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Does Gavin Newsom Have Anything Better to Do?

CBS News

California Governor Gavin Newsom is a culture war aggressor and a culture war obsessive.  The man seems to spend much of his time attacking red states and Republican governors over things happening outside of California.  Perhaps it's understandable that Newsom feels compelled spend so much of his time scouring headlines for 'outrages' elsewhere, rather than focusing on his own state, because the closer-to-home news hasn't been good under his leadership.  A 2022 analysis of all 50 states' combined performances on mortality, economy and education during the COVID pandemic showed the Golden State in 47th place, just ahead of deep blue New York and New Jersey.  Newsom's bete noir fixation, Florida, finished in the top ten, and performed best of all large states.  The Los Angeles Times reported last month that California's population "exodus continues," with more than half-a-million residents fleeing the state over the past two years.  


The state had never lost net population in its entire history until 2020.  The number dropped again in 2021.  And again in 2022.  So many people were eager to escape Gavin Newsom's state that U-Haul literally ran out of outbound trucks.  Demand was just too high.  This incredible and telling anecdote was even confirmed by left-leaning Snopes.  So it stands to reason that the man presiding over this downward spiral, who also has ambitions to take his brand of politics national, would be eager to deflect attention elsewhere.  Which is what he does, constantly:

As National Review's Nate Hochman pointed out a few days ago, "last year, Gavin Newsom spent $230,000 on ads attacking Republicans in other states. He tweets more about red states than about California. (No, really—nearly 60% of his tweets over the past few weeks were about red states)."  Hochman asks, is Newsom "a governor or a pundit?"  He's both.  He's a failing governor resorting to punditry to try to curry favor with his party's base, which he's obviously courting for a presidential run.  Newsom's latest governance/punditry collab comes in the form of severing ties with Walgreens because the company will be complying with abortion laws in other states:


Others have noted that this flies in the face of his loud criticism of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' moves against Disney, which actually goes beyond mere hypocrisy.  Newsom cast Florida's decisions as an anti-free speech attack, "punishing" businesses over politics in an "authoritarian" manner.  And now he's doing this to Walgreens (California does a comical amount of signaling boycotts, to the point that it's becoming unsustainable).  But whatever you think of DeSantis' decisions on Disney, which he defended aggressively here, Florida simply ended extraordinary sweetheart subsidies and carve-outs for the entertainment giant, after the company repeatedly and gratuitously waded into Florida's political and cultural fights.  

What Newsom is doing here is markedly different.  He claims he'll be cutting all state ties with Walgreens because Walgreens is seeking to avoid running afoul of other states' laws, in those states.  It's not as if Walgreens has been issuing press releases vowing to oppose Newsom on California abortion laws.  Nevertheless, Newsom is going full authoritarian, speech-attacking, business punishing -- by his own capricious and shifting standards -- anyway.  As it happens, Walgreens has been doing less business in California lately, but for different reasons:


Walgreens said Thursday it plans to close another store in San Francisco this month, four months after the company closed several in the city due to "organized retail crime," according to a report. Last November, Walgreens closed five stores in the Northern California city. "Organized retail crime continues to be a challenge facing retailers across San Francisco, and we are not immune to that," Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso said at the time, according to SFGate. "Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average. During this time to help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment." The store has previously closed other locations in the area because of theft as well.

Businesses closing down in Democrat-dominated jurisdictions due to crime and lack of public safety -- thus harming employees and consumers -- has been a pattern all across the country, from Washington, to Philadelphia, to the West Coast:

Gavin Newsom is a poster child for abusing children by locking them out of schools for a year-and-a-half, then making them suffer with useless and unnecessary mask mandates (while behaving very differently himself, on multiple occasions).  His state is bleeding population, as people flee his policies by the hundreds of thousands.  But he's focused like a laser on supporting anti-scientific experimentation on kids who say they're trans, and preventing as many people from being born -- via totally unfettered, unrestricted and taxpayer-funded abortion on demand.  In fairness, maybe he realizes that humans who are never born can never flee his state.


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