Political Theater

The best of the anti-Bush demonstration at St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort & Spa in Dana Point, Aug. 23, 2002

Photo by Jack GouldPresident Bush came to town last week, hoping to accomplish two mutually exclusive goals: raise money for the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Bill Simon and avoid being photographed with the controversial Simon. Outside, about 50 protestors serenaded the attendees. The evening's highlights:

Best hand-drawn sign carried by a teenage punk evoking the spirit of the Situationists and Paris '68: "George Bush: Corporate Whore. Soulless Marionette."

Best chant by a 12-year-old socialist girl over a megaphone: "One, two, three, four/Bush is a corporate whore./Five, six, seven, eight/Enron is his Watergate."

Best group chant directed at already pissed-off Dana Point law enforcement: "Help! Police! He stole the election!"

Best musical accompaniment to above favorite chants: bongo drums.

Best alternative nylon American flag: Adbusters' Old Glory, with regulation stripes and corporate logos for stars.

Best response to the demonstration by a group of tourists going to the St. Regis for cocktails but turned back by pissed-off law enforcement: "We just want drinks, officer."

Best spontaneous group civil disobedience: Lots and lots of parking in no-parking zones—and no tickets.

Best remark by an amused Orange County Register reporter: "There are a lot of incoherent people here."

Best comeback by an amused protester: "More incoherent than Bush foreign policy?"

Best near-death experience: blocked by traffic at the entrance to the St. Regis, a limo-full of attendees in eveningwear exits the vehicle in the middle of the street, nearly getting run over by speeding Mercedes.

Best remark by two 80-year-old lady Democrats dressed like they're in a Dixieland band and turned away from the entrance by really pissed-off law enforcement: "Dictators!"

Best insult directed at the guy who's really running the country: "Cheney is a dick."

Best humorously ironic protester chant: "More golf courses! More SUVs!"

Best humorously ironic and self-deprecating protester chant: "Better chants!"

Best humorously ironic, self-deprecating and better protest chant: "More nature shows!"

Best Libertarian sign: "No war. Free enterprise. Legalize hemp!"

Best insult directed at protesters by a white, male, BMW driver: "This is America!"

Best protester retort: "No, it's Orange County."

Best response to protester "Honk if you're wealthy" chant by self-described presidential employee as she walked across the street into the entrance of the St. Regis to enter losing GOP gubernatorial candidate Bill Simon's South Orange County fund-raiser: "Where did you want us to have it? In a shack in Santa Ana"?

 
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