IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9 September 2021
Today’s Events in Historical Perspective
America’s Longest-Running Column Founded 1932
“The evil that men do lives after them” Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
By Douglas Cohn
WASHINGTON — California’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom is fighting for his political life in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans 2 to 1. How could this happen? Newsom’s answer: “Though we defeated Trump, we didn’t defeat Trumpism.” The forces that elevated Donald Trump to the presidency are alive and well even in California, the bluest of the blue states.
Of the 46 candidates vying to replace Newsom, one has emerged as the likely victor if Newsom is recalled by the voters. His name is Larry Elder, a well-known radio talk show host in the state and a conservative with a long trail of outrageous statements. For example, he favors reparations, not for formerly enslaved people, but for plantation owners. He said in a tweet that has since been taken down that a group of women protesting Trump were “safe” from sexual assault because they weren’t attractive.
Newsom is counting on Californians to understand that if a majority votes him out, the person who gets the most votes among his challengers becomes governor, and that could be Elder with as little as 20 percent of the vote.
It’s a crazy system and Newsom is highlighting Elder as a Trumpian figure “promoting the same kind of bigotry and hate” as the ex-president.
The last time California faced a recall was 2003 when the state was experiencing rolling blackouts because of an energy crisis, there was a recession, and to help balance the budget, car taxes were increased, which infuriated people. Now, Californians are grappling with the never-ending Covid pandemic, an uneven economy, out-of-reach housing, an epidemic of homelessness, and wildfires destroying communities and poisoning the air.
Fortunately for California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was ready to step in when the voters recalled Democrat Gray Davis. A mega movie star and a moderate Republican, Schwarzenegger rose to the occasion. The voters might not be so lucky this time if they roll the dice and trade in Newsom for a random Trumpian Republican.
There is no Republican Party anymore in the sense of a legitimate governing entity. It is the party of Trumpism, and the adherents are so Trumpian, they booed the former president at a rally last month when he urged them to get vaccinated. Trump pushed for the development of the vaccine with Operation Warp Speed. He saw it as a lifesaving measure and was one of the first on the globe to receive the vaccine. This is Trumpism with or without Trump.
The fact that he was booed is evidence that the movement he launched cannot be controlled. Trump is not Trumpy enough for the loyalists he created and continues to inspire with his rhetoric that he won the 2020 election, and that President Biden is an illegitimate occupant of the Oval Office.
Law enforcement authorities are gearing up for a rally on January 18th that will return many of the people who were present in Washington on January 6th. They are coming to show solidarity with some 600 people facing federal charges for breaching the Capitol on that day. Republicans Marjorie Taylor Greene and Matt Gaetz are calling those arrested and charged “political prisoners” and “detainees,” suggesting they are being illegally held for what Republicans are trying to paint as a joyous day at the Capitol as opposed to a violent insurrection.
The GOP members of Congress have not yet committed to attending the 1/18 rally. They may be smart enough to stay away. And you don’t hear Trump endorsing the rally. He did enough on 1/6, encouraging the rioters to march to the Capitol, then doing nothing to intervene when the violence broke out except to watch it on television. Now, even he can no longer control what he wrought.
Douglas Cohn’s latest books are The President’s First Year: The Only School for Presidents Is the Presidency and World War 4: Nine Scenarios (endorsed by seven flag officers).
© 2021 U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
Distributed by U.S. News Syndicate, Inc.
END WASHINGTON MERRY-GO-ROUND
IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9 September 2021