With Thanksgiving upon us, we have much for which we should be grateful. In California, however, that does not include measured political leadership. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has consistently demonstrated more ego and outright arrogance than common sense.
California, like many other states, has seen its number of COVID-19 cases on the rise as winter approaches. Precautions remain necessary for everyone’s safety. That much is plain.
It is just as obvious that eight months into the pandemic, the sprawling state of California — with wildly different population centers, demographics and topography — needs a leader who collaborates with Californians instead one who dictates to them, flouts his own COVID-19 rules, and outright lies to them.
Recently, Newsom issued guidelines that require “the host of any private gathering to limit attendance to no more than three households and the duration to no more than two hours. Hosts should ensure guests gather only outdoors and promote physical distancing, frequent hand-washing or sanitizing.” These are widely understood here in California as the anti-Thanksgiving and anti-Christmas rules.
Those rules, we now know, apply to the people of California but not to Newsom himself.
Recently Newsom was caught indoors, with a group from at least five or six households, without social distancing and no masks. A photo shows him sitting sits at the head of the table in all his glory.
Oh, and did I mention he was at one of the most expensive restaurants in the country? Yes, it was a picture likely worth $400 per person, let alone a thousand commentaries.
When the story first broke this week, Newsom assured Californians that he and his wife, the “first-partner,” “followed public health guidelines” and that the event was held outdoors. The subsequently released picture, however, told a quite different story.
Indeed, Newsom lied even as he “apologized” for attending. There was no distancing, no masks and no proper protocol. Rules for me, not for thee.
Keep in mind that since the pandemic started, despite a friendly Legislature chock full of Democrats, Newsom has bypassed the Legislature and issued some 58 executive orders — many of which have overridden existing state law or made new “law.”
The executive orders have varied in size and degree and have ranged from an order requiring mail-in ballot elections, to banning the enforcement of eviction orders for renters, to eventually banning gasoline-powered vehicles, to a stay-at-home order.
So prolific and unlawful has Newsom been that he recently was enjoined and prohibited by a state court from exercising any power under the California Emergency Services Act “which amends, alters, or changes existing” state law. In other words, it’s not Newsom’s job to make laws.
And those who make the laws — the super majority of Democrats in the Legislature — don’t follow the rules either.
After the court order against Newsom he issued a travel “advisory.” Newsom “urged” “against non-essential out-of-state travel” asked people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from outside California and encouraged residents to “stay local.”
Certain legislators, however, were not deterred. They jetted off to a junket in Hawaii sponsored by lobbyists. We are still waiting to see the self-quarantined beach pictures.
Newsom’s lies and the Hawaiian travel come amidst his push to put 94% of the state into a stricter lockdown. It also demonstrates the arrogance of power.
While businesses have either left California or gone out of business in record numbers, and while Newsom’s kids can attend school in person at an expensive private school while public school kids are under different rules, the governor and his Democratic friends made it clear they don’t have to follow the rules until they are caught.
Even worse, Newsom makes his rules from his lair in Northern California without visiting the various counties to see the effects of his actions. He simply doesn’t see that as important.
It is that arrogance that has fostered an effort to recall Newsom that has garnered over 700,000 signatures so far, out of the 1.5 million needed to mandate a recall vote by the people of California. There is even a court order extending the deadline to collect signatures until March 15, because the rights of the petitioners have been curtailed by Newsom’s one-man rule edicts.
I'm proud to lead the recall effort as chairman of the RescueCalifornia.org political action committee.
So, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to all. I hope you will count your blessings. But remember, Ebenezer Newsom has discouraged “singing, chanting and shouting.” Literally.