09/18/2008 05:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Notes From The Trenches: Drive-By Orange County Democrat Wars

The summer has been typical on the Gold Coast of Orange County, California, the most maroon of red counties in the nation. The languid Pacific Ocean has seemed to reflect the leisurely pace of the 2008 Presidential Campaign.

In the cradle of the John Birch Society, the Minutemen and in the starting line of Richard Nixon's political career, something is truly amiss. In an informal bumper-sticker survey at the affluent conservative crossroads in this sun-drenched make-believe bastion of gratification, the Bush-Cheney 2004 bumper stickers outnumber the McCain 2008 fly-paper by a ratio of 500 to 1. We have counted in three months over 300 Obamas, no left-over Clintons and 6 McCains! Is this an ominous omen? A portentous predictor? An under-reported undercurrent? Or merely meaningless?

We stopped in front of a Target a month ago to see what was up at a Democratic Party registration table. Behind the table sat three harried and frightened Obama folks and one Clinton supporter. Confronting them, we guessed, were eight or ten OC matrons and Jennifers from the far-right of the political spectrum, veins in their tanned necks bulging with rage. We had parked to get a better sense of the combat. Man, were we wrong: it was a pack of Clintonistas conducting a take-no-prisoners Russian invasion-style aggressive diatribe against the Obama folks, especially the two women behind the registration table. In the spit-fest, the words "traitors" and "bitches" seemed to have garnered some adjectival magic for the screecthers. The crowd of some thirty or so seemed to be almost pornographically excited at this one-sided "girl-fight." As the agitators hurled their invectives, the crowd (mostly delighted Repubs, we suspected) watched and the victims sat back close to tears, quietly begging for "party unity." As we left we wondered how many more concessions, short of the nomination, the losers would extort from the Obama camp before harmony, like the crescendo of the Overture of 1812, would begin to attenuate the cacophony of Hillary's rabble.