By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Tuesday, March 7, 2000. 9:15 p.m.: We enter the Sutton Place Hotel in—natch—Newport Beach, to partay at the state's Republican election-night headquarters. We are immediately faced with a small sign reading, "Media," beyond which (we deduce) lie sandwiches. We make a sandwich from the depleted deli trays, while the blonde in charge eyes us to ascertain that we are indeed working press. We're not sure if it's the leather pants or the slutty pigtails in charming lavender bows that make her suspicious, but we graciously reassure her and sail out of the room, sandwich held high.
9:19 p.m.: We travel several feet to the ballroom, from which a stampede emanates. The why is no mystery: a stageful of peppy urchins are "Celebrating America" in the most nasal manner. Their screeches are almost identical to those we hear outside our house when the entire neighborhood congregates to play World Wrestling Federation in our yard, at which point we have to scream out the window like a crack mom that if we hear one more kid yelling, we're gonna loose the rottweilers. USA! USA! Jazz hands, everybody!
9:26 p.m.: The lovable scamps have moved on to "Anchors Aweigh." We do a little soft-shoe.
9:27 p.m.: The risers in the back of the ballroom are crowded with news cameras, while the only people left seem to be clean-cut young reporters. They look ferociously bored. We mill about, trying to get on as many newscasts as possible. Did you see us? We grab a beer and balance it beneath our notebook as we write. We're good at that.
9:34 p.m.: The cherubs are chirping a rendition of Woody Guthrie's hippie-folkie love anthem "This Land Is Your Land." You recall, we're sure, that lots of groovy hippie folks advocate changing our national anthem from the bomb-and-rocket-filled "Star-Spangled Banner" to the fuzzy-wuzzy, graciously inclusive sing-along of Guthrie's biggest hit. Make love, not war! The kids are here to turn it into a jingoistic challenge to liberals. They shake pompons. Rah!
9:45 p.m.: A Bush supporter and a McCain supporter wave signs halfheartedly at each other, no doubt hamming it up for the cameras. The room is almost empty.
9:50 p.m.: Surfin' Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has taken the stage to ramble about the Strategic Defense Initiative. But don't take his word for it! Take the word of former Doobie Brotherand Steely Dan lead guitarist Skunk Baxter! The ponytailed, beret-wearin' Republican is apparently some kind of big expert. Fucking ponytailed motherfucker. Dana returns to whip the crowd into a Rollerball blood lust. "Do we live in the best city? Do we live in the best state? Do we live in the best country in the whole world?" Dana entreats, and the crowd goes nuts and starts gnashing and foaming and tearing the heads off live chickens. Now this is more like it! Dana disappears behind a curtain.
9:57 p.m.: We spot a hipster punk rock girl, with dyed black hair and Buddy Holly glasses, wearing a No on Knight sticker and waving a Bush sign. Her name is Natalie, and she is a senior at Newport Harbor High School. She gives us a No on Knight sticker because we were, until now, fitting in a little too well. You know, we love the gays. We do. (Although we hear from some of our girl-power friends that the ladies are falling off the lesbian tree left and right. We say love is where you find it, even if that's with someone of the opposite sex.) And it wasn't that long ago that California banned interracial marriage.
10:01 p.m.: The YAFers attack! We've been dreading it, and for just this purpose, we have corralled Jim the Futon Magnate (and former U.S. Marine) into attending with us—for protection. He smoothly pushes us out of the elevator in which we've been cornered, and as the YAFers (Young Americans for Freedom) clamor and bitch, he shoves us into another elevator just before its doors close. Nice moves, Jim the Futon Magnate!
10:04 p.m.: Yup, the YAFers are waiting for us in Jim Righeimer's hospitality suite. Surprisingly, the dirty tricksters—and so proud of it—are warm and gracious and just want to be loved. Is that so wrong? Former state chairman Brian Park, perhaps looking for just a little more notoriety, offers to escort us about the hotel. Too bad he's such an evil young man. Righeimer is a terrific guy except he carries the far-Right's water (he was responsible for Proposition 226, the Demonization of Teachers Act, two years ago; his strategy became so popular that even the "Center" guy on NPR's Left, Right and Centerquestioned whether then-gubernatorial candidate Gray Davis wasn't a little too cozy with teachers. They're teachers! TEACHERS!). Still, we adore Righeimer and his lovely, sweet supermodel wife, Lene. But Righeimer is losing badly in his campaign to replace termed-out Scott Baugh in the state Assembly. The victorious Tom Harman sent out a zippy four-page mailer calling Righeimer a deadbeat and outlining (with legal citations) several lawsuits and liens against him. It's no secret that he declared bankruptcy before the economy magically resuscitated itself; the mailer made him look like a big, fat creep. Come to think of it, it's very YAF—like their recent mailer accusing another candidate of poisoning dogs. We grab a beer from the bathtub.
10:14 p.m.: Security calls. An irate neighbor wants the folks at Righeimer's to keep it down. Righeimer can't get no respect. We grab another beer from the bathtub.
10:30-ish: Park walks us through the ground-floor presidential suites. Bush has a double suite, and McCain's is pathetically empty. A crazy Chinaman (that's really the only possible description) in national costume chants, "We want Bush" higher and higher. We get the hell out.
10:40 p.m.: We meet the elusive Mrs. Rohrabacher, Rhonda Carmony. She is a small, bright-eyed brunette with little makeup and a hell of a handshake. She's probably a terror in the arm-wrestling arena.
10:45 p.m.: A YAFer sexually harasses us. We begin yelling. It will be some time before we stop.
10:55 p.m.: A libertarian klatch, as The Orange County Register's Alan Bock holds court with some YAFers; the Times Orange County's Peter Warren, who won a coveted Orange County Press Club award for his exposť of hundreds of suspicious votes in the original Bob Dornan/Loretta Sanchez contest (large groups of people all registered at the same address; they of course turned out to be such deviants as nuns and Marines), looks dashing in a gray suit and bow tie.
11:20 p.m.: We save Weekly reporter R. Scott Moxley from the awful little man who has cornered him and is talking about how Senate candidate Tom Campbell is so Friedmanesque, at which point our incredibly cultured photographer, Jack Gould, inquires, "Milton Friedman? The father of supply-side economics?" "No, he wasn't!" the little man shouts. "Didn't the Reaganrevolutionaries credit him with being the father of supply-side economics?" Jack persists. "No!" screams the awful little man. We exclaim, "Boys! We have to go to that thing now. You know. That thing. That we have to go to." Once again, we have saved the day.
12:08 a.m.: We have begun stalking reporters. The Times' Warren won't let Kate Dornan, pretty daughter of Bob, hug him. He reluctantly lets her shake his hand. The Register's handsome Martin Wisckol is interviewing someone important named Dick. We sit right down and introduce ourself. May we call him Dick? We may.
12:12 a.m.: Although our mind feels clear, we are losing our motor skills.
12:35 a.m.: Our notes become indecipherable: "Will the elonageadly go down?" We are trying to sober up, but it's difficult because we are still drinking.
1:10 a.m.: A girl in white stretchy capri pants saunters into the lobby. The assorted YAFers, state senators and drunken reporters go simultaneously quiet. She has peed her britches. There is no mistaking the drench pattern, from crotch almost to knees, down the inner thighs. She has not sat in something; she has definitely peed herself, and she does not even tie a sweater around her waist or walk knock-kneed to try to minimize the visible wet area. No. She struts, hips like weapons. We are all impressed.CommieGirl99@hotmail.com. We just want to be loved. Is that so wrong?