has the backing, the teeth, the hair, the Hollywood glam – and 54 electoral votes.

Yeah, let’s be honest, at least amongst ourselves; that classified documents thing is going nowhere.  As I’ve said repeatedly, President Biden(‘s handlers) has the perfect Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card – a “D” behind his name.  But I still think his chances of being the Dem’s 2024 nominee are somewhere between slim and none, if for no other reason because of his increasingly undeniable senility.  Heels-Up Harris has approval ratings somewhere between a polecat and syphilis.  There just aren’t any good candidates currently at the national level for the Democrats.

Which brings us to Newsom.

While perfectly cast in the role as the chief executive of California, and adored in blue states on both coasts, and a few in the middle, Newsom’s appeal to red America will be less indifference than outright contempt. He is everything that those voters dislike.

Fair or not, he’s been called the governor of “Commiefornia,” “U-Haul Salesperson of the Year,” “delusional” about his claims of California freedom, and a hypocrite for going maskless at a tony Napa Valley restaurant in 2020 while he was hectoring everyone else to mask up. The majority of red state voters are not going to bother with the nuances regarding derisive labels, the governor’s tortured representation of California liberty, nor his “I made a bad mistake” apology for celebrating a friend’s birthday with this face uncovered.

They’d see, and they wouldn’t be wrong, a candidate who sneers at their values and does not have their interests in mind. What he believes are the important issues – climate change, Second Amendment infringements, pay equity, reparations, DEI policies, and comforting labor unions – red staters consider foolishness and worse. They don’t want to be “Californicated.”

This is, of course, belaboring the obvious.  Newsom is a creature of the loony Left, popular among the wealthy coastal elites in both East and West as well as the Free Shit constituency, but almost nowhere else.  In red states his candidacy would be viewed with horror (by myself, among others) and would probably drive GOP turnout through the roof.  But would it be enough to see him off?

Still, it cannot be denied that much of the country wants to be like California.

But for how long will the wish last in New York or Massachusetts or Minnesota or Washington? California isn’t what it once was, and while Newsom can’t be blamed for every ill in the state – from frightening crime, a toxic homeless problem, and punitive energy prices, to perpetual drought, raging wildfires, and a future that’s sure to “feature” regular power blackouts – he’s done nothing to turn around the decline and in fact appears to be enthusiastic about taking the state into a deeper rut with blue-state policies.

Again, perhaps belaboring the obvious – but this is not a negative with the aforementioned coastal elites and the Free Shit caucus.  Indeed, for a lot of them, much of this falls into the “feature, not bug” category.

Here’s the onion:

How Newsom would fare as the 2024 Democratic Party nominee depends a great deal on his Republican opponent. But no matter who that is, Newsom will still be a polarizing candidate. He is as close as the progressive left can get to a perfect politician, and is almost as far from being a candidate who appeals to the middle of the country as is imaginable. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Harris are a few who come to mind who might do worse.

And this, True Believers, is the crux of the matter.  I know it’s trite to claim, as you see so often, that “this is the most important election in our history.”  It’s not; the 1860 election comes to mind as one that was almost certainly more consequential.  But it’s a big one, no doubt, and much will depend on who the GOP nominates, and how broad their cloak spreads.  But no matter what happen in 2024, no matter who controls Congress, I’m still of the opinion that the nation has likely gone too far down a dark fiscal path, and nobody – nobody – in the arena is talking seriously about fixing it, except maybe Rand Paul.

Ron DeSantis would be my first choice, as I’ve often said.  But he would be fighting a holding action.  Nothing more.

Plan accordingly.