Pasadena-specific blog post alert. Those of you who read proctorformayor.com may be curious about AP’s alignment with the Republican party. Does he really mean it? Yes. Is it logical for a working-class young guy who is interested in politics and a no-BS approach to become a Republican in Pasadena, especially after observing local political machinations? Yes. Is he doing it just to be annoying? No. Does he like it that some people are annoyed? Yes. Does AP have a sense of humor that is best described as “equal opportunity offender”? Yes. Does AP get it right on some of the issues? Yes, that’s why a lot of people read his blog. Should the ARTS buses expand their hours of operation? Yes.
There’s an article in the 2 June 2008 New Yorker entitled “The Dirty Trickster: Campaign tips from the man who has done it all” by Jeffrey Toobin. It’s about Roger Stone, who in his years as a political consultant, “…crossed the line between respectability and ignominy, and has become better known for leading a colorful personal life than for landing bigtime clients.” However, the guy has worked on high-profile campaigns, like George H.W. Bush in 1988, and Bob Dole in 1996 (he was forced to resign due to a sex scandal). Stone was involved in preventing the recount of votes in Miami-Dade County in 2000 (there is “some controversy about his precise role” the article says).
AP is no Roger Stone clone. Stone has a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back. “Women love it,” he says. AP would probably go with a wrestler. After all, there are no graven images of Sid Tyler. (Any photos you may have seen of Sid Tyler are reasonable facsimiles.)
The article helped me understand the historical context for why someone like AP would become a Republican:
“He (Nixon) identified with the people who ate TV dinners, watched Lawrence Welk, and loved their country…
Nixon recognized the effectiveness of anti-elitism—a staple of American campaigns even today—as a core message. “Everybody talks about the Reagan Demorcrats who helped put the Republican Party over the top, but they were really the Nixon Democrats. The exodus of working-class people from the Democratic Party was started by Nixon. The realignment was delayed by Watergate, but it was really Nixon who figured out how to win,” Stone said. “We had a non-elitist message. We were the party of the workingman! We wanted lower taxes for everyone, across the board. They were the party of the Hollywood elite.”
AP identifies with people who like Wendy’s and watch Dr. Who and The Prisoner. AP doesn’t like what he perceives as Pasadena’s “Us up here gotta help them down there while making sure things are stay exactly the same for us up here” attitude. That attitude smacks of snobbery and hypocrisy, and it is an easy target for humorous jabs. If it wasn’t at least partially true, we wouldn’t be reading his blog and laughing.
Still, there are a lot of “up here” people, along with just regular people, who make significant contributions of time, money, or both to make Pasadena a better place. My guess is that AP wouldn’t argue with that, even though most of the people I’m thinking of really loved the film Sideways. Me included.
We were cringing along with Miles, the unpublished writer who wouldn’t stoop to drink merlot, but then showered himself with the winery tasting room’s spit bucket (upon learning that his book is not going to be published). We even turned away from merlot ourselves (for a while…we’ve gone back).
Meanwhile, we were laughing hard at Jack, the guy who popped open a bottle of unrefrigerated, rare champagne in the car when they first hit the road; the guy who charges the golfers on the golf course that hit into Jack and Miles; the guy who, when Miles dismisses a wine that tastes “like the back of an LA school bus,” unapologetically and unpretentiously replies, “Tastes pretty good to me.”