So, what the hell is a ‘Rule Of Law City’ anyway?




It all started in Costa Mesa last month:  “Resolved, this is a Rule of Law City.”  And it’s spreading like wildfire – Orange has just followed suit, and Cypress and Rancho Santa Margarita will be taking the matter up over the coming weeks.  After all, what city doesn’t want to have the “rule of law?”  It’s the biggest fad among OC Republican-dominated City Councils since 2008’s “In God We Trust” craze!

But, ever since I attended Costa Mesa Mayor (and assembly candidate) Allan Mansoor’s initial press conference announcing the idea, I wondered, what does it really mean?  It’s obviously a carefully innocuous phrase that is hard for opponents to find fault with;  it’s intended to contrast with the designation “sanctuary city” which a few more liberal pro-immigrant towns have embraced;  and it cleverly implies the corollary “we don’t want ‘illegals’ here.”  But does it really change any policies;  does it make anything better or worse in any way?

Well, it did get Mayor Mansoor onto FOX News on May 24, where the starstruck mini-demagogue, notoriously inept when speaking without a script, labored mightily to explain the concept to a skeptical Greta Van Susteren.  Greta asked basically the questions I would have:  What is different?  What does this accomplish?  Did anybody ever really think Costa Mesa was a “sanctuary city” to begin with?  And the best Mansoor could muster is that “This sets the tone.”  Here, enjoy some chuckles, as the difficult-on-the-eyes former attorney questions the inarticulate unemployed former cop:

So, Do You Anti-Immigrant Voters Feel Like Chumps Yet?

It “sets the tone.” Like everything Mansoor-type politicians do, this is just another stunt, calculated to get you excited, whip up your support, make you think he’s doing something on your favorite issue.  But it’s not going to lead to any fewer Mexicans in your town;  it’s not going to make one single illegal’s life more uncomfortable if that’s what you want.  And your town, your state, your country, is going to just keep getting more and more Latino and there’s nothing you or Allan Mansoor can do about it.

One thing it will probably accomplish is to help Allan raise more funds for his Assembly race – the Minutemen have always been his most successful fundraisers, and with the FOX News coverage he’s probably pulling in contributions from anti-immigrant forces across the nation.  Whether stunts like this will actually get him more votes in his race against Phu Nguyen is another question, seeing how little immigrant-bashing did for the candidacies of Bill Hunt, Steve Poizner, and Tan Nguyen last week.

If voters of the 68th AD (Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Westminster) are foolish enough to pick this guy as their Assemblyman this November, they will have the least effective representation they’ve ever had.  I’m not just talking about his natural inabilities, but the fact that he’s already managed to alienate most of Sacramento with his immigrant-bashing stunts:  Speaker Pérez will assign Assemblyman Mansoor a broom closet.  (Whereas Phu would be an immediate celebrity.)

You may feel that voting for Mansoor in November would be “sending a message.”  Well, as my friend Gericault has written here, wouldn’t you be better off buying a bumper sticker?

The Clownishness Goes Marching On.

The Orange Council’s chief demagogue John Dumitru says a main reason he introduced the resolution was because the “illegals” add to the town’s budget deficit – a claim so absurd and counterfactual that it inspired Duane Roberts to suggest Orange also name itself a “Ruled By Clowns City.” Quite an apt designation, and I would be happy to join a contingent to the next Orange meeting with that suggestion.  But there are other OC towns lining up for that honor as well – either with Rule of Law resolutions or resolutions supporting Arizona’s draconian SB 1070.  (Orange did a little of both.)

Let’s try to keep this straight:  Rancho Santa Margarita last week declared its support for SB 1070, but stopped short of going full Rule-of-Law (as in Full Retard) – with Mayor Jerry Holloway concerned that “might be overkill.”  They’ll be asking for citizen input on the “issue” at their June 23 meeting.

Cypress, at the urging of their porn-mustachio’d member Phil Luebbe, will be considering tonight – Monday June 14 –  a resolution applauding the Arizona law.  Yorba Linda got there first on June 1, with a resolution by Mayor John Anderson supporting the abomination.  Councilman Jim Winder left that meeting in protest before the item came up, grumbling that it was political in nature, a waste of the city’s time, and “I can’t participate in this.”

I wish the best for sensible dissenters like Winder and Costa Mesa’s Katrina Foley.  If this is anything like 2008’s “In God We Trust” stunt, the attack mailers are already getting printed for the Fall:  “Why is Jim Winder against the Rule of Law?”

To its credit, the Villa Park council laughed off its wingnut member Deborah Pauly‘s resolution supporting the Arizona law, preferring to focus on Villa Park issues.  (Pauly was already notorious for opining on her Facebook page, “Applauding this Health Care Bill is like applauding a mugging or a rape. Do you feel sodomized?”)  Pauly showed up supporting Yorba Linda, proclaiming that she was ashamed of her own fellow councilmembers.

Well, as long as these obnoxious measures are causing no concrete harm, let’s just keep treating them with the contempt and ridicule they deserve, as council after OC council waste the citizens’ time pandering to an ever-shrinking demographic of cranky misanthropes and losers.

Orange’s mighty June 8 anti-immigrant rally!    Photo courtesy of OC Register.

About Vern Nelson

Greatest pianist/composer in Orange County, and official political troubadour of Anaheim and most other OC towns. Regularly makes solo performances, sometimes with his savage-jazz band The Vern Nelson Problem. Reach at, or 714-235-VERN.