Came to your party/ drank all your beer/ we’re a bad trip. —Camper Van Beethoven
By now, we are well familiar with the splendid machinations of the Tea Party. This well-publicized movement of fear and hatred that has co-opted their attention-grabbing demonstration theater straight out of a UC Santa Cruz protest manual, has managed to strike the fear of Darwin into every good-hearted believer of freedom and democracy.
Obama is finally striking back against these purveyors of insanity, and so should we. Which is why it’s time for a wholly different protest party. Tea and coffee are already spoken for. Herbal tea is nice, but maybe too nice. Wine would be good, but liberals have already been accused of elitism which is Republican speak for smart. Water, though entirely necessary to our survival, is simply no fun unless you’re naked and splashing in it. So we’re left with little choice but beer. Oh well …
You might say this is counterproductive. What will get done in the inebriated haze of a six-pack consumed on a warm afternoon in the sun whilst conducting our meetings and motivations? A lot it turns out. This good nation began with beer and cider, not the colonial stimulation of coffee and tea. Our founding fathers, the wig-wearing dudes who the Tea Party misappropriates as their own, no doubt gained fortitude and subterfuge from the good buzz of beer. So we’re taking them back. You want to write a good manifesto, a constitution and a bill of rights against your oppressors like they did? Drink some beer. Works almost every time. I’m drinking one now.
As beer drinkers, we loathe acronyms as much as the next person, and, for the life of us, can’t remember what T.E.A stands for. But here’s one anyway: B.E.E.R Benevolent Euphoria, Exemplary Realism. Besides having a nice ring to it, I think this sums up the spirit, if not the idealism, of the movement. Additionally, mixing pleasure with practicality has always struck us as something good and true. All of this becomes self-evident on the third or fourth beer. We promise.
Nonetheless, let’s wade out into the proverbial fields of hops and barley and see where we can go with this. See if this movement can spread like yeast across this great, fractured land of ours. Because if we don’t, “yes we can” will turn into “no we didn’t.” And then we’ll be forced at gunpoint by these so-called Tea Party patriots to start a Vodka Party and that would be way too totalitarian for our tastes. The Tea Party already thinks we’re a bunch of socialistic commies, which couldn’t be further from the truth.
So, without further ado, here’s a veritable six-pack of the Beer Party’s manifests for your kind consideration. If you would like to join us, we’re the ones drinking beer. Can’t miss us.
Beer One: Whereas this great nation stands at the cusp of greatness, we will not drink our beer lying down while an army of tea-drinking nitwits wills America to failure. Well, that, and the fact that drinking beer lying down gives you bad gas. We want to give voice to the people who believe this country is headed in the right direction. People who believe in democracy and the right of all to pursue happiness—even if the only happiness they can find is in a can of Bud. Yes, we are disappointed that we still wage two wars; that Guatanamo continues to hold and torture prisoners; that the health care bill has the strength and taste of a can of Miller Lite. But we will not let disappointment disappoint us for we believe in solutions, believe that if we work together instead of squabble, we can achieve great things.
Beer Two: Despite appearance, we will not sit idly by in bars, pubs and backyards and let this great moment in history be squandered. As soon as we finish these beers we will rise up and seize this great opportunity.
Beer Three: By our own admission, now we are a bit muddy in thought. Time to humble ourselves in the face of this great enormity. What exactly did we think? That Obama could save our souls in one year? It was a lot to ask. Let us not now succumb to nautical metaphors, but Obama has already righted this American ship. Though it still leaks from the holes blasted by Bush, we have begun to move toward calmer ports despite being dragged asunder by Republican nincompoops, whose limited vocabulary consists of the word “no,” and spineless Democrats who worry most about their political ratings. This is all normal as we embrace the last sips of beer before popping open another.
Beer Four: We are optimistic, especially with almost a liter of beer sloshing about our growing belly. The economy shows signs of improvements, people are buying homes again and jobs are being created. The sun shines on ever more solar panels and winds blow through many a turbine from sea to shining sea. It’ll take a while (refer back to Beer Three) but we’ll get out of this alive. It’s time, then, to spread the word of our newfound optimism because the economy depends on it.
Beer Five: “I love you, man.” We need more love. We really do. We, the Beer Party think that the only way for this country to come together is to love each other like good drinking partners. This doesn’t mean we can’t disagree. Nor does it mean we must learn to love Sarah Palin and all her ilk—even with beer goggles on. But spirited debate is a good thing most of the time. We agree, sometimes demand, that we should be civil and not succumb to bar brawls even though we would like to strangle most Republicans (and the mean-sprited Tea Party they so wholly embrace) with their own power ties. Example: A few weeks ago at a Tea Party rally in Ohio, a man with Parkinson’s disease sat on the ground. A Tea Party member leaned over and said, “If you’re looking for a handout, you’re on the wrong side of town.” We would never do this. Instead, we would buy him a beer and take up a collection to help with his illness until universal health care kicks in.
Beer Six: As one who discreetly possesses a stainless steel liver, I’ll be the first to admit that moderation is never easy. But when it comes to politics—when it comes to this highly divided nation—moderation is in short supply. Time for the Tea Party to tone down the rhetoric, the emotional outbursts and simply chill out and drink a beer. Their tea is too strong. This would go a long way toward being a peaceful nation again. Besides, anyone who’s managed to drink six beers is going to see the light, see that universal health care will not ruin this country, that Obama could hardly be categorized as a socialist, that gay people aren’t weirdo creeps intent on destroying the moral fabric, that taxes pay for a lot of good stuff too like roads, education and firemen. That’s moderation at its best.
It is also time for another beer run. Cheers.
(Toss one back at this year’s Best Brewery winner, Seabright Brewery.)