Progressives against Democracy in California
For all of their loud and repeated utterances in defense of democracy, California progressives seem to have exactly the opposite view when it comes to the recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Recall elections, they say, are anti-democratic, likely unconstitutional, and definitely something to be done away with as soon as possible:
Today’s progressives, who claim to stand for the power of the people against special interests and the political class, despise a process that was devised by early 1900s progressives for that explicit purpose.
Their opposition is situational, an outgrowth of their fear that the public isn’t nearly as given to liberal pipedreams as they would like. Note the results from November, when the same California voters who reliably send Democrats to Sacramento rejected initiatives that would expand rent control, increase commercial property taxes, and re-impose race-based college admissions. They supported a measure that exempts drivers from a ban on independent contracting.
This special election is entirely legitimate. State law clearly spells out the rules. Recall supporters gathered the requisite signatures, submitted them for approval, and have legally placed it on the ballot. By contrast, California Democrats toyed with the schedule, as they passed a law designed to speed up the election date because they believed an earlier date would help Newsom.
California progressives, then, are unprincipled political hacks, just like other pols elsewhere who oppose initiatives, referendums, and recalls. They just don’t trust the people. Or worse, they believe they are above the people holding them accountable.