Today's California Republican Party convention at the Hilton in Anaheim raised an important question: Did the hotel staff distribute potent Ecstasy pills?
Republican elected officials, corporate contributors, lobbyists and activists--many of whom over the years relished if not perfected mean-spirited attacks on almost every imaginable minority for the cheap electoral advantages of yesteryear--are now in rave party, touchy-feely mode.
They're smiling and hugging and hugging and smiling--and telling people they've long held in contempt that they really, deeply love them.
During several press conferences inside the convention, party officials championed--gasp!--diversity.
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Setting aside all those Biblical lines they've employed for eons to justify blatant homophobia, California Republicans are even--so sorry, Pat Robertson--allowing openly homosexual Republicans to meet in their midst during the weekend.
(Like at all Evangelical enterprises, self-loathing homosexuals and gays deep in the closet have always been quietly welcomed by the party, especially if they were major donors and strategists, but that's another story.)
Party officials claim they're not just seeking gay support nowadays, they're practically apologizing for past contempt of all communities that have wrecked the party's presidential chances in recent elections: Latinos, Asians, women and urban voters.
(Dear African Americans: Unless "urban" was code for blacks, you weren't mentioned even once. I should note that young, happy-faced, male Vietnamese Americans--dressed like they're applying for lucrative jobs--easily outnumber Latinos and African American convention goers.)
Given that California's electorate has dwindled to 28 percent Republican and Democrats control every branch of state government, the GOP establishment wants the public to know that, as California Republican Party boss Jim Brulte insisted this afternoon, Republicans are determined to be the big-tent party of diversity and inclusion.
Brulte says his goal is for Republicans to "show up in every neighborhood" in the state and make a case for why people should vote for his party's candidates instead of ignoring or insulting chunks of the population.
"You can't catch the wave if you're not up on the board," said a smiling Brulte in a surfing analogy to winning elections.
Fort Lauderdale's talkative Sharon Day, co-chair of Republican National Committee, was in attendance and passionately added, "We have to go where maybe we were uncomfortable before . . . We need to wake up and reach out to communities."
The publicity theme of this GOP convention is "Rebuilding from the Ground Up."
In a separate press conference, Texas Gov. Rick Perry--who was flanked by at least two, serious-looking, white bodyguards in a substantial entourage--advised California Republicans to watch the "words that they use" when talking about minorities.
"That matters," said Perry, who bragged about how his state's elected officials treat Latinos compared to his fellow conservative politicians in California. "We need to talk about things to bring us together."
The potential 2016 presidential candidate didn't mention any offenders by name, but Orange County's senior, career politician Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) has contemptuously referred to all Latinos as "Pedro" and advocated a federal law that would force even private doctors to lock critically wounded Mexicans outside of hospital emergency rooms rather than offer life-saving medical assistance.
Of course, Rohrabacher--a dope-smoking, Vietnam War dodger, who turned angry chicken hawk after he passed draft age--doesn't really believe such an idea is smart policy. His act is horrible, self-serving Vaudeville. He is one of the Republican Party's major Latino problems because he continually stokes the passions of white bigots in his congressional district merely to insure his re-elections.
Not surprisingly, Rohrabacher--who prefers large quantities of Tequila for his intoxication fuel, diverts campaign contributions to his own bank account and chronically reminds everyone that he knew Ronald Reagan--wasn't around for today's GOP Ecstasy party.
Perry, who is sporting thick black glasses in an apparent move to make him look smarter following his embarrassing 2012 presidential campaign gaffes, is the keynote speaker for tomorrow's evening gala.
Art Laffer, a Reagan White House economic advisor, joined Perry and claimed that, though he thinks highly of California Gov. Jerry Brown, Texas' policies trump the alleged corrupting influences of the Golden State's public employee unions.
As a result, Laffer asserted, poverty is "substantially lower" in Texas.
A proud Perry added that Texas--not Nevada, Arizona or New Mexico--is the primary relocation spot for fleeing Californians.
Something must be terribly wrong with California's environment if residents are willing to abandon Pacific Ocean beauty, he said.
Perry explained that people don't want to live in a "big government" and "nanny state" climate, and prefer a "limited government" jurisdiction like Texas, where economic growth is the norm.
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"Red states are red hot," Perry said about Republican-controlled states. "Everyday citizens are voting with their feet."
Convention festivities are planned for late into the night and resume early on Saturday.