By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
"Mom," my small buttercup of a son said out of nowhere two weeks ago while we were in the car listening to Randi Rhodes, "I can't wait to meet Howard Dean!" Fuckin' right, you can't, son! That's why when Phil Bacerra, executive director of the Orange County Democratic Foundation, called to tell me with great sadness—and possibly trepidation—that Howard Dean's cocktail meet-and-greet in Santa Ana last Tuesday would be, by order of the DNC, a press-free zone, well, old Phil got just the smallest little piece of my mind.
"Did you tell them?" I screeched. "Did you tell them I am not Tucker Carlson? Did you tell them OC Weekly is really not the same as The Orange County Register? That we are, in fact, the Liberal Media? That we like Howard Dean and think he is fantastic and are in fact big fans of the Fifty State Strategy? Did you tell them that we even know what the Fifty State Strategy is? And that we are fans of it? And that we are not Tucker Carlson?"
Phil had told them. They still said no. And my boy—the only boy in history to tell his mama, "I can't wait to meet Howard Dean!"—was in fact not going to get to meet Howard Dean.
Well, calls were made and folks were browbeat, until one of them cut Solomon's baby in half. My boy and I could attend the reception as guests of the DNC, but it was to remain off the record. I explained that I no longer go off the record, having decided last year (in the wake of watching Angel Adam Kennedy get blown) that it was not my place to mediate truth for the masses. I explained that I am not Tucker Carlson. I explained that after all these years of making fun of local Dems for not doing anything exciting—or anything at all—I would really like to be able to credit them with a fun, fantastic event starring the one-and-only Mr. Governor Dean.
And then, about 20 seconds later, faced with the prospect of not taking my boy to see Howard Dean, I went off the record.
It turns out it's easy trading ethics for access: maybe I'll make a mainstream reporter yet! But first, let me think of something nice to say about President Bush.
It was a lovely party, and the governor was warm and much more patient with the retail-politics meet-and-greet-every-damn-person-there than I would have expected, and he didn't say a single thing that even Tucker Carlson could have twisted into crazy-talk—and I saw Tucker Carlson practically wet his pants two weeks ago because Howard Dean said "Jewish."
Which reminds me of another fricative: Tucker Carlson is such a douche.
* * *
It was a perfect mini-silly season all last week, with just six weeks to go till the all-important June primaries. Monday I'd seen Herr Schwarzenegger—and, rest assured, he saw parts of me—where I'd been cowed into silence by my complete inability to ever be rude, or at least to ever be rude in person. Monday night, having had a few hours to rue my cowardice, I took it out on former Assemblyman Tony Strickland(now running for state controlleragainst our much-loved Joe Dunn) by grilling him during the Q&A at a meeting of the Young Republicans at The Clubhouse. Tuesday was (Don't) Meet the Press with Governor Dean. Wednesday was Muldoon's for the Young Dems with Fightin' Rocky Delgadillo,taking on Jerry Brown in the race for AG. And on Saturday I went to a dinner party at the home of my friends Jon and Deb Webb, where an impromptu presidential straw poll for '08 went two for Joe Biden, one for Russ Feingold (he's the liberalest!) and three for Al Gore, though one of Gore's votes originally went for Eugene V. Debs and only switched to Gore after her point had been made. And that was with me abstaining! So basically, it was really the best dinner party ever, after which I went home and there was Al Gore on SNL, being all dreamy and wry, as a tear trickled down my cheek for the Anti-Hurricane Machines that might have been lo these past six years.
A delightful week! Delightful, I . . . I'm sorry, am I boring you? Would it make you feel better if I said I was drunk?
I don't think I'm supposed to tell you yet, but who am I to mediate the truth or let you stay bored? I was named one of OC's Most Sexiest of All Sexy People by Riviera magazine. Do be sure to pick up the June issue. Now can we get back to those delightful Young Republicans?
* * *
Now, what was Tony Strickland saying? It was a pretty good stump speech, actually, going something like, if I remember correctly, "Lie, lie, lie, lie, lie." The Q&A—oooh, oooh! Pick me!—started out well enough, with someone asking why all these economic "conservatives" want us mired in perpetual debt with the tax cutting and refusing to pay for what we consume. (Personally, someone blames John & Kenand their hard-on for the car-tax rebate, after which nobody could figure out why California is $37 billion in debt.) But it didn't get fun till we started talkin' Supply Side Economics—or "a rising tide lifts all yachts"—which Strickland, being an economic conservative, is for, and someone asked, "Yeah, how's that working out on the federal level?" because someone is hilarious, and then he left pretty quickly after that, and my friend Shawn Fago said sort of wistfully that he wished I hadn't come. Also, I led the flag salute. So Monday was super-fun!