Monday, September 01, 2008

The Politics of Drinking Beer?

I like beer as much as anyone should. Possibly a great deal more than anyone should. So much that, I've noticed recently, in the last two months or so I've written four posts on beer for the new Beer of the Week series (and I might have written a great deal more, if I weren't afraid of running out of beers by Christmas!) and only two on theology.

I've even got a philosophy of beer, which is gradually being unveiled here. I've thought seriously about the ethics of beer. I'm pretty sure I could even come up with a theology of beer - with so many monastic beers available, that shouldn't be too hard, right? But even I think that introducing discussions of beer into American politics is more than a little inane.

It wasn't the footage of Sen. Hillary Clinton washing a shot of whiskey down with a mug of beer that got me, though I could have done without that image. When I'm looking for the qualities of a good president, somehow "beer-drinking-buddy" doesn't make the list.

No, what really got me was this. Evidently, in the first interview that Barack Obama and Joe Biden gave in their transition to the general election, Sen. Obama actually had to defend his beer drinking. And not against attacks of drinking too much, which would, of course, be a trait we'd definitely not want in a president.

Rather, it seems CBS interviewer Steve Croft, working for their flagship 60 Minutes program, set a new standard in journalistic excellence, saying, according to Mark Silva:

But you tried really hard to reach these people [blue collar workers - CB]. You went and sipped beer, which I know you don't particularly like - I mean you even...

At this point, Sen. Obama cut him off. As Silva relays the story:

"Steve, I had a beer last night,'' Obama interjected. "I mean, where do these stories come from, man?"

"I'm the one... [that] doesn't drink," Biden added.

"Where does the story come from that...I don't like beer? '' Obama asked. "C'mon, man."


Don't you think the American public deserves better than having our election coverage devolve into a discussion of whether or not a presidential candidate drinks beer? As Barack Obama put it, C'mon, man. Is this really the best we can do?

1 comment:

Richard said...

Quote:
'I've noticed recently, in the last two months or so I've written four posts on beer for the new Beer of the Week series (and I might have written a great deal more, if I weren't afraid of running out of beers by Christmas!) and only two on theology.'

Sounds to me as though the proportions are about right!