Democrats may not realize it, but they dodged a bullet this fall when California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) reiterated that he will not run for president in 2024.
The conventional wisdom is that Newsom — vigorous, handsome, and pugnacious — would be a better candidate, were Biden to bow out of the race.
The reality is that Newsom has not achieved one thing in two decades of public life, and has chosen to risk his career in a fight against parents.
That’s right, parents.
Newsom and his administration are currently trying to stop school districts from adopting policies that require schools to notify parents if their children decide to change genders. With Newsom’s backing, California Attorney General Rob Bonta is suing districts to block parental notification policies, on the theory that children belong to the state, not to parents, and that a child’s “transition,” with drugs or surgery, is a state secret.
This is a position that is so absurd that 84% of voters, even in far-left California oppose it. Yet Newsom, captive to radical LGBTQ(…) activists, has chosen this particular hill to die on, politically.
Pressed recently by Politico‘s Chris Cadelago on the issue, Newsom dodged the question for several comical minutes, finally declaring that parents had been “ginned up” by mean ol’ Republican politicians from other states to care about the welfare of their children.
Newsom is so out of touch that he expressed shock this week that his own son was taking an interest in what the governor called “micro-cult” leaders such as Andrew Tate, Jordan Peterson, and Joe Rogan. He would deny other parents the right to intervene if their sons wanted to remove their genitalia, but he’s deeply concerned that his own son might find male podcasters more compelling than Democrats who whine about “toxic masculinity” on MSNBC.
Biden — no great father himself — has been a disaster as president, stoking these culture wars while spending the economy into inflation and destroying American leadership in the world. But at least Biden can point to a few real achievements, such as the bipartisan infrastructure bill. If a Saudi-Israeli peace deal emerge, reviving the Abraham Accords, Biden can share credit — with former President Donald Trump — for solving a major foreign policy puzzle.
In contrast, Newsom — with supermajorities of Democrats in both houses of the California state legislature — has done nothing.
He has not improved the California economy, where unemployment is higher than the national average; he has not improved crime or homelessness, which continue to skyrocket; he has not stopped wildfires, and was called out by public radio for lying about it; he has not expanded the state’s water supply. He is a zero.
Newsom is an elitist who enforced draconian coronavirus measures while dining out with lobbyists at the posh French Laundry restaurant. That prompted a recall election, which he survived only by reminding California voters that he is a Democrat and that his opponent supported Trump. That won’t work elsewhere — and it didn’t, when Democrats tried it in Virginia, where voters chose Glenn Younkin over Terry McAuliffe (who also attacked parents).
This week, Newsom was at the United Nations to talk about climate change, and to hobnob with billionaire left-wing donor Alex Soros at the corrupt Clinton Global Initiative, newly raised from the dead.
George Soros’ son Alex with Gavin Newsom at at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York today pic.twitter.com/1nF5PC1GDd— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) September 18, 2023
Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown, also went nuts about climate change, but at least he could balance the state budget. Newsom took a massive surplus last year and turned it into a massive deficit.
The fact is that Biden’s presidency has shielded Newsom from closer scrutiny. Newsom is a one-trick pony, whose only successful political move has been to tweak Republicans on social issues. He was the first official to legalize gay marriage as mayor of San Francisco in 2004. Gay marriage went on to thrive nationwide, but San Francisco is in a state of collapse.
Biden may not be the best Democrats can do, but at least they can say they avoided the worst.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.