Phil Angelides’ campaign for governor is in deep trouble. In spite of having the support of organized labor, his rallies attract small, unenthusiastic crowds. Is it any wonder then that he is now desperately seeking to energize the anti-war left with an irresponsible and dangerous promise to bring the California National Guard home from Iraq?
Last Saturday Angelides claimed that he would, “…do everything in my power as governor of the state of California to bring our National Guard troops home.” He hinted that he might even sue the federal government. Angelides’ promise to bring the Guard home is bogus, and he knows it. Long established federal law and the fact that the federal government pays more than 96% of the California National Guard’s budget mean that the President has first call on the Guard through his ability to federalize them thereby calling the Guard into active service.
With no authority to recall the Guard, if elected governor (as is increasingly unlikely), why is Angelides making a promise he can’t keep and what impact might it have?
The proposal to “bring the Guard home” isn’t new. It orginated with the far left anti-war movement that operates under the umbrella group United for Peace and Justice, a conglomeration of more than 100 leftist groups such as the Young Communist League, Communist Party USA, Code Pink, The Workers World Party, Anarchist Resistance, and International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).
In mid-August many of these groups, including Code Pink and The Workers World Party, testified at a raucous Assembly Veterans Affairs Committee hearing in support of Assembly Joint Resolution 36 (AJR 36), a measure calling on the withdrawal of all California National Guard forces from overseas. AJR 36 was authored by Assemblywoman Loni Hancock and sponsored by Code Pink. Ms. Hancock worked in the Carter and Clinton Administrations and was the first woman to be mayor of Berkeley.
One of Code Pink’s founders is Medea Benjamin. Ms. Benjamin disrupted Iraqi leader al-Maliki’s speech to the Congress last July and was an organizer of the 1999 Seattle World Trade Organization riots, which caused millions of dollars in property damage. When Benjamin visited Cuba in the 1980s, she said, “It seem[ed] like I died and went to heaven.”
The Workers World Party defended the communist Soviet Union’s attack on freedom movements in Hungary in the 1950s, Czechoslovakia in the 1960s and Poland in the 1980s.
Why should we care that Phil Angelides has aligned his sinking campaign with radical left-wing surrender groups like Code Pink and the Workers World Party? Because such actions are reported widely and carefully noticed abroad by our enemies who are searching for any sign of weakening resolve in America and the West at large. The calls to bring the National Guard home, whether through a campaign promise by Mr. Angelides or through resolutions such as AJR 36, are entirely symbolic. They have no force of law and therefore only send a message—a dangerous message to our enemies that they only have to hold out a bit longer and perhaps America will pack up and return home, allowing them to institute their reign of terror against all who refuse to support their extreme cult of violent Islam.
AJR 36 died on a 3-to-3 vote in committee last August, with three Democrats abstaining. Perhaps the Democrats’ abstentions signaled their discomfort with a measure that would only serve to remind voters that the Democrats’ only plan in the face of horrific Islamofascist barbarism is America’s unconditional surrender.
Unfortunately for responsible and patriotic Democrats, Phil Angelides has turned his campaign for governor into a surrender burlesque giving most Californians another great reason to re-elect Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.