Opinion

Do Not Let Democrats Distance Themselves from COVID Lockdowns

Written by Philip Mauriello Jr., Managing Attorney of Arete Law A.P.C. and host of the California Underground Podcast

I recently saw 50th Congressional District Democratic candidate Ammar Campa-Najjar on KUSI. He talked a lot about how he didn’t agree with Gov. Newsom’s order to shut businesses down again and wanted to try to find solutions to allow businesses to stay open. Of course, he is only a candidate—so really just a citizen—and there’s not much he could actually do, but something struck me as I heard him speak. 

Democratic candidates around the country will be taking public stances of being pro-business, pro-safe reopenings, etc. to appear palpable to constituencies. My words of advice to any Republican running against a Democrat this fall: 

Do Not Let Democrats Distance Themselves from COVID Lockdowns

Democrats have spent the better part of three years attaching every single Republican in the country—from governors down to school board officials—to President Trump. Regardless of whether their politics line up with his, every single Republican has been tied to President Trump to try and hurt their chances to win. The formula is simple; “Orange Man Bad” and “Orange Man” is a Republican, ergo every Republican is tied to “Orange Man Bad.”

But now the tables have turned, especially here in California. Every California Democrat running must be hit hard on sharing the same political party with Gavin ‘Double the Lockdown Fun’ Newsom. Either you support the governor, the highest political leader in our state, or you do not. Are you hiding your support to seem more appealing to voters? Did you not support the lockdowns? Would you like to go on record and say that Gov. Newsom was wrong? The pressure must be intense and unrelenting. This is their Party, they own these shutdowns as much as Newsom does. 

Gov. Newsom has an enormous political machine here in California. Along with his connections to Auntie Pelosi, he has basically been the anointed one in California Democratic politics since he rose to power as the Mayor of San Francisco. Do all of these Democratic candidates want to go up against that political machine? Do they want to kill their political ambitions because they disagree with them? These are the decisions Democrats must be forced to make publicly so they are held to their own words. 

These continued lockdowns are not good politics for people like Newsom. Voters who supported him a couple years ago are now openly disavowing him, with some even calling for a recall. How many thousands of voters have become disillusioned and frustrated with the Newsom administration? How many can you get to pull the lever—or check the box—for a Republican this fall because they are done with arbitrary lockdowns? I would venture to say a good amount. 

This fall, there is an easy one-two punch for California Republicans to start clawing back the state. First, do not let Democrats distance themselves from the lockdowns and subsequent loss of businesses statewide. They own it, it is their Party, Newsom is your governor, you now own it. You have become the Party of lockdowns and lost livelihoods.

Second, offer a brighter future for those business owners. Explain how you would have done it and plan to keep businesses open and safe while we continue to battle COVID-19. Show them the stark difference and the brighter and more prosperous future you have under Republican leadership rather than under Democrats. The formula for Republicans should be: “Greasy Governor Closed My Business, Greasy Governor is a Democrat, ergo every Democrat helped in closing my business.”

Hold them to their own standards, make them avow or disavow Newsom and his policies on the record. Do not let them run from this mess they have created.