Maryland Blogger Alliance

Alliance FAQs

Latest MBA Posts

October 24, 2004

Posing as a Republican in Los Angeles

Richard Rushfield, "a Los Angeles based journalist," has an amusing piece in Slate, in which he describes the reaction in "blue" California when he poses as a Republican in full battle regalia ("T-shirt, campaign button, and tote bag"). Rushfield first tries posing as a Democrat in Republican Newport Beach but has little to report after four days. Once he switches to Republican gear and hangs out in Silverlake in Los Angeles, he has a more interesting experience.

Dressed to impress in my Bush-Cheney T-shirt, tote bag, and "W." button, I first stop at Silverlake's Über-cafe, the Coffee Table. "The Table," as it is known, is the daytime HQ for the area's writing community—the bed-headed brigades of aspiring indie auteurs who hunch over their laptops, whispering pitches back and forth like state secrets. I stand in line for a soda; my T-shirt first makes contact with the locals as the server, a rather prim-looking Asian-American man, double-takes at my unabashedly partisan display, his smile freezing into a look I can only describe as bracing for me to pull out an assault weapon and open fire. I order, pay, and walk with my Diet Coke through the restaurant, taking a seat on the patio that puts me and my garb on prominent display for the 20 or so patrons. A wave of distressed glances ripples in my direction, but I remain unmolested. Yet as I finish my soda, two hipsters saunter past. One of them, untucked shirt hanging over his jeans, gapes at my shirt and mutters, "Asshole," only slightly under his breath.
He next encounters a Latino Bush supporter in another cafe. The man freaks out the patrons by raising his fist and yelling, "Viva, Bush!"

In Brentwood, he almost ruins a 6-year-old's day:
Dining nearby is a young girl who looks to be about 6-years-old; she gazes at my shirt with a look so forlorn, I expect to learn that Dick Cheney just stole her crayons. Her mother arrives and gives her a hug of consolation. The girl starts to talk, but I can only make out "Bush shirt," which she says to her mother as she points my way. The mother turns and glares, shaking her head at me. I start to wonder what sort of person I am to inflict this on a poor child.
Rushfield leaves us with this question:

Reflecting on the sting of being called "asshole" during my travels through Blue America, I wonder: If I were truly a Bush supporter, how long would I be able to endure a life filled with epithets before I gave up on the shirt?
(Link via VikingPundit.)