Smug As a Bug in a Rug

Republicans, reporters preen, groom selves at congratulatory LA bash

God bless those wacky old libs on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals!There they were on Monday, getting all jiggy with Bush vs. Gore and doubtless peeing themselves with laughter while mimicking the Supreme Court's words back at 'em like your rotten little brother used to when he was trying to drive you especially nuts.1

Can't you just see Antonin Scalia's face, all frustrated and pissy even more than usual? Me, too!2

Now, assuming the Supreme Court isn't going to step in and bitch-slap the Ninth Circuit—and that is a stupid, stupid thing to assume because they're crotchety, that court!—we'll have six more months of recall.

Me, I've been bored with this whole recall thang—stupid MTV attention span!—ever since all the fringey folks started burrowing back into their mole-men holes. What had been Direct Democracy in Action! and A Historic Opportunity to Get on the Ballot Without Having to Be Vetted and Chosen by Establishment Vetters and Choosers! and That Backyard Sumo Wrestler Guy!became just another exercise in The Man gettin' us down about the same time we stopped hearing from Larry Flynt—a man who knows a little something about The Man, by the way, and a little something about getting down. And by then, of course, Democratic Insurance Commissioner John Garamendi had long since dropped out—one day after he got in, in fact—because all the Dems in charge had already decided for the rest of us that Cruz "Hmmm, What Rhymes With Cruz?" Bustamante was to nobly bear our standard. Simon and Ueberroth, too.

Hasta labye-bye.

Right. So. Before all that happened with the court and the election and stuff? Say, around about last weekend? The Republicans threw a party. Bummer about the timing, huh?

Now, I love a good party. I especially love a good Republican party because you never know when someone's going to order a $128 bottle of wine and then send it back, and that kind of chutzpah, frankly, is thrilling to see. (Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose/In our streak-of-lightnin' cars and fancy clothes/ But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back/Up front there oughtta be a Man In Black.) Also, you could very well get an aged Angus steak dinner out of the whole thing. Mmmm, bribes!

This time, with all the hoopla, it wouldn't just be the same wild-eyed Eagle Forum nut ladies roaming the convention halls and breathlessly proselytizing at ya that he who has The Lord has life while he who has not the Lord has not life—and the nut ladies really are the reason, besides the steaks and the bribes, that I love the Republican conventions. (I wear the black for those who never read/Or listened to the words that Jesus said/About the road to happiness through love and charity/ Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.)

No, this time, there'd be fancy people there, drinking drinks and gladhanding and bullying the California Republican Party minions who were trying to keep the press and their press passes parted. RepCon03 at the LAX Marriott was full of big fancy reporters, reporting! For you! And those minions didn't know who they were messing with! Especially when they messed with me! Sitting cozily in the lobby, interviewing folks such as Newport Assemblyman John Campbell, were such folks as OC Press Club jefe Jean Pasco, and interviewing Sherry Bebitch Jeffe was every other reporter in the whole damn world ever. LA Timescolumnista Pat Morrison wore a big pink hat and charmed people while hanging in a group that included the Times' Mark Z. Babar . . . Barabak . . . Mark Zee.

In the press lounge, a wondrous place of overstuffed couches and obscenely juicy pineapple, the Weekly Standard's Christopher Caldwell stood around awkwardly as NPR's Ina Jaffe coffee-klatsched with her cool, important, middle-aged-lady friends, including Sherry Jeffe. God, I wanted to be them bad!

Mostly, we drank, gladhanded and bullied. But it wasn't all fun and games! We also wandered lonely as a cloud and tried to avoid the hatchet glares of the Associated Press' cute-'n'-freckled Erica Werner, who thinks we are a chippie and who won't be coffee-klatsching with us any time soon. Eh, she's probably right.

But I'll tell you this: Erica Werner doesn't get to hang out and be friends with Alan Bock, who's, like, The Orange County Register's evil, pulsing, disembodied brain!

And I totally do!

Be sure to check out Bock's books on the Drug War and Ruby Ridge. (If you run into him, ask him; he often carries them with him!) Also, he's got one from the '60s on, like, Bob Dylan or some other dirty-hippy subject from back before he realized he was a libertarian. Were there others out there like him? Was he the only one who felt this way?It was the politics that dared not speak its name. . . .

We drank, we gladhanded, we listened to various Young Americans for Freedom recount to us all the ways they'd hilariously screwed with the minds of the party's moderates. "You talk freedom, baby," said one, "you're talking Republican girls!"

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