A Changing of the Guard

Perhaps we don’t get big high wooly hats like they do at Buckingham Palace, but today will see a big transition for California. As in 2017 when Kamala Harris replaced Sen. Boxer, the transition from Brown to Newsom will be more than one of age or style, but of a real change in California politics.

Jerry Brown with Dianne Feinstein and Gavin Newsom in 2004.

Gavin Newsom is nobody’s radical. In many ways, he borrows a lot from Gov. Brown’s political style. A little from the left, and a little from the center(-right). A plan for a massive increase in funding for early childhood education, with a hard “sobering” look at high speed rail.

That is not to say that Newsom isn’t generally progressive. When he takes office today, he will surely be pretty close to the most progressive governor in the nation. But like Brown, Gavin likes balance and a sound financial platform.

Unlike Brown, Gavin Newsom likes a bit of flash and some excitement. He likes a grand sweeping vision. And he’ll have plenty of chances for grand action, in responding to climate change, the housing and homelessness crisis, and making healthcare more affordable.

There are a slew of news stories about the differences between Gavin and Jerry, some more accurate than others. (SF Chronicle, AP, Politico, NPR, etc.) The press likes coming up with drama, and so a transition is a good source of clicks. And no doubt that the change from Brown to Newsom will bring changes, but the most profound will have to be a greater expectancy of a truly progressive state. The Governor elect’s job is now to follow up on that.

Of course, he isn’t the only one being sworn into office today. We will also get the first statewide LGBT elected official in Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, and a full slate of Democratic leaders across the board.

You can watch the Governor’s swearing in ceremony on many news websites, though he has already released excerpts of his speech.

Incoming California Gov. Gavin Newsom will draw immediate battle lines Monday with President Donald Trump in his inaugural address, portraying California’s “progressive, principled” policies as the antidote to the White House’s “corruption and incompetence.” … “People’s lives, freedom, security, the water we drink, the air we breathe — they all hang in the balance,” Newsom plans to say, according to excerpts of his speech released by his office.

SF Gate, 1/7/19

One thought on “A Changing of the Guard”

  1. Newsom doesn’t give two shits about the homeless or about housing costs. He probably owns rental property. He’s an exploiter. He’s part of the exploiting class. Stop giving him cover. Why isn’t this a socialist/leftist/ communist blog? Why are you still mired in capitalism and giving cover to these guys? The ruling class in this country is running scared – it had to be the first time ever that the word “socialism” was spoken in a SOTU, and you’re still taking capitalist positions and giving them cover. Why? To protect your own raggedy ass privilege? There’s a reason you probably have like 15 readers on this blog – because you’re centrists. You can’t even stand up for oppressed nationalities and the working class. You’re giving cover to Gavin Newsom of all people.

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