A Nation Divided!

by Jimmy Akin

in Current Affairs

Hey, Tim Jones here.

The Beer Summit is upon us, and much as I have tried to avoid
reading very much into this hastily manufactured CYA photo-op (where's
Rodney King? Can't we all just get along?), I can't help but notice the
deep and sobering fractures in our society that are revealed in the
beer choices of President Obama, Professor Gates and Sgt. Crowley.

Let me elucidate:

Is it a surprise to find the President choosing Bud Light, the most popular beer in America?
On the contrary, it would have been a shock had he chosen anything
else. Undoubtedly the product of fevered consultation and nail-biting
among the president's advisers, and bolstered by some last-minute focus
group data. To choose a beer with any real, determinate character might
have been to risk alienating some other beer demographic… so, as he
has done since the earliest days of his candidacy, Mr. Obama has chosen
the path that is the safest politically, and that reveals the least
about himself. As I have said before, Bud Light tastes as much like nothing as beer can.

Professor Gates, on the other hand, has boldly chosen Red Stripe, the beer of Liberation from White Oppressors. Think I'm exaggerating? The Red Stripe web site trumpets;

The birth of Red Stripe would later be considered a milestone in
Jamaican history. When the island gained independence from Britain in
1962, a columnist for The Daily Gleaner wrote "the real date of
independence should have been 1928, when we established our self
respect and self confidence through the production of a beer far beyond
the capacity of mere Colonial dependants.

that, Christopher Columbus! I tried Red Stripe a year ago, or so, and
found it remarkably unremarkable (it tastes a lot like any American
mass-market brew) and a good deal too expensive, to boot. Cool bottle,

Sergeant Crowley, of the Cambridge Police Department, has
chosen Blue Moon, a mass-market brew from Coors, coyly and carefully
marketed as a "craft" brew. The third best-selling "craft beer" in
America, right below Sam Adams Boston Lager (which is getting into some
big numbers).

An unfiltered, multi-grain Belgian style beer,
lightly flavored with orange and coriander, it is a tolerable brew,
more substantial than Red Stripe, but still tame enough to be welcome
at any back yard barbecue. Your craft beer friends will still respect
you, and your Lite-weight friends – unaccustomed to beers with a
distinct flavor and color -  will (mostly) not make cringe-y faces and
say things like, "Thanks… now, do you have any beer? This tastes like
swamp water and Earl Grey filtered through a gym sock.". It walks the
line between two worlds, that of the Trousered Ape and the Craft Beer
Snob. The choice doesn't exactly peg Sergeant Crowley as a Complex Man,
but he has chosen the best beer of the three, for my money.

we all sit by as the fate of the free world hangs in the balance. What
if there are fisticuffs? Will professor Gates pound his shoe on the
table? What if it is just an awkward and embarrassing twenty minutes of
forced smalltalk? Will Obama have some (carefully planned and
professionally written) one-liners on hand to break the ice? If all
goes well, will they stand together out by the fence in the back alley
behind the White House and say "Yup" in turn, like they do on King of the Hill?

That would be sweet.

(Lovingly cross-posted, for double your blogging pleasure at Tim Jones' blog, Old World Swine)

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Nicholas Jagneaux July 30, 2009 at 10:27 am

Sgt. Crowely has undoubtedly chosen the best of the three beers.
Because he likes that particular beer, I recommend to him (if he reads this blog) that he give Abita beers a try. Abita makes a wonderful harvest beer flavored with Louisiana satsumas that is very much better than the Blue Moon.
Actually, anything that Abita makes is great. It’s one of the best micro-breweries in the US.

paul f July 30, 2009 at 2:09 pm

I think I’m starting to figure out how Jesus felt when he went into the temple knocking stuff over. This guy, with this one invitation, has finally turned the White House into a den of stupidity–a symbol of everything about politics that makes thinking people cringe.
Ugh. I hope some tables get flipped over.

Ben Anderson July 30, 2009 at 5:43 pm

definitely should’ve went with genny cream ale:

Foxfier July 30, 2009 at 6:31 pm

Given the big deal about Crowley and Gate’s shared ancestor– what, no Guinness? Not even Killian’s? How about a variety pack of Weinhard’s, even?
I’m guessing part of it might be “picking beer that’s easy to find”– but geeze.

Patrick July 30, 2009 at 6:58 pm

Bah! Guinness is easy to find. Even Killian’s isn’t hard to find. Smithwicks might require some legwork, but it’s generally mass market. Weinhard’s is harder to get east of the Mississippi.
I’m still shocked that nobody (I’m looking at you Mr. President) tried to get “trendy” and drink that swill by the name of Stella.

Brian Day July 30, 2009 at 8:36 pm

I smell a flame war coming (beer war?)!
Let me pop some popcorn and settle down for a good show. :)
As for me, I’ll take something like Negra Modelo.

The Masked Chicken July 31, 2009 at 5:54 am

When I first read Tim J.’s description of the beer summit, it occurred to me that we had sort of a backwards representation of Red states and Blue States in the choice of beers. Was this intentional? Red Stripe and Blue Moon, really…with the president being neutral.
Actually, this sounds like a the name for a good musical: Red Stipes and Blue Moons.
The Chicken

Brian Walden July 31, 2009 at 7:31 am

I miss living in Upstate NY where the Molson and Labatt flows like water. Wasn’t it Pennsylvania where Obama made the guns and religion comment? He could have helped patch things up by going with a Yuengling – plus it actually has a bit of flavor for an American lager.
P.S. Ben, Genny Cream Ale is a delightfully good bad beer.

CJ July 31, 2009 at 8:28 am

Clearly Obama – for all his manifold virtues, each more resplendent than the last – is not The Most Interesting Man in the World.

Danby July 31, 2009 at 11:36 am

“Bud Light, the one beer to have when you’re having more than six. Goes down light, comes up easy.”
Personally I like Red Stripe, especially on a hot day. Wienhard’s Blue Boar Ale most of the time though.

Foxfier July 31, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I like sharing a PBR with my dad– inexpensive, won’t dehydrate you, not a bad thing after a full day’s work. Added bonus of not sneaking up on you. (I’m a horribly distracted drinker.)
With my in-laws, Killians at least– it tastes *good*, doesn’t have a bad aftertaste, and even mild beer snobs can appreciate it. (“snob” in the “knows the good stuff” sense, not the “likes it because it costs more, you peon” sense)
I think DarwinCatholic put it very well when he called Bud Light a “Making love in a canoe” beer. (Rephrasing of a coarse, negative description of the low quality of said beer; don’t look if easily offended.)

Tim J. July 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm

Yes, Foxfier, I pick up PBR pretty regularly in summer.
Danby, when I was in college it was Schaefer… “The one to have when your having more than one”. Cheaper, I think, than Kool-Aid at the time.

DavidOmaha July 31, 2009 at 3:56 pm

Webcomic XKCD.com did a good one on the summit: http://xkcd.com/617/
Sadly, I don’t like beer. I’m German/Irish, but some bizarre recessive gene or mutation has rendered me incapable of enjoying the beverage :( Thus, I cannot comprehend the following quote “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” (attr: Benjamin Franklin)

Foxfier July 31, 2009 at 5:07 pm

David– if you want to like beer, try some of the Japanese stuff. Kirin is pretty good, even if you don’t like beer. (Sometimes, there’s just no substitute for the social opening of “would you like a beer?” My mom uses Kokanee for this– although apparently that goes back to her college days, when she’d accept that, sip once or twice, head to the lady’s room and trade the beer for tap water. She can’t stand most beer, prefers water highballs.)

Tim J. July 31, 2009 at 5:43 pm

“Sadly, I don’t like beer.”
You might try drinking Bud Light, instead.

Mary July 31, 2009 at 5:48 pm

A&W root beer.

Yeoman August 1, 2009 at 5:51 am

“Clearly Obama – for all his manifold virtues, each more resplendent than the last – is not The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

Terry August 1, 2009 at 5:28 pm

Schaefer: a headache in every can.

Josey Wales August 2, 2009 at 11:28 am

The new “American Ale” by Budweiser is not bad for $6.99 though my first glass seemed wonderful and several weeks later my second seemed less than that. I hope they didn’t paco rabanne’d it in two weeks ( a cologne which seemed wonderful in the beginning and seemed majority filler later on).
Old woman at the river smiling: “They say you’re a hard puttin’, desperate man, Josey Wales.”
Nah…I generally buy Bacardi Select and sip it straight with several drops of water and from a small shot glass.

Marty August 2, 2009 at 6:51 pm

Yer wanted, Wales

Josey Wales August 2, 2009 at 9:23 pm

:) Yes….but by the lawless not by the law in my case.

Susanne August 3, 2009 at 12:34 am

Maybe Mr. Obama needs to have a Certificate of Birth Summit.
Check this out: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=105764

c matt August 5, 2009 at 9:48 am

Nothing like a good Hefeweisen (sp?) on a hot day. Would also prefer a Murphy’s to a Guiness stout on a cooler day, but Murphy’s on tap is harder to come by for some reason.
I guess it goes without saying they had to drink Amurican.

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