A San Francisco political fundraiser with a surprise cameo by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger ended with boos and calls of "you lie!" and "kiss my gay ass."
Which raises the question: Did San Francisco Democrats who razzed the GOP governor give him a well-deserved bashing or sink to a new low in political incivility?
Experts said that the unusual evening of political theater at the Fairmont Hotel Wednesday, punctuated by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano's raucous remarks to the governor, was more than just an eyebrow-raising YouTube moment.
It was a reflection, they said, of the raw anger and frayed nerves in the state capital after a year of devastating budget cuts. It also showed how relations between Democrats, who control both houses of the Legislature, and the GOP governor have deteriorated, with Schwarzenegger threatening to veto hundreds of bills if lawmakers don't agree on a state water plan.
The boos and catcalls were led by SF Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who is, in the modern lexicon, "an outspoken advocate for gay rights." In other words, he's a loudmouthed a**hole who gets to say what he wants because he is "progressive":
Boos broke out, and so did some unprintable epithets from the audience, as the governor took the stage.
Ammiano, the San Francisco politician known for his outspoken humor and progressive leanings, said he happily led the charge with his call of "You lie!" to Schwarzenegger, along with some racy zingers afterward - including telling the governor as he walked out to "kiss my gay ass."
The testy reception was justified, Ammiano said, calling the governor's decision to drop by a Democratic event a "cheap publicity stunt" that didn't come off as humorous to Democrats or labor leaders after he had made devastating cuts to social services, furloughed state workers and failed to act on gay rights issues like HIV/AIDS funding and marriage equality.
Schwarzenegger, in a statement Thursday, seemed ready to move on, saying his reception in San Francisco was "fantastic ... compared to the reaction I got in Hyannis Port when I told the Kennedys I was marrying Maria."