The Party's Over
Our R. Scott Moxley reports that, by the end of the night at the Hyatt Regency Irvine, the older Republicans in the room showed on their faces exactly what they felt: worry, frustration, indignation. But the Young Republican types in their 20s and 30s were not missing a beat--or a drop of hooch--as they had a ball like it was any other chance to party.
By the way, Moxley--who has been covering these GOP monster truck pulls since 1994--would like to readjust his crowd figures. In an earlier post, he estimated that the crowd was a tenth of the size of previous victory parties. Actually, by the end of the night, he dialed that down to a 20th of the size.
Oh well--just means more to drink for the OC GOP bro's! Woo-hoo, par-tay!
Out to throw some cold water on all the revelry was OC Republican vice-chairmuffin Jo Ellen Allen, who took to the podium to say that the GOP losses on the national level were an indication that Congress had spent more money than it should have "so perhaps what happened tonight is a good thing. All of this bodes well for the country."
What the hell has she been drinking?
Allen then led everyone in a long-winded prayer--you could just picture the young Repubs eying the melting ice in their drinks, wondering when they'd be turned loose. She concluded by blathering on about the importance of fighting for the freedom of the people in Iraq and Iran and the rest of the Middle East.
Jeeezuz Christ, what about the freedom of the people in this room; that Seven and Coke cost $7, woman!
Next up was chairman of the party Scott "Slime" Baugh, who tried to introduce Lynn Daucher--the presumed winner of the central county state senate race against Supervisor (and Democrat) Lou Correa. But Daucher was nowhere to be found, causing an embarrassing pause before Baugh switched gears and brought up the head of the Republican voter guide (uh . . . who?) to lead the Pledge of Allegiance.
Raise those glasses, boyos!
Perhaps worrying about losing the room like fellow Republican congressmen were losing the House, Baugh shifted into hack-y stand-up comedian mode, wisecracking about people named Nguyen (pronounced "win") losing all over the place.
The good news, Baugh said, was the GOP was apparently hanging onto the Senate (not quite true -ed.) and he complained that the media had reported that his party lost that chamber a long time ago. Baugh also called Democrats "dastardly tax increasers" and offered a message of hope: "I'm not sure it's bad if we spend a couple of years on the edge of the wilderness. We need to recapture the conservative base, we need to become more conservative to take everything back in 2008."
Behind a backdrop of red, white and blue balloons and more than a half dozen American flags, Papa Dana Rohrabacher emerged to talk his faithful off the ledge.
"Don't worry. Be cool. Everything is fine. Our cause will prevail."
And then, unbelievably, the congressman took a cell phone call--RIGHT THERE ON THE STAGE!
Returning to his speech, he mentioned Lord of Conservatism Barry Goldwater and how everyone in the room (and his party) should learn from Barry's example (what? Defend gay people and a woman's right to choose? Prolly not.)
"The American public will get a taste of what these liberals have in store for us," Rohrabacher bellowed. He credited that brand of liberalism which caused the 1994 Republican revolution and, before that, the election of Ronald Reagan as president.
"I don't care what Democrats do, we are the patriots," he said. "I have no doubt that two years from now we will come back stronger, and we will take back the Congress and we will elect a Republican president of the United States. Don't despair. This is how we work. Stay strong."
And the crowd went nuts.
Congressman John Campbell (R-Newport Beach) said, "the American people don't want higher taxes, illegal immigration, to lose the war on terror. The good news is the people of the United States will see what Nancy Pelosi [the incoming Speaker of the House] stands for."
Jim Silva, the apparent winner in his race for the Huntington Beach-area Assembly seat, gave this direct quote, which Moxley ultimately gave up on:
"In OC, uh, I'm, uh, looking for, uh, to, uh, working, uh . . . uh. ..."
We're not paying Moxley enough.
Congressman Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) vowed that Democrats are "going to force tax increases on the American people, and tax cuts are what increases American tax coffers."
He continued with some policy babble before launching into his own Nancy Pelosi rant, complaining that "she does not recognize that we are in a war on terror."
Really? It's been in all the papers.
Royce was also concerned, cryptically, that "Democrats are leakers of information on national security," and that they will "make sure we have open borders with Mexico."
That drew loud boos from the peanut gallery.
Baugh returned to talk about "the most important Orange County race": Daucher vs. Correa, which the early returns were giving to Daucher quite handily. (and which ended up tied 50/50 -ed.)
"The Democrats believe they own central Orange County, and they believe they own the ethnic voting block there. We know we will never concede that ground."
Daucher--finally present--then rose, clad in a Levi's jacket and short-cropped hair that would make her the perfect extra for a lesbian bar scene. She credited "Team Tran"--fellow Republican Assembly candidate Van Tran's get-out-the-vote operation--with getting her elected. She then ungraciously blasted her opponent Correa, accusing his campaign of dirty tricks, and also credited state party chieftain Dick Ackerman. Finally, before even having her election certified, let alone being sworn in, Daucher went after a higher target.
"My campaign showed how to win Mexican and Vietnamese votes. Thank you. . . . Bye-bye, Loretta."
For those not playing at home, that would be Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Garden Grove), who seems to have cruised to an easy victory.
Alan Mansoor was upbeat and very happy as he seemed to be sewing up his re-election to the Costa Mesa City Council despite his championing a divisive immigration law that drew national attention. Several people came up to Mansoor during the evening to say that no matter what happens on the federal level, at least he has things under control in Costa Mesa.
Indeed, in their chit-chats with one another in the crowd, local Republicans recognized that the scandals swirling around Mark Foley, Jack Abramoff and Duke Cunningham came back to bite them in the butt this election.
"It wasn't that the Democrats won this, we lost by our own actions," was how one summed it up.
By 11:47 p.m., the huge banner saying "America's Most Republican County" was being taken down . . . by a Latino immigrant in a Hyatt Regency uniform.