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California Gov. Gavin Newsom just got a wake-up call from an unexpected source.
In an interview this week with Politico, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, a Never-Trump Republican, warned that Newsom would be wise to stop dismissing the recall efforts against him.
Thus far the stubborn Democrat governor has dismissed the effort as nothing but a “partisan” stunt pushed by “extremists,” yet as noted by Schwarzenegger, that’s not the case, and he of all people would know.
Eighteen years ago, a recall effort against then-Gov. Gray Davis, a Democrat, led to him being booted from office only months into his second term and replaced by none other than Schwarzenegger, who went on to serve for two full terms.
Watch his election speech below:
According to the former California governor, the similarities between what happened then and what’s happening now are eerie.
“It’s pretty much the same atmosphere today as it was then. There was dissatisfaction, to the highest level. … And it’s the same with the momentum. Something that sets it off to a higher level, kind of the straw that breaks the camel’s back … like an explosion,” he told Politico.
Schwarzenegger added, “In Newsom’s case, it was the French Laundry thing. With us, it was the power outages in 2003.”
The beginning of the end for former Gov. Davis was multiple large-scale blackouts that began in 2000 and lasted through parts of 2001.
“Davis laid the blame for the crisis on both the utility companies and the wholesale energy providers, while angry voters pointed fingers at the governor, renaming the blackouts ‘gray-outs,'” CNN reported at the time.
“Though the industry had been deregulated in 1996, under his predecessor Pete Wilson, voter discontent with Davis grew after the blackouts went into effect, as other issues also chipped away at his approval ratings. Critics contended that, while it was the Republican Wilson who signed the deregulation bill, Davis did not act effectively when early power shortages signaled a looming crisis.”
Meanwhile, in the present, voters have had their lives turned upside down because of Newsom’s draconian coronavirus restrictions, all as they’ve been forced to watch the likes of the governor and his pals flout virtually every single rule.
Lecturing Gov. Newsom crowned Dem hypocrite of the year after birthday bash https://t.co/ycUp5xZWj4
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) November 14, 2020
“People are working very hard. People are making unbelievable sacrifices every day. It’s very tough to raise kids and to have a family, and to go through this challenge, working to make ends meet,” Schwarzenegger continued.
“And you feel like, ‘Wait a minute, but Sacramento doesn’t really do everything for us that they promised they’ll do. We are working hard — but they’re not. They’re failing us every day.’ That’s what I see as the similarities from 2003. It’s the same vibe.”
Plus, he added, the California Republican Party is too weak politically to inspire two million recall signatures.
“The Republican Party is, like I have said, dying at the box office. This is the crazy thing here, when they say it’s a ‘power grab’ of the Republicans. Let me tell you, the [California] Republicans couldn’t even get anyone elected. It’s ludicrous — the Republican Party doesn’t exist. These are the signatures of the ordinary folks that have signed on,” he said.
This, however, is something Newsom and his allies in the Democrat Party and the media refuse to acknowledge, which is why the media are constantly publishing polls that claim a majority of Californians still support him.
It’s also why the governor keeps smearing his opponents as “extremists.”
“[L]et’s call it what it is: it’s a partisan, Republican recall — backed by the RNC, anti-mask and anti-vax extremists, and pro-Trump forces who want to overturn the last election and have opposed much of what we have done to fight the pandemic,” he wrote in a email to supporters last month, according to NPR.
The media have happily played along by claiming, as the Los Angeles Times did, that recall supporters include “peddlers of Q-Anon doomsday conspiracies; ‘patriots’ readying for battle and one organization allied with the far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys.”
While it’s possible such figures support the recall effort, so do Democrats and Independents.
Hey Julie! I’m a registered Democrat in CA and I support the recall. I’m not the only one. Newsom has cost us far more money than the recall will.
— Kristin Williams (@kristinwill11) March 16, 2021
Recall Newsom! I’m a democrat and I’m ready to move on!
— roooieee (@roooieee) January 25, 2021
It’s not a far right movement. I’m a California Democrat. He has let us down in horrific ways. Don’t play the right wing card regarding Newsom. None of us want him as governor. Recall ASAP!
— ann abbinton (@abbinton) March 16, 2021
“Democrats and independent voters — who together dominate the state’s electorate — have also signed the recall petition, motivated by frustration with Newsom’s response to the covid-19 pandemic,” California Healthline, a news service produced by Kaiser Health News, reported Monday.
“Even Californians who helped elect Newsom to his first term in 2018 are angry over prolonged school closures, the whipsaw of business closings and openings and closings, vaccination chaos and turmoil at the state’s unemployment agency — which has been plagued with fraud, website failures and devastating backlogs that have left legions of residents without benefits.”