The current strategy of Democrats opposing the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom is to ask voters to leave the second question blank. This is a mistake.
If Trumpsters are going to make a mockery of the recall system, our elections and government in general, let’s all be in on the joke. Caitlyn Jenner is a Trumpster’s nightmare. If there is one thing we know about the current and dwindling Republican Party in California, while they may hate Newsom, they despise women. And they save their most virulent hate for the LGBTQ community.
Don’t get me wrong; Jenner is not qualified to be governor, but neither are the rest of the 46 candidates who are on the ballot. Jenner’s transgender status is irrelevant to most Democrats, she is just clueless about politics, policy and government. The closest we have to a legitimate candidate would have been former Republican San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, but he disqualified himself when he sold his soul to Donald Trump.
The current Republican polling leader is the openly misogynist Larry Elder, a servile Trumpista who is more likely to attack a capitol than have an office inside.
Personally, despite some close polling, I don’t expect Newsom to be recalled. He’s actually done a very good job in trying circumstances. California, under his watch, is leading the nation in a number of areas from vaccines to global warming. Like all government leaders, he is not perfect and he inflicted upon himself some unfortunate gaffes. But they are minor in the grand scheme of things and the media loves a dogfight. So they promote the recall.
The only real problem Newsom faces is the process itself. On an up or down vote on any elected official, a cynical public is more likely to vote no than yes. That’s why elections are between two people and there is no “none of the above” on the ballot. The latter would apparently win in many divisive contests.
In this election, Newsom isn’t on the second ballot. So Democrats, in a self-righteous manner, are choosing to ignore the second part of the ballot. Their disdain is understandable but misplaced.
The problem is they could get stuck with an Elder instead of a Jenner. The latter is a joke, but the former is a malevolent moron whose fascist policies would doom California.
This election is important. The no vote is the most important part of the ballot. But there is no reason we can’t have some fun with the clown car that represents the second part of the process. Saddling the Trumpsters with Jenner if for some bizarre reason Newsom is recalled would be a cold dish for the organizers of this farce.
In the final analysis, this recall malarkey is a travesty for all of California. The legislature should change the law immediately to install the Lt. Governor of California in any recall election. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis would, unlike the current crop of crazies, be qualified for the job.
In the meantime, vote for Jenner—the joke is on us.
San José Spotlight columnist Rich Robinson is a political consultant, attorney and author of “The Shadow Candidate.” His columns appear every fourth Wednesday of the month.