washingtonpost.com
Washington Sketch: A Beer By Any Other Name Edition

Dana Milbank
Washington Post Columnist
Friday, July 31, 2009 12:00 PM

Post columnist Dana Milbank serves as the capital's foremost critic of political theater in his Washington Sketch columns, videos and blog posts.

He was online Friday, July 31 at noon ET to take your questions and comments about the things politicians say -- and the absurd ways they find to say them.

____________________

Dana Milbank:

Good afternoon, Sketchreaders. It's 5 o'clock somewhere -- specifically, in London. So let's raise a pint of the best bitter and toast President Obama on what I hope was the first of many beer summits. What can I get for you today?

_______________________

Hollywood, California: Mr. Milbank: I am a delicate, tiny, very talented celebrity starlet who was so totally impressed with the latest Mouthpiece Theater tribute to Governor Palin that I ran right out and bought a delicate, tiny little derringer and so far I have hunted down two Chihuahuas and one Malti-poo. But gosh, now that I hunted I don't really think I can eat them--this is the weekend for my detox fast. Do you think Ms. Palin doesn't realize that in Hollywood we don't eat, therefore we don't have to hunt?

Dana Milbank:

An excellent question, Hollywood.

When the former Governor postulated her theorum, "we eat therefore we hunt," she was updating for Alaskans Immanuel Kant's formulation, "I think therefore I am."

Even if you do not eat, surely you must hunt for drink, even in Hollywood. The beer I recommend for you, therefor, is Randy's Fun Hunters Amber Lager, a Vienna-style lager from Wisconsin.

_______________________

D.C.: If Gates and Crowley sat down together to discuss racial profiling over beer, does that make it a "malti"-cultural summit?

Dana Milbank:

I can barley believe you asked that question and I hop you are joking.

_______________________

Arlington, VA.: My job has really become challenging, so to show that I am ready for a promotion, I resigned from my job.

Should I stop listening to Sarah Palin? I think she gives bad advice.

Dana Milbank:

If you are listening to the former governor for advice, I think you have been drinking too much of the Old Knucklehead, a Barley wine from Oregon.

_______________________

Anonymous: I, too, was disappointed that Obama did not solve racial divides, and suspicion of police by minorities, yesterday, but I was more disappointed at the choice of brews. Bud Light by out President? A man of such education and worldly experience chooses a wimpy, mediocre beer? And Blue Moon by a cop? Even if it is brewed in Golden, Colorado (coincidentally, the headquarters of Coors), this is not a beer I've seen any film or television cop drink. And a non-alcoholic beer for Biden? If he doesn't want to drink booze, fine, but did he feel pressured to still drink something called "beer"? At least Gates chose a decent brew (Sam Adams Light), and one brewed in Boston (while the Boston area cop had to get a brew from Colorado).

Dana Milbank:

It's no coincidence! Coors/Molson now owns Blue Moon. I think Blue Moon used to be a microbrewery, but maybe I've been drinking too much of that Monk Madness Ale (Oregon).

_______________________

From First Read: According to a Research 2000/DailyKos poll, eight in 10 Americans believe President Obama was born in the United States. But among Republicans, 28% of them say he WASN'T born in the country and another 30% say they're not sure. (By comparison, 93% of Democrats and 83% of independents say Obama was born in the U.S.A.)

Also, 23% of Southerners don't believe he was born here, and an extra 30% aren't sure. (On the other hand, 93% of those living in the Northeast, 90% from the Midwest, and 87% from the West believe he was born in this country.)

After reading this, I think I will have a beer to drown my sorrows on out of touch my fellow Republicans are acting. What's going on out there?

Dana Milbank:

May I recommend that you drown your sorrows in a Sharktooth Big Kahuna Brown, which is brewed in Hawaii, where Obama was born.

Unless you think he was born in Indonesia, in which case I would go with a Bintang.

_______________________

Reston VA: "I think, therefore I am" was Descarte, not Kant...

Dana Milbank: Drat, I was thinking of the wrong verse from the Australian Philosophers Drinking Song. I've got to go get me a bottle of Three Philosophers (California) to straighten this out.

_______________________

Miller Time: Dana : You seem to have done a lot of research to come up with all these obscure local beers and I'm just wondering if it has been worth all the effort for a story that will be such old news by tomorrow ?

Dana Milbank:

Nah, it's summertime and things are as moving along at the pace of Slow Elk Oatmeal Stout (Montana).

Truth is it's not a whole lot of work. Go to this excellent website and come up with some beer pairings of your own:

http://beerme.com/beerlist.php

_______________________

Gaithersburg, Md.: The guy two offices over from me is a birther.

Question: Do tin foil hats come in different sizes? Everyone else in the office wants to chip in and get him one.

Dana Milbank: Tin foil hats are well and good, but nothing says loony quite like a case of Midnight Sun's Conspiracy dark strong from Alaska.

_______________________

Arlington, VA: Where did you get the various beers on display during Mousepiece Theater? Lost Dog Cafe or a similar place?

Dana Milbank:

Video diva Gaby Bruna of Costa Rica just turned 21 and therefore was able to purchase the beer from Whole Foods. Unclear whether she is expensing them, drinking them, or both.

_______________________

Cash for clunkers: Why limit this to cars? My state's senior Senator is too old and has way too many miles on him to perform efficiently. He also emits noxious gases in excess of the EPA limits. Any change we can expand the program?

Dana Milbank:

I recommend you find him a six pack of Old Foghorn.

_______________________

Nosy Parker: Would Sarah Palin drink Moosehead Beer?

Dana Milbank:

Possibly. But it's when she starts getting into the Moose Drool Brown Ale that she's really going to start seeing some Russian Imperial Stout rear its head in her airspace.

_______________________

Washington, DC: Just a comment:

I think the "beer summit" was very successful. It shows that people can have differences of opinion and their tempers can flare, but afterward they can act rationally and amicably. Since people's tempers will always flare in the heat of the moment, what better lesson is there that can be learned?

Dana Milbank: You are the voice of reason and sobriety and must soon join the vice president for a Buckler.

_______________________

"Bud Light by our President?": C'mon, until the prevaling trend in the country for "everything populist" passes, the President can't be seen to be an effete snob in his choice of brews. Unlike, of course I would guess, the large majority of posters to this Q & A.

Dana Milbank: Who you calling an effete snob? I don't know Kant from Descartes.

At least he could have gone with a Pabst Blue Ribbon and avoided the whole Belgian problem.

_______________________

Washington, DC: After finding out that Biden showed up at the beer summit, rambled at them for a while about completely unrelated topics, and then left, I have to wonder why his approval ratings are so low. How can anyone not love this guy?

Dana Milbank:

I agree. Plus, he comes from the home of Dogfish Head beer.

_______________________

Cogito, ergo sum: Mais non! From the plume of Rene Descartes, "Je pense, donc je suis."

Dana Milbank:

For extra credit, can anybody translate "we eat therefore we hunt" into Latin?

_______________________

Chicago: I must admit MouthPiece Theater is getting good. Still not Milbank on Countdown good but a marked improvement.

Dana Milbank: Thank you, I think. We're a low budget operation -- we favor Missouri's Dirt Cheap Beer -- but we're getting there.

_______________________

Palin and Kristol: The only reason little Billy fawned all over her as he has is because she gave him all the Four Peaks Kilt Lifter he could drink while he was up in Alaska on that cruise with her last summer.

Dana Milbank:

Kilt Lifter-- an excellent brew! And I think it took great restraint not to suggest Kristol gets a bottle of Bad Elf.

_______________________

Washington, DC: "From First Read: According to a Research 2000/DailyKos poll, eight in 10 Americans believe President Obama was born in the United States."

How much beer, and what variety, would I have to consume before I would be able to take a "poll" from Daily Kos seriously?

Dana Milbank:

2 pints of Brain Damage (Colorado).

_______________________

effete snob: I don't understand why Obama wasn't drinking Old Style.

Dana Milbank:

Or how about some Iron City, from my old stomping ground of Pittsburgh? That is best consumed by "shotgun," making a hole in the bottom of the can with your keys, putting your mouth over it and popping the top.

_______________________

Whole Foods?!: You just revealed your liberal elitist Wash Post snobbery!

Dana Milbank: That was Gaby the Video Diva. I only go there for arugula.

_______________________

Gaithersburg, Maryland: Dana, I'm worried. I don't like beer at all. Does that mean I'm a racist?

Dana Milbank:

It means you are not American.

I bet you secretly drink Red Menace Big Amber.

_______________________

Hooters, DE: Was the VP added at the last minute to keep the racial balance in recognition of the Ricci case?

Dana Milbank:

No, it's because he is what we call in the beer world "unfiltered." If the conversation flagged, Obama was to give Biden a signal and he would start talking about Grandfather Finnegan and his hardscrabble days in Scranton, where I suspect he had many a Yuengling.

_______________________

Kansas City: Am I missing something? The Ombudsman criticized you for the Chaney Orange jacket episode on Countdown but Mouthpiece Theater is okay? Has the Post officials discovered a sense of humor?

Dana Milbank: Shhh. He probably hasn't seen it.

_______________________

PEDs: Do hardworking reporters on tight deadlines take Performance Enhancing Drugs like Mr. Ortiz and Mr. Ramirez?

Dana Milbank: I go with a doppelbock, or if that doesn't work, a tripel.

_______________________

We eat, therefore we hunt:: Edimus ergo venamur.

Dana Milbank:

Excellent work. I am impressed, as always, by the erudition of the Sketchreaders. Kant would be proud. And Descartes, too.

Thanks for chatting; I owe you a beer.

_______________________

Editor's Note: washingtonpost.com moderators retain editorial control over Discussions and choose the most relevant questions for guests and hosts; guests and hosts can decline to answer questions. washingtonpost.com is not responsible for any content posted by third parties.

View all comments that have been posted about this article.

© 2009 Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive