California Governor Gavin Newsom was slated to participate in the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night. Newsom was planning on joining other airheads from Hollywood in an all-out effort by the DNC to manufacture enthusiasm for the Democratic presidential ticket where there currently is none. But late in the day on Thursday, Newsom bowed out of the convention, unable to neglect California and the myriad of problems under the governor's failed leadership.
How does Gavin Newsom still have a job? It's a question on the minds of many Californians these days who remember recalling a previous Democratic governor in 2003, the last time rolling blackouts were a thing in the state. Nowadays, blackouts are back with a vengeance, having become an annual occurrence under the Newsom administration. The power outages come as California contends with another apocalyptic wildfire season, which is another annual occurrence that only seems to be intensifying under Newsom's stewardship, or lack thereof. California's once bright-and-sunny future has been replaced by a future where deadly infernos are commonplace and Californians learn to live without lights and electricity like it's the 1800s.
In light of the state's mounting problems, the governor's priorities seem like that of a leader from a different planet. The state is literally on fire and the governor spent May proposing pay cuts to Cal Fire workers, just as the wildfire season was beginning to take off. And the month before, Newsom was handing out tens of millions in taxpayer dollars in the form of stimulus checks to illegal aliens.
In Vacaville, California, a wildfire rolled into town overnight on Tuesday, leaving many residents caught off guard by the fast-approaching flames. It didn't help that many homeowners had their power shut off when the flames arrived. It's not yet known just how many people may have perished in the inferno that is still burning out of control at the time of this writing. Victims of the blaze say they fought in vain for several hours to save their homes, never once seeing a fire engine or a firefighting plane overhead that may have helped them save their properties. Newsom was in Vacaville on Thursday doing damage control when news broke about the governor's scrapped appearance at the Democratic National Convention later that evening.
And it's not just the deadly fires and reoccurring blackouts that should have Californians demanding better leadership. Even the mainstream media is starting to notice another failure of the governor's: Newsom's muddled response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The Associated Press reported earlier this month that Newsom is in "the hot seat" over his pandemic response and a series of bad news about the state's fight against the virus. The AP noted that Newsom spent the summer giving "muddled messaging and bad news" to residents of the Golden State about his plans to reopen the economy. The AP said the trend of bad news was crystalized by the governor's delayed response to a "data error that caused a backlog of nearly 300,000 virus test results."
The backlog error, which began in July and continued for weeks due to a series of other errors, led California to not only undercount the rate of virus spread but also halted decision-making as to what parts of the state economy could begin to reopen.
And the data error isn't the only "snafu" in the governor's coronavirus response. Schools, which had been asking for guidance from the state for months on how to reopen, forged ahead with their own plans when the governor failed to provide guidance. Then, abruptly, Newsom prohibited schools in most parts of the state from reopening for in-person instruction, outraging schools and parents who then struggled to make alternative arrangements in wake of the governor's last-minute override.
The state's unemployment backlog has also been an unmitigated disaster, causing Newsom to receive criticism from both sides of the aisle. The governor was also reportedly late on his property taxes, a bad look for a tax-and-spend Democrat, who has already been accused of acting in his self-interest when it comes to issuing lockdown orders. And while wineries in the state were ordered to close down, Newsom's own Napa Valley winery was allowed to stay open.
When it comes to Gavin Newsom, there is something for every Californian to be outraged over.