Warning: Contents of this post rated R.
“Ever heard of rekall? They sell those fake memories,” Said Douglas Quaid, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, in the 1990 movie, Total Recall.
In a touch of irony, thirteen years later, Schwarzenegger would be elected Governor of California in a recall election that ousted Governor Gray Davis.
There are times when this Californian feels like he’s being pretty cheeky, in chiding other states for being over the top nutty. And this is one of those times.
The State of California has long been the target of jokes from the other 49, and I can’t deny that the Golden State has produced its share, maybe more than its share, of quirkiness. And if you want to jump from eccentricities to outright abominations, it was California that jump started Dick Nixon and Ronald Reagan, eventually unleashing those Frankensteins on the nation and the world.
As election years go, 2021 is rather bland, which, after 2020, should be a blessing to anyone of sane mind. But, California just couldn’t help itself and decided to add some spice by holding a special election to recall Governor Gavin Newsom.
Newsom, a Democrat, has been a burr under the GOP saddle ever since he served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in the late 1990’s. Since then, the Republicans’ irritation level has risen in direct proportion to Newsom’s rise to power. California, however, is deep blue, and the notion of recalling Newsom and replacing him with a Republican has held about as much popular allure as the sport of curling holds in the hot, arid reaches of southwest Texas.
Still, recalling Newsom has been a GOP mission almost since the day he took up residence in the governor’s mansion back in January of 2019. Every once in a while you could walk past a table outside of a mall and see some lonely folks sitting at a table set with pens full of ink and petitions bereft of signatures.
It was COVID, and the governor’s handling of the crisis that added just enough kindling to restart the recall flame. Newsom has had some coronavirus stumbles and I haven’t always been happy with his performance but in the end he’s apparently seen the state through the worst of it.
Not only is the state set to reopen on June 15th, there are scientists (real ones, not Googly ones) who are predicting that by that date California will have achieved herd immunity. That is not a small deal, whether you believe scientists, or the YouTube preacher who invokes god’s will, or the guy down the street who believes that the virus is a Soros plot. It doesn’t matter what you personally believe about the virus, it’s what the people in charge believe, that’s going to affect your day to day life, and in California, under Newsom, day to day life is fast tracking back to normal.
California is just about to cross the finish line far in front of the other 49 states and most of the world, but that’s of no consequence to either the troupe of candidates pouring from the recall clown car, or the petitioners who engineered that car.
This campaign is quintessential California politics. Put in simple terms, a shit show.
As of a week ago, 23 hopefuls had announced their intention to run for governor. They include; 2 pastors, an insurance agent, a couple of business owners and a handful of former mayors and legislators.
The most serious challenger seems to be businessman John Cox, who ran against Newsom in the last gubernatorial election and got waxed – 62% to 38%.
Whatever Cox’s strategy was back in 2018, it was clearly a failure. This time around, Cox is branding himself as “the beast,” in contrast to Newsom who the challenger has dubbed, “a pretty boy.”
It’s part of the P.T. Barnum/snake oil peddler/carnival barker, campaign strategy; one that involves a living, breathing 1000 pound, Kodiak bear, named Tag, as his chief surrogate. He could’ve done worse; he could’ve hired Kaleigh McEnany.
The homepage of Cox’s website declares, CALIFORNIA HAS TRIED PRETTY POLITICIANS. IT’S TIME FOR A BEASTLY CHANGE.
Beastly change. It’s that bully, tough guy, business guy notion that you can run a state like a corporation. America signed up for that crapola in 2016 and look where it got us.
Cox’s website includes a list of “solutions” for the state’s problems, but the problem is that he doesn’t really include solutions, only problems.
Politics aside there’s just a certain amount of douchebaggery in using a noble wild animal as a political prop. To compound his douchery, Cox was seen feeding the bear Oreo cookies during a campaign stop.
Cox’s initial problem won’t be Newsom though, it’s going to be distinguishing himself from THE big name candidate, former Olympian and current crackpot Caitlyn Jenner.
Jenner is a profile in contradiction. On the one hand she’s a well known trans woman and on the other she’s been an ardent Trump supporter. She recently had a pleasant one on one with Sean Hannity, the Fox News host, who in private conversation would probably tell his bigoted buddies that he’d really like to see Jenner shipped off to a gulag, but is perfectly willing to promote her if it’ll help shed California of a Democratic Governor.
In contrast to Cox’s “beastly” strategy, Ms. Jenner is calling herself a “compassionate disrupter.”
“Disrupter” has become something of a political buzzword. Gut the whole place, clear out the furniture, knock down the walls, tear up the foundation and start from the ground up. Get out the wrecking ball even if the structure is basically sound and maybe just needs a fresh coat of paint.
Part of Trump’s appeal was that he was a “disrupter.” He “shook things up,” say the Trumpers. Yeah, well, I shook up a 2 liter bottle of Coke once and ended up with soda all over the place. Sometimes shaking things up just leaves you with a big sticky mess.
During her interview with Hannity, Jenner revealed her epiphany moment, when she realized just how bad things are in California.
“My friends are leaving California,” she lamented. “My (airplane) hangar, the guy across … he was packing his (airplane) hangar, I said, where you going? He says, I’m moving to Sedona, Arizona. I can’t take it here anymore. I can’t walk down the streets and see the homeless. I don’t want to leave. Either I stay and fight, or I get out of here.”
Oh, well, cry me a river. Two airplane hangar neighbors bemoaning the fact that they have to “see the homeless.” I say good riddance, and as for the beautiful place that is Sedona, it will be worse off for having an airplane owning, Marie Antoinette.
Both Cox and Jenner are leading with the argument that Newsom has botched the COVID response, which, given the impending herd immunity is like getting into the ring with Tyson and leading with your chin. Frankly I hope they stick with that strategy till the fall election, because it’s going to be an old, moldy and irrelevant issue in about a month from now.
You could make a case that some of the folks running to replace Newsom are actually qualified to lead the world’s fifth largest economy. The remainder are a bunch of boobs looking for a few minutes of fame.
Did somebody say boobs?
Enter Mary Carey, whose stock in trade is, well, screwing. Not in the political sense, mind you. Mary is a porn star.
This is her second run in a recall election; the first was in 2003, when then Governor, Gray Davis, was shown the door. Mary was one of a mere 135 hopefuls in that election which was won by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who became popularly known as, the “governator.”
In that election Mary pledged to make lap dances tax deductible.
“Dear, I’ll be back in a few hours. I’m going to the strip club.”
“Yeah, I’m going to buy a few lap dances.”
“You’re gonna what?”
“Buy some lap dances. We can write them off on our taxes.”
“Oh, okay. Have fun then. Oh, and make sure you keep the receipts!”
Ms. Carey’s new campaign website is up and promises, right on the homepage, with some not so subtle innuendo, “CALIFORNIA’S GOVERNOR NEWCOM IS GOING DOWN!!!!”
The site is chock full of promotional items. For instance, for a mere $120.00 (+ $7.00 shipping) you can get a poster of Mary in a piece of red, white and blue fabric that’s alleged to be a swimsuit.
The poster makes clear two things; that the swimsuit is made of very stout material and that in at least one respect Mary is the front runner. The poster also makes two other things perfectly clear.
If a hundred and twenty bones puts a strain on the checkbook, there’s a variety of other campaign merchandise available at more affordable prices; caps, aprons, mugs and assorted apparel in a variety of styles and colors.
There’s even a Mary Carey face covering, adorned with the photo of Mary in her Old Glory swimsuit. It’s the perfect gift for the man or woman who has harbored that secret fantasy of having a porn star as, well, a face covering.
The website is long on stuff and photos but short on actual policy. I know this because I slowly, very slowly, combed through each and every page looking for her positions on the issues. She has a lot of really great positions but none that have anything to do with politics.
She does include a catchy little slogan at the bottom of her homepage, “Finally a politician you want to be screwed by!!!”
Up to this point, this piece has been heavy on criticism with a few attempts at light humor. I had no qualms about roasting John Cox and Caitlyn Jenner but I did have second thoughts about poking fun at Mary Carey.
But what the hell, Mary is being tongue in cheek (to be clear, her own tongue – her own cheek), with her run and so I figure she’s made herself fair fodder.
Here’s the deal though. If I had a choice of sitting down and having coffee with Cox, Jenner, or Mary, I’d choose Mary and not for the reason one might think.
Cox? A hackneyed business guy, looking like a carny huckster, who points out problems without offering solutions, and uses a wild animal as a cheap prop and has no problem feeding the animal junk food.
Jenner? A reality TV star, with no political experience, who gained much of her fame by associating herself professionally with her shallow, dysfunctional, self-absorbed clan. A trans woman who shed her self-respect by backing Donald Trump, a man who would be perfectly happy to see Jenner and those like her dead or exiled.
Cox and Jenner seem about as amiable as a rattlesnake, as compassionate as Stephen Miller and as trustworthy as a 3 card monte dealer. .
Mary Carey? Politically she’s probably no less qualified than the others and she certainly seems more genuine. I’ve had two women friends who were in the sex business and if Ms. Carey is anything like them, then she’s a nice, decent, human being. Despite what one might say, those two women friends were respectable, more so than most of today’s politicians. Their profession might have been screwing but they were at least honest and up front about it, which is more than can be said for a lot of business guys and politicos.
Aristotle said that “nature abhors a vacuum,” and so California has done its due diligence and is filling the void with some good old fashioned California political tom foolery. So to the other 49 states, you’re welcome.