He goes on to explain that even his aunt deleted him off MySpace—and that he’s been alienated by many family members because of his dedication to No on 8. Cirilo punctuates his story with a couple of fist pounds to the bar.

9:34 p.m.: Boos resound as the local news announces that Prop. 8 is coming in at 54 percent yes to 46 percent no, with 22 percent of total state votes in.

10:15 p.m.: Cirilo screams, “I HOPE YOU HAVE A GAY BABY!” at a woman holding a child being interviewed at the Irvine Republican gathering on the local news.

Aaron Cirilo, left, and Alex Friend toast the new prez with Obama Bombers
Beth Stirnaman
Aaron Cirilo, left, and Alex Friend toast the new prez with Obama Bombers

10:30 p.m.: John Mullins, 29, of Los Angeles, has pretty much given up hope, even though the results aren’t all in for Prop. 8. “It’s bittersweet,” he says. “I mean, it’s a great night for the nation, but it’s a really sad night for California.”

11:01 p.m.: Cirilo comes by again and lets me know they just did another round of Obama Bomber shots (courtesy of Felix the bartender), which consists of a shot of whipped cream, Malibu rum, orange juice and Blue Curacao that’s then dropped into a glass of 7-Up. Try it at your next gathering!

11:38 p.m.: The bar’s starting to clear out—and it’s about quitting time for me, too. California’s now at 52.5 percent yes, 47.5 percent no, with 46.8 percent of precincts reporting. Bummer. (VC)

Not long after Obama’s acceptance speech, Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove) is doing the shimmy-shimmy and high-fiving black guys on the dance floor of Sutra Lounge in Costa Mesa. Patricia Arquette has just announced there’s a press person here from Dubai; an old Vietnamese couple is bumpin’ to the “Obama Obama” A Milli remix, and Jason “Wee-Man” Acuña (of Jackass fame) says to me, after inhaling a big dose of oversized election-night-balloon helium, “It’s going fucking awesome!”

That’s how important everyone feels at the drunken-hot-spot-club-party masquerading as the Democratic election-night celebration. For a lot of the evening, gobs of Democrats with teeny “I Voted” stickers on their sweaters spill drinks on one another as they stand very close together at two different entrances, waiting to get into the party. During Obama’s acceptance speech, Wee Man’s friend almost gets into a fight with someone who apparently pushed him. Leave it to alcohol to collapse the politics of unity.

You could hear it earlier, after Obama’s speech ended, after Loretta Sanchez took the stage, and you can hear it now: a collective, drunken sigh of relief. Not surprisingly, Sanchez and state Assemblyman Jose Solorio won. Debbie Cook came not quite as close as everyone may have hoped to beating Rohrabacher, but thousands of new Democrats have been registered in the county, while only a handful of new Republicans were registered.

Late in the evening, a young Vietnamese television reporter interviews Solorio about the ascendancy of the country’s first black president. Near him, a few young voters with “Vietnamese Voters for Obama” signs giggle and take pictures. Solorio says something about it being time for a president like Obama. On the TV screens behind him, almost paradoxically, the numbers supporting Prop. 8 keep climbing.

At around 1 a.m., the “Obama Obama” remix booms for the fifth time, and cheers of “Yes, we did!” echo from the balconies. Congressional candidate Steve Young waddles out of the club with his wife. Silent TV screens flash images of Obama in front of about a million people in Chicago. In California, it was looking more and more like Prop. 8 was going to pass, but except for the occasional brow-furrowing in front of the TV, there wasn’t much fretting over the news. Obama’s victory was more than enough to keep this crowd partying.

Perhaps it hit Democrats like a bad hangover on Wednesday that the country had taken one huge step forward while the state took one huge step back. (DJA)

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