I try to avoid writing about politics, because I respect many people that have different political opinions than my own. Yet, I must say it. I simply must: the "Beer Summit" looked like the WORST HAPPY HOUR OF ALL TIME.
Call it "The Audacity of Hops," "Yes, Three Cans," a "Brew Ha Ha," or "Beeristroika," the fact of the matter is that any happy hour that involves sitting outside in full suit coats in the middle of a Mid-Atlantic summer qualifies as no damn good.
Additionally, I take great exception to the beer presentation itself. I would love this president, no matter what, if he had gone onto the White House lawn with a cooler of suds and a bottle opener. I know that the commentators would have a field day talking about the president's disdain for the dignity of the office, but I argue that there is dignity in simplicity.
On the other hand, there is nothing simple about four different beers, served in chilled glasses, off a silver tray, held by a BUTLER.
No. The pomp and circumstance revealed this meeting to be exactly what it was: a show, public relations, an attempt to make a troubling issue go away.
I'm not going to opine about the issue itself, because, like I said, it is too complicated to fix over a beverage, or by my late-night ramblings.
Let me, instead, offer unsolicited advice to our Bartender-In-Chief:
1) Next time, provide all attendees with free T-shirts advertising a sponsored liquor. A tank top advertising Jose Cuervo, for example, would be far more comfortable. And sex-y.
2) Either make the party BYOB, or choose one beer for everybody. This is supposed to be a backyard get together, not a night at TGI Fridays.
3) Don't give in to peer pressure. Apparently, Gates was going to drink a Red Stripe, but caved to the pressure of the American/Massachusetts brewers by drinking a Sam Adams Light. This is beer, not diplomacy. Don't let anybody hate on your beer selections, or the selections of your guest.
4) Yet, to completely contradict my previous statement, I'm gonna put on my hating hat: Bud Light, Mr. President? Really? The idea that the ruler of the free world likes such swill makes me feel a little empty inside.
5) Lose the butler. Instead, train your dog to bring the beers out balanced on his head (because I, personally, would love to see that). Your only other option is to get your own drinks out of your own cooler.
The First Lady is not an option. Don't even think of asking Michelle to get beers for you. She'll cut you.
6) Finally, Mr. President, a simple bit of advice: Don't invite Biden. Who needs his non-alcoholic-brew-drinking,long-pointless-story-telling, face around anyway?
I know that most of these thoughts have been stated already, more clearly, thoughtfully, and eloquently. Yet, as a citizen, and when beer is involved, I must invoke my freedom of speech.
The future of all pointless, contrived photo ops is resting on this.