News & Politics

As Pandemic Rages in California, Gov. Newsom Excited About 'Opportunity' to Push Progressive Agenda

California Gov. Gavin Newsom listens to a question during an interview in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Newsom said President Donald Trump should be removed from office by Congress, but with Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate the best way to boot Trump from office is at the ballot box. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

California Governor Gavin Newsom is dealing with the greatest health crisis in 100 years, but this has apparently taken second place to being given the “opportunity” to impose progressive politics on his state.

There have been 215 deaths as of this morning in California and almost 10,000 infections. But amid the ruins of the California economy, the governor is cheered by the prospect of far-left governance.

Fox News:

“Absolutely, we see this as an opportunity reshape the way we do business and how we govern,” he said during a virtual press conference.

The remark came near the end of a long, winding answer to a question about whether he saw “the potential” in the crisis for “a new progressive era” in state and national politics.

“That shouldn’t put shivers up the spines of one party or the other,” he said. “I think it’s an opportunity anew for both parties to come together and meet this moment and really start to think more systemically, not situationally, not just about getting out of this moment.”

Given that California is virtually a one-party state, he can afford to be generous about asking for “both parties to come together.” In fact, both parties can work together as long as the goal is implementing far-left policies long-dreamed-of by the socialists.

The godfather of the “Never let a crisis go to waste” idea is of the same mind as Newsom. Fox News:

Still, Newsom’s answer appears reminiscent of an infamous comment former Obama adviser and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel made in a 2008 interview about the economic crisis with the Wall Street Journal: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that, it’s an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before.”

Emanuel repeated that remark again two weeks ago as lawmakers were mulling how to respond to the coronavirus crisis, although in a different context.

“Never allow a crisis to go to waste,” he said in an appearance on “This Week” on ABC. “Start planning for the future. This has to be the last pandemic that creates an economic depression. We’re going to have more pandemics, but this has to be the last economic depression.”

The pandemic has given the government the opportunity to radically expand its power under the guise of saving lives. Governments in wartime do the same thing. Of course, the Founders could never have imagined a situation like the coronavirus pandemic, but they could envision a day when the government would attempt to seize extra-constitutional power in some way during national emergencies.

Actions taken by Newsom, Trump, and other leaders needn’t change the relationship between the governed and the governors. There’s no reason for it. Just because the opportunity has presented itself doesn’t mean that politicians have to take it. But once surrendered, power is never given back.

Many of these actions may, indeed, be necessary to save lives. But Emanuel’s notion that the next pandemic shouldn’t result in a massive economic downturn is ludicrous. No amount of planning or saving by business could have avoided a crash and saying that this was avoidable is a lie. But it’s the kind of lie that the government will use once the crisis is over to grab more power at the expense of the individual.

It’s not paranoia to fear for the future of constitutional government once the crisis is past. It’s common sense based on historical precedent. “Eternal vigilance” has a basis in human experience and to give up now would be catastrophic for us all.