Good work, California

Governor Newsom will not be recalled, and he won’t be replaced with a deranged far-right talk radio host. Larry Elder even conceded the election. That’s all good. But get ready for the new normal:

With Newsom projected to defeat the recall, conservative radio host Larry Elder conceded the race early Wednesday morning, telling his audience to be “gracious in defeat.” But his campaign’s tactics in the lead-up to the vote — including open threats to raise doubts about the results in case of defeat — suggest the possibility of a new normal, where Republicans challenge election losses even in heavily Democratic states and without proof of serious fraud or rule-breaking.

The next presidential election is going to be the biggest circus yet. It doesn’t matter who runs, or how the vote goes, the ratfkers will be frantically fking all the rats, every one of them.

Oh, and this stupid, pointless recall cost California about $400 million. Thanks, Republicans, the party of fiscal responsibility.


  1. Rich Woods says

    Oh, and this stupid, pointless recall cost California about $400 million.

    As far as they’re concerned, that’s cheap advertising. It’s not like it all came out of their pockets.

  2. hemidactylus says

    I am glad the CA recall turned out as it did. But I especially love your choice of image. Priceless. Kinda captures my current mood toward so many things.

  3. snarkrates says

    Ed Seedhouse: “Republicans: If they can’t be winners they will be whiners.”

    Nah, they whine whether they win or not. They won’t be satisfied until the whole planet is a smoking hulk.

  4. PaulBC says

    What impresses me most is that Newsom managed to survive the recall while comparing democracy to a Faberge egg. It seems we have come a long way from Dukakis being ridiculed over Belgian endive. (At least us coastal folk!)

    “This is like a Faberge egg so to speak, in terms of democracy,” he said. “It’s not a football, you can’t throw it around. It’s delicate, democracy is delicate. I didn’t realize how delicate it was, and now I’m starting to appreciate how delicate it is, and how important this race is, not just for me.”

    …and at that darkest moment, the crowd turned to each other with a new sense of mission. “The egg! The Egg of Democracy! We must Save the Egg!”

    OK. Not. Really. But I like to picture it that way. I just wonder was this a “gaffe”? Newsom being Newsom. Or was it an intentional troll: I’m winning, just let those yokels try and stop me. Now how do I rub it in?

  5. whheydt says

    There are five people in my household. One of them is 13 years old. The other 4 all voted “No” to recall Newsom.

  6. unclefrogy says

    at this point everyone knows who the people of the 6 of january are what kind of people they are. I think the more the republicans sound like those anti-democratic bigots with there democratic elections are rigged crap the better. the talk radio guy and his the election steal was further clarification he means you no good. the icing on the cake was agent orange’s endorsement.

  7. brucegee1962 says

    Republican policies win the support of a minority of voters in this country, and they know it. Traditionally, with sane leaders, this ought to be taken as a sign that they ought to abandon some of their more extreme and unpopular opinions and move towards the center ground. But because of the various influences that support polarization (Fox News chief among them), that traditional approach no longer looks appealing.
    Instead, they’ve taken steps towards abandoning democracy. The first step was gerrymandering, but that only takes you so far. The second is making it more difficult for your enemies to vote, but that can backfire. The third step is calling fraud at every opportunity. The final step is political violence, of which we’ve already had a taste. I wish there was a chance of backing down, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  8. birgerjohansson says

    Maybe USA should demand the extradition of Rupert Murdoch for his efforts to destroy American institutions? He has been far more successful than Bin Laden.

  9. PaulBC says

    The plot thickens. It seems Thomas Friedman first used the Faberge egg analogy, which he had heard from a distant descendant of the Romanovs who happened to be driving his taxi “Lesley Goldwasser, who came to America from Zimbabwe in the 1980s.” In fact Newsom’s Faberge-football metaphor without attribution is so close to the original, it feels like plagiarism.

    Suffice it to say, I am greatly relieved that Newsom survived and that Larry Elder is not going to be my next governor. But I am not sure he really knows how to play this game, at least outside of coastal California.

  10. says

    Clearly, strapping yourself to the giant orange parade float of the Manchurian Cantaloupe is not a winning strategy in a place like California. Saw where some pundit said Elder has made himself the most popular Republican in California, which is a completely irrelevant distinction. GOP registrations in CA are very close to sliding into third place, behind Declines-to-State, what we call Independents here.

  11. daulnay says

    I consider this a Pyrrhic victory for Newsom. The Democrats had to spend a lot of money and effort to shore him up, and Newsom’s approach showed his political weakness. It was a Republican defeat rather than a Newsom victory.

    I disliked Newsom before, but now I loathe him. He’s failed to deliver an adequate response to the COVID epidemic, and failed to prepare for future ones. The budget he proposed this year fails to patch California’s shortcomings in test-and-trace. His tiered lockdown system allowed COVID to continue smoldering after the worst of the epidemic was over, instead of trying to extinguish it. California’s performance is in the middle of the states, as far as dealing with the crisis goes, after a good start thanks to health officials in the Bay Area.

    His actions on global warming are just as feeble and useless. Most of the budget proposal dealing with climate change goes towards re-arranging the deck chairs (dealing with the effects) rather than trying to plug the leak (stopping the warming). IF we’re to deal with warming effectively, we need to focus on preventing worse warming, instead of accepting it and mitigating the consequences. Newsom, in a disgusting display of opportunism, pushed mitigation to make people feel grateful and vote to keep him in office.

  12. PaulBC says


    I disliked Newsom before, but now I loathe him. He’s failed to deliver an adequate response to the COVID epidemic, and failed to prepare for future ones.

    Oh, nonsense. California has fared better than any other mega-state, though the comparison to NY is a little unfair since they were caught off guard early. The restrictions that were initially put into place in Spring 2020 would have been effective in bringing levels down to where contact tracing was possible. Unfortunately, highly paid professional murders like Harmeet Dhillon directed their legal expertise towards undermining all attempts to address this public health emergency, causing thousands of people to die (and like Bonny and Clyde in that old 60s song they “laughed about it all the way home”). Dhillon is proud of the fact that through her efforts, the state reopened much sooner than it should have and had a summer 2020 wave of infections. She is quick to take credit for this. It’s true there was a bigger wave later on, but this would not have happened if the pandemic wasn’t allowed to turn into a raging fire.

    I liked Jerry Brown a lot more than I like Gavin Newsom. But Newsom did fine in terms of the pandemic. It’s a big state and some of the responsibility has to go on local governments. At least he wasn’t telling anyone they were not allowed to enforce health measures. The fact that he was caught maskless at the French Laundry (which would be a very bizarre phrase to utter before the crazy time started) is embarrassing and shows a character flaw, but it’s largely irrelevant.

    On other things, meh. He’s about what you get from an establishment Democrat of his generation. And I really do miss Jerry Brown.

    And no, it was not a Pyrrhic victory. It was flexing of liberal muscle in California that showed what pissants the Trumpies are in these parts.

  13. lanir says

    It doesn’t matter who runs, or how the vote goes, the ratfkers will be frantically fking all the rats, every one of them.

    This is so sad. Rats normally keep much better company than this. Who will think of the poor rodents?

  14. DanDare says

    I would have thought bringing a legal case without supporting evidence was contempt and would result in punitive fines against the plaintif. Obviously not.

  15. Ishikiri says

    Yeah, he beat the recall, after swinging a shit ton of big money around. Gavin is a mixed bag, and there are legit grievances to be had with him and the CA Dems, and the way they’ve handled issues. Homelessness in particular is a crisis that ‘s decades in the making, with no easy solution. We weren’t having an honest conversation about any of that with the recall though, because the people driving it were a stack of chemical toilets burning white-hot with resentment. These people are pissy about paying income and sales taxes (never mind their bargain-basement property taxes), spiteful about being told what to do for the sake of public health, and would probably be happy to see immigrants and the homeless lined up and shot.

    The so-called moderate candidate, Kevin Faulconer, is claiming a continuously decreasing share of the replacement vote, currently at 8.6%. Larry Elder’s got 46.9%. If anyone has any hope for a more moderate CA GOP, they can forget about it.

  16. PaulBC says

    Vicar@13 I don’t think California learned much. The recall of 2003 occurred under very different circumstances. First, Gov. Gray Davis was extremely unpopular, some of it fair, like his financial dependence on the prison-industrial complex, some entirely unfair, like blaming him for electric grid outages caused by market manipulation enabled by legislation signed by his Republican predecessor Pete Wilson. In fact, Davis eventually fixed it by paying ransom to power companies in the form of longterm contracts. Second, Arnold Schwarzenegger is a celebrity. He is well-liked, not so much by me but in a way that crosses political boundaries. He sucked as governor, but I have grown to appreciate him personally. I think he genuinely loves California and that’s all rather touching even if his ideas about governance are simplistic and dangerous.

    Today, the state has a much weaker GOP, Gavin Newsom is at least moderately popular (or at the very least not hated viscerally by as many people who hated Davis). The most likely winner if the recall passed would have been Larry Elder, and he only appeals to rightwing nutjobs (which exist in California but in smaller numbers proportionally). So despite a little bit of nail-biting for a month, it would have been kind of shocking if Newsom had been recalled.

    But nah, we haven’t learned shit. And we still have the world’s most asinine recall law.

  17. cheerfulcharlie says

    The next big political event will be in Texas. Texas moved up its primaries to March 1 to be able to swing the rest of the nature to the right. Governor Greg Abbott and his right winged henchman Ken Paxton will have to run for re-election. Both have been deeply wounded by their covid denial attitude and attacks on women;’s health and voting rights, But Abbott has a campaign fund of huge proportions going into the campaign season. We do not know yet who will be running against him. But whoever that is needs to start soon. Beto O’Rourke? Could Texas finally swing blue? This primary election, I predict, will be one of the meanest, nastiest campaigns ever held in Texas.

  18. Kagehi says

    @17 “I would have thought bringing a legal case without supporting evidence was contempt and would result in punitive fines against the plaintif. Obviously not.”

    Sadly, if that where true 100% of all US states would have anti-SLAPP legislation in place too, but its like.. 2-3 of them, maybe, with the rest basically conceding that, even if you have no evidence, the people you want to shut up can still be forced to do so, or bankrupted, by suing them and forcing them to pay for their own lawyers to defend against you.