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Reblogged:GOP Officially out of Ideas

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"It was not a Government that built up the skill and craft of this country ... t was private individuals..." -- Margaret Thatcher

"Note to Republicans: The above also applies to America." -- Me

Gavin Newsom has been running attack ads against Ron DeSantis, much to the glee of Republicans:
The model of government currently en vogue in both parties has failed every time it has been tried. (Image by Evan Fitzer, via Unsplash, license.)
Besides the fact that under DeSantis' leadership, the Florida population has grown, and under Newsom's leadership, for the first time ever in California, the population shrunk in 2020 and 2021, it seems clear that DeSantis would trounce Newsom in important swing states. Democrats might not see it that way; the GOP should encourage that. They should want Newsom to run for President because his whole platform will be about guns and abortion -- no problem-solving solutions.

Newsom would run the country just like he ran San Francisco as its mayor, and now the state of California: an ineffective 'leader' who has made the homelessness crisis worse by not having mental health workers readily available to treat those in need, by the lack of rehabilitation centers for the homeless
, and as much as the rescue missions are trying to help and reduce homelessness, it is continuously increasing due to Newsom's ineffectiveness, and horrible leadership. Forty percent of small businesses were forced to shut down during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

That may not translate to the national level; however, his inability to run the fifth-largest economy in the world while having homelessness worsen, rampant crime due to Prop 47, and district attorneys like George Gascon, both of which Newsom supported, making people feel unsafe. His ineffectiveness in leading on several major issues might cause more damage than any President has before. [bold added]
Set aside for a moment the theocratic objections to abortion and look at what passes for a critique of Newsom's poor record as governor of California: no problem-solving solutions, would run the country just like ... California, his inability to run the fifth-largest economy in the world.

There is no mention of freedom, let alone "fiscal restraint" or an objection (however weak) to "regulatory 'overreach'", or even "small government." (The only mention of "freedom" in the whole piece -- aside from Newsom's embedded tweet -- is an assertion in another embedded tweet that Florida is a "citadel of freedom.")

This is not a failure to mention freedom so much as an embrace of the nanny state, as witness the blame for Newsom not running it well, for example: [He] made the homelessness crisis worse by not having mental health workers readily available to treat those in need.

Volumes have been written about the roots of the homelessness crisis in the welfare state. An entire party is scorning an opportunity to do something besides run as a more "competent" Democrat/bureaucrat here.

Conversely -- and as I have noted before -- DeSantis isn't talking at all about reducing spending or even taxation. Instead, he's quite happy to use taxation to go after political opponents. You could plead that a Californian who contested the welfare state premise would never get elected there -- but this is Florida.

And it's not just this piece. You can see the complete absence of the "fiscal conservatism" "leg" of Ronald Reagan's three-legged stool everywhere. Here's an example from a prominent Trumpist blog:
It sure would be nice if Pete [Buttigieg] applied so much energy and planning into this current job as Secretary of Transportation. There is still a supply chain problem, as well as travel nightmares in airports, for example. There is no need to say that Buttigieg can walk and chew gum at the same time because we are painfully aware that no one in this administration can do that. It seems to have taken the cancellation of one of his own flights to realize that there is a problem with air travel. This is the least aware administration I can ever remember.
One would think that if America just had a better Transportation Czar (or Magic Donald were in charge), all our "supply chain" and transportation issues would evaporate with the wave of a government wand.

I am painfully aware that we live in a mixed economy, and so there is legitimate room to criticize the likes of Newsom and Buttigieg on the grounds of diligence or competence, but only up to a point. There is only so much a functionary can do to alleviate these problems: Ultimately, government caused these problems, and long-term only (a) it getting out of the way and (b) time will solve them, as far as government is concerned.

Republicans -- having been lobotomized by Trump -- now pass this point regularly to go for the electoral jugular while not bothering to add even a perfunctory acknowledgment to the fact that America was not built by government nor can it be run by government nor should it be run by government.

They are choosing the short-sighted and unprincipled tack of running on "competence" and indulging in magical thinking to the effect that it is even possible for a government official to, say run the largest economy in the world.

The job of government is far from "running" private lives: It is to create the conditions necessary for countless private individuals to be able to do so: individual freedom and rule of law.

It will be cold comfort to see the Democrats dumped from office in the next election if we merely get more of the same -- but with a Christian-themed paint job --from the Republicans.

-- CAV

P.S. Regarding the attack ads, it pains me to say that Newsom is not wrong to attack DeSantis for his theocratic and anti-free-speech tendencies. It is too bad that such criticisms are made inexpertly and come from a petty tyrant like him, because it makes it easy for many people to ignore or dismiss them.

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