Bush’s Midas Touch in Reverse: Insufficient National Guard Numbers to Fight California’s Fires

November 1, 2007


Many of us recall California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s tragic buffoonery at the 2004 Republican National Convention in New York City.

Swept up by the pageantry of it the occasion, California’s governator led the delegates in a cheer as he exhorted them while also warning his television audience:

“Don’t be an economic girlie man! Four more years, four more years!”

How good it felt to the governator at the time. Times were good for him, he had been handpicked by the Enron team to stop a lawsuit from the state of California that Governor Gray Davis and Lieutenant Governor Cruz Bustamante were prepared to initiate against that corrupt corporation for ripping off the Golden State by generating an “energy crisis” and following it up with outrageous usurious costs.

A strategy was quickly developed by Enron in concert with the most perversely selfish of the corporate self interest brigade to recall Davis and install Schwarzenegger, with former California Governor Pete Wilson to help as the former bodybuilder-actor’s minder.

Arnold remained on great terms with Bush until his poll numbers sagged. In his last run for governor he cited a scheduling conflict that prevented him from attending a function at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley that Bush attended.

Despite Schwarzenegger’s glowing personal assurances that all was well that he delivered at the 2004 Republican Convention, his remarks boomeranged and bit him hard the other day as some 350,000 homes were being evacuated at the height of the blazing California wildfires.

Yes, Mr. Governator, in those heady days you were all for Bush and Cheney. There was that war in Iraq that many of us were fearful would never end as long as the neoconservatives were making policy and its impact generated with decisive impact in California the other day.

A major function of National Guard service is to render assistance when state tragedies occur. A tragic thing happened to the California National Guard when their numbers were sorely needed to help while fires raged.

Their numbers had cataclysmically shrunk. There were only 1,500 California National Guard members able to assist during a period of dire need.

So how many California National Guard members are in Iraq? They number 8,000, dwarfing that of those able to answer duty’s call in their home state while residences were going up in smoke and many residents of the affected areas needed to quickly escape to save their lives.

What will it be? Shall we continue to shell out tax dollars for more neoconservative “nation building” in an Iraq War cause that is hopeless? Shall we do so at the expense of ignoring in some cases and severely undercutting in others the nation’s major domestic needs?

The neoconservative wrecking crew of Cheney and Bush stand as rulers with a reverse Midas touch. Whether we deal with issues foreign or domestic calamity is the order of the day as lives are lost in a war launched on a tissue of lies, America roars toward the $10 trillion debt mark, the largest in the history of the planet, the dollar collapses on the world market, and increasing numbers of citizens lose their jobs to foreign outsourcing.

In conclusion, Mr. Governator, there is that matter of economic girlie men. Since you had the whole equation backwards does that ultimately make you the real economic girlie man?
Bill Hare


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