Phu Punks Pandering, Preening Mansoor.


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  • to pander (politically) v.i. – to attempt to win support from a group of voters by meaningless gestures and/or telling them exactly what you think they want to hear.
  • to preen, v.i. – to swell with pride; gloat or exult.
  • to punk, v.t. – to orchestrate a successful prank.

Clueless at the Tet Festival

When Mayor & Assembly candidate Allan Mansoor read through Mike Reicher’s Daily Pilot profile of him Monday, and came to the passage where it was worried he “hasn’t reached out to the Vietnamese community,” he must have smiled quietly to himself, because he knew he had something up his sleeve for the following night!

It had been in the works for a while, but he wasn’t going to make it public until the last moment:  He was going to honor South Vietnamese veterans of the War against Communism, by naming June 19  “the Day of Remembrance for Overseas Vietnamese Veterans of the Republic of South Vietnam.”  Just the kind of gesture that always works for Allan.  And it sure wouldn’t do to have his opponent Phu Nguyen find out and show up!

Throughout the meeting Allan’s behavior was erratic;  he kept getting up and leaving without explanation, leaving the rest of the council to make awkward 2-2 votes.  When he returned, one hour into the 4-hour meeting, he requested to move up his Viet resolution from the end of the meeting where it had been scheduled and do it immediately.  Then as soon as the formalities were over he called a ten-minute break and jumped out into the audience to get his picture taken with the vets.

I understand that when Phu stuck out his hand to shake and thanked him for honoring his countrymen, Allan looked like he had swallowed a hummingbird – he couldn’t look Phu in the eye.  Really, how could he think Phu wouldn’t know about this – he grew up with all these people.  So Allan had to resign himself to including his opponent in his big Vietnamese group-hug shots.  (And then went on to behave even more erratically later in the meeting, as we’ll discuss in a different post soon!)

South Vietnamese Veterans and the Vietnamese Federation of Southern California,
with Allan Mansoor 4th from left, and Phu Nguyen far right.

For the journalists present, Phu’s surprise appearance gave the whole proceeding an interesting twist, and the only press to come out of the whole event was a snarky Daily Pilot piece titled “For the Cause, or the Votes?“  Mike Reicher and Mona Shadia were sure to note that Mansoor had chosen to honor these veterans “more than 35 years after the Fall of Saigon … and less than two months until the state Assembly election, in a heavily Vietnamese district.”

And they were sure to snag some Phu gems:  “I think it’s flat-out pandering to the Vietnamese community – He knows he needs to get some Vietnamese votes away from me … I know a lot of the people here and they are my supporters.  On the other hand, we appreciate any city that wants to honor our servicemen and women.”

Viets I spoke with afterward were less charitable.  “This isn’t going to change anyone’s mind,” I was told, “Whoever was going to vote for Phu is still gonna vote for Phu and whoever was going to vote Republican is still gonna do that.  But you get the feeling Mayor Mansoor thinks we’re stupid.  We all know what he’s trying to do.

It Does Get More F-d Up.

Viet Vets in Costa Mesa

It turns out the date Mansoor chose is a matter of controversy in the Viet community, as the Bolsavik explained in a typically great diatribe last night.  It’s true that the South Vietnamese have long considered Juneteenth as their “Armed Forces Day.”  But it’s actually the anniversary of the 1965 military coup and the final end of democratic rule on the peninsula, so even though many military men remember that date proudly, younger and more democratically-minded Viets have much more mixed feelings about the date.

For what that’s worth.

From the Bolsavik’s famously lively comments section:

VIET PRIDE says:

What I would like to know is who initiated this resolution? We got a bunch of dumb ass in Costa Mesa that thinks they KNOW what we want. I am assuming they are waiting for the Viet community to show our appreciation… Nguyen Cao Ky is a disgrace to the Vietnamese community, young and old. Now the idiots in Costa Mesa wants to honor these crooks that came to power by organizing a coup?

does any one know the mayor over there? Please call him if you do and ask whose advising him on this? ANDY QUACK the drunk, DINA THE CROOK (SLUT, DRUG DEALER, HOPE WRECKER or whatever floats your boat) or VAN TRAN whose wife was charged with insurance fraud?

Tiff T says:

this hilarious! Everything seems to happen right around election time doesn’t it? Just like DUMB DINA and her boy toy Andy Quack the DRUNK, since her miserable attempt at the supervisorial seat 2 years ago, they were no where to seen in the community, just months before the election and NOW we see the two lovebirds team up once more to get their face back in the news. By calling for the community to help them feed the homeless!!! WHAT A JOKE!!! Who do these two think they are fooling?

VIET PRIDE says:

I just did some research, Allan Mansoor the mayor of Costa Mesa is currently running for State Assembly. Its safe to assume he’s doing this to get the Viet’s votes, unfortunately, this STUPID MISTAKE will actually cost him some serious votes.

He acts like Trannies to me…. if they look like a trannies, acts like a trannies, they must be a trannies!!!

arthur Tran says:

THE COUNCIL MEMBERS OF COSTA MESA FAILED TO CHECK THE FACTS!!!THEY ARE HONORING A MILITARY COUP!!!

THEY WILL SOON FIND OUT HOW THE VIETNAMESE COMMUNITY FEELS ABOUT THEM HONORING A MILITARY COUP. NO DIFFERENCE THAN HONORING NGUYEN CAO KY OR THIEU.

Bo May says:

Thieu, Ky, Diem, Minh, Giap, Duong….are the old war relics.

They are gone, their times were way past midnight. I have no grudge nor pride to hang their names on. After all it was the past of a cursed history.

Old viet folks in the US should let it go, their children don’t care much about this vague date of an unknown history and naturally so.

I would commemorate the no name soldiers who have died on the battlefield with my own conscience in my own private moment of reflection.

Let it go folks, you are in America now. Be well.

[photos #2 & 3 thanks to Bolsavik, #1 thanks to Art]


About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist in Orange County. Performs regularly with his savage-jazz quintet The Vern Nelson Problem, and at regular concerts at the Huntington Beach Central Library.