Mocking politicians is an American tradition as old as the Republic. It’s almost as old of a tradition as drinking: see Sam Adams, Ethan Allen,


Beach Burner Bingo

Mocking politicians is an American tradition as old as the Republic. It’s almost as old of a tradition as drinking: see Sam Adams, Ethan Allen, George Washington et al. So in days of confusion and financial turmoil it is no surprise Americans are turning to the old ways – the better ways – the foibles of our Founding Fathers in our hour of darkness.

Due to top-notch reporting here at the Seattle Weekly, the “Barack Obama Drinking Game” has been brought to national attention. Every time "That One" mentions the words “Change” or “Hope” take a shot. An adjunct, the “Vice President Drinking Game”, urged readers to, responsibly, tip one back every time Gov. Sarah Palin used the term “hockey mom” or Sen. Joe Biden referred to himself in the third person during their debate last week.

But it’s not just snarky journalists getting in on the action. Candidates and their somewhat over-worked, under-paid and over-imaginative staffs sometimes get a little creative after living off of takeout pizza for three months running.

Notably here locally, two prominent election campaigns have used their own variant of the political “drinking game” to score easy political points at the expense of their grumpy, humorless opponents.

Congressman Dave Reichert’s Re-election campaign distributed its own tongue-in-cheek variant, “Burner Bingo”, to audience members during a candidate debate at Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue on Tuesday. The game dings Darcy Burner for her reliance on easy catch-phrases and her attempts to link The Sheriff to the Bush Administration.

On the playing card are the phrases “Bush Administration”, “This President”, “Rubber Stamp”, “Big Oil” and “White Haired War Monger”. The word “Actually” is listed three times as a gibe towards the challenger’s habit of beginning each one of her rebuttals with that adverb.

Rather than striking back with a whimsical gambol, a Burner campaign spokesperson called the bingo game “childish”. And then went off and sulked in the corner.

The debate is being aired, tape delay, on TVW tonight at 9:30 p.m. for readers who want to play along at home.

During their first televised debate on KOMO 4, Republican candidate Dino Rossi mocked incumbent Christine Gregoire’s attempts to tie him to the White House and its unpopular occupant.

“Back at the office we have a pool on how many times she can mention George Bush. I picked six.”

Not bad. By a rough count, Gregoire brought up the Bush administration eight times.

The Rules According to Hoyle: There are many variants the traditional “drinking game”, many of which people have learned in college, or high school or from their mean German grandmother. For a more complete list we suggest watching the award winning documentary “Beerfest”.

The political drinking game doesn’t trace its roots so much to the alcoholic parlor games one associates with college frat parties but rather to the far more cerebral movie drinking game. The point isn’t necessarily to get drunk, although that helps, but rather to train ones mind to critique stereotypes, catch phrases and redundant themes which are put on the screen.

For example, during and after high school in Eatonville, a popular variant was the “Army of Darkness” drinking game; take a shot every time Bruce Campbell gets hit in the head.

For the movie drinking game, cult classics are generally preferred. Pulp Fiction and every time a certain four letter word or racial epithet is used. Fargo and the Minnesota affirmative “Ya”.

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