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.)