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There’s something going on here
For as long as California Globe has been chronicling the state’s politics, conservatives who have watched the state turn purple then blue then crazy have waited for a rebound the way religious people wait for a messiah.
It hasn’t happened.
No amount of Jerry Brown goofiness or Nancy Pelosi embarrassment or Gavin Newsom elitism seems to loosen the woke stranglehold on the state. But ordinary people noticed. The state lost population two straight years for the first time in history. It lost a seat in Congress for the first time in history. These are not the ornery laments of conservatives who wish it was still 1955. These are objective, undeniable proof points that the nation’s most populous state is headed in the wrong direction. People are voting with their feet. And they’re overwhelmingly voting for places with lower taxes, fewer regulations, and less bullshit.
Suddenly, there are signs that the voters who remain are ready to try a different course.
We saw a taste of it in 2021. The successful recalls of three ridiculous board members in San Francisco who kept the schools closed, but still found time to try to rename them based on wrong entries in Wikipedia (and then of course cited racism for their defeat) was a hopeful sign. So was the election of Republican Mike Garcia, who defeated Christy Smith in a May 2021 Special Election to replace Democratic throupler Katie Hill.
But from the Globe‘s perspective, one of the surer signs that sanity is starting to sprout up from the nuclear-charred remains of decades of wokeism occurred in the LA Times.
In an op-ed over the weekend authors Robin Goldstein and Daniel Sumner take the position that the state’s legal marijuana program is failing. That’s obvious. California consumers are still purchasing 75% of their weed from illegal sources.
What’s surprising, however, is that the two authors—who clearly favor legal marijuana and are professors at UC Davis, and therefore make us willing to bet a car against a donut that they are far-left activists—cite reasons for the failure of legal marijuana that would be right at home on the Wall Street Journal editorial page.
“Regulations and taxes are not free. Far from it. In California, many of the operations that made a good-faith effort to go legal and follow the rules have gone out of business from underestimating their costs or overestimating the size of the legal-weed market. A legal system works well when people and businesses are rewarded, not punished, for following the rules. … The best way forward is for policymakers to take a practical view about the real-world effects of regulations and taxes. Some careful cost-benefit analysis could yield a set of pared-down regulations that maintain the most effective health and safety rules while loosening up on some unnecessary restrictions that are strangling the young industry before it is up and running.”
People are starting to get it. Even lefties. The craziness of the state is no longer creating a tone for the nation. It’s creating punchlines for the nation.
When Assemblywoman Lorena “Queen of Bad Ideas” Gonzalez (D-San Diego) pushed through regulation AB5, which would have forced every Uber and Lyft driver—but also the state’s musicians and actors and so on—to become employees, other states didn’t follow. Instead, California retreated and carved out so many exceptions that the law is now essentially meaningless.
A couple weeks ago a new form of nuttiness was launched in which the work week was shortened to 32 hours, and yet companies were magically required to pay their workers the same as they had been paying for 40 hours. Californians currently paying six dollars at the pump understand the linkage between sudden unfunded raises for employees and the high price of goods. We get it, and Assembly Bill 2932, authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell) and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), disappeared before it too could be added to the laughingstock pile.
Where the legislature hasn’t seen the light, the courts sometimes have. The ridiculous and clearly unconstitutional idea that companies based in California would be required to set quotas for the number of women on their boards was struck down by Judge Maureen Duffy-Lewis in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
No longer is America transforming itself to look more like California. Instead, California is belatedly realizing that if it wants to compete, it’s gotta look a little bit more like the rest of America.
With Joe Biden‘s popularity at an all-time low – not just for him, but lower at this point in his presidency than any president in history, including the one he replaced — the Democrats already face an uphill climb in 2022. Add to that particularities of California, where its leaders on the national stage have fossilized. Nancy Pelosi is 82, and Dianne Feinstein has been acknowledged by everyone but Dianne Feinstein—including the twin Comms Directors of the Democratic Party, the New York Times and the Washington Post—to have faded. As the Chron put it in a brutal headline, the honorable senator is now “mentally unfit to serve.”
These are not just the fever dreams of California’s remaining conservatives. The LA Times ran a story just yesterday with the shocked headline, “A Republican has a shot at becoming California state controller. Yes, you read that right.” And the steady stream of brutal news for local Democrats—from Eric Garcetti’s unraveling nomination as Ambassador to India to the widening scandal in Anaheim that has now claimed the secretary of the state Democratic Party—Dems are stumbling.
With midterms nearly six months away, it’s too early to assess whether Kevin McCarthy and state GOP Chair Jessica Patterson have recruited GOP candidates who can help turn the tide. Pelosi likely won’t face a meaningful challenge this year and Feinstein and Biden are not on the ballot. But in a way, they all are. One-party rule has left California disillusioned, depressed, and defeated. If the choices are “pack your bags for Austin” or “remain in the most beautiful place in all the world and fight for common sense,” more people than usual might just vote for an alternative.
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