Adam Schiff comes to Orange!

This is not an anti-Adam post. You’re gonna vote for who you’re gonna vote for, based partly on the personality you were born with. In any case, any of the top three Democrats – Schiff, Porter or Lee – will be a great improvement over Dianne Feinstein.

I went to see Adam yesterday morning at one of those union halls on Chapman where establishment Democrats do their things. I went out of curiosity to see the guy who has a better-than-even shot at being our next Senator, and hoping to ask him some questions, which I wasn’t able to. Well, I did, but got no answers. I did record his whole speech, and the introductory speeches, on Facebook Live, which you can see here for the next 30 days:

I also wondered who’d be there. I only knew two or three folks in the audience, apart from the elected officials who took the stage to introduce him and sing his praises: State Senator Tom Umberg, Congressman Mike Levin, the Lowenthal father & son (retired Congressman and current Assemblyman), Assemblyman Avelino Valencia & Anaheim Mayor Ashleigh Aitken. A few of them seem (Umberg and the Lowenthals) seem to have known Adam for decades. But many usually attention-seeking OC Democrats were notable by their absence.

I said to myself, “These are the ones who didn’t make a deal with Katie Porter. And the ones who aren’t progressives who love Barbara Lee, like Supervisor Sarmiento and … Supervisor Sarmiento.” And these are the ones who are likely to have a good relationship with the likely next Senator from California

I was a little disappointed with Adam’s speech, which he read off of pages – every other politician up there is real good at extemporizing at length. (I remember Eric Swalwell saying Adam is the funniest guy in Congress, so I was at least hoping for some good jokes, but we only got one old stale one about Stormy Daniels.)

Adam did, predictably, spend time attacking Steve Garvey, who will never be Senator, as some looming menace to democracy. Of course he’s been doing that for months, “going into general election mode,” as a way of marginalizing Katie and Barbara so he won’t have to face another Democrat in November and may as well be crowned Senator on Tuesday.

Here at the Orange Juice WE DON’T LIKE THAT. We think the people of California deserve a debate, and a choice, between establishment Democrat Adam and a progressive like Katie. The Dem establishment wants to keep Katie down below Garvey so they don’t have to spend money and worry on a D-vs-D race, but they’re wrong – a November Adam-Katie battle will drive Democrats to the polls and be healthy for democracy!

Here at the Orange Juice Blog, we are recommending a vote for Barbara Lee in the short-term race and Katie for full term.

Gaza Verboten.

It’s well-known that Adam is the most Israel-friendly of the leading Democrats (although he says he supports a two-state solution) and unlike Katie and Barbara he has not called for a ceasefire in Gaza. And that’s why there were protesters or hecklers at the event, who at two-minute intervals shouted out about the killings and the starvation Israel is raining on Palestinians every day.

And each time a heckler shouted, the entire crowd drowned him or her out with shouts of “A-DAM! A-DAM!” (which I thought was creepy and totalitarian) and Adam went on obliviously reading his script, drowned out by both hecklers and crowd. How cool would it have been if he even once went off script and responded to the hecklers’ concerns? Not his style apparently.

The whole thing was very orchestrated. I tried raising my hand to ask Adam politely to at least comment on the situation in Gaza, but it was not that kind of event. Then I waited patiently in the photo line (while having a nice conversation with Avelino actually) but when I got to the front and asked Adam about Gaza to his face his eyes grew huge (as they do) and he said “I can’t comment on that in a photo line.” So I waited around for him to be done with ALL his photos, and then he was whisked away and his guardians told me “You have to leave now.”

So I ended up hanging out outside with the pro-Palestinian protesters. I was the only attendee from inside who ended up on the sidewalk with the justice warriors. Story of my life. I’m working now on a ceasefire resolution for my Anaheim Democrats Club, something I promised a few Arab friends I would do. And that’s my story of Saturday morning and I’m sticking with it!

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.