The News Story of the Week: Health care bill floundering...Rising toll of American deaths in Afghanistan...Accelerated withdrawal of American forces from Iraq...Recession receding...Republican sex scandal....? No, it was:
The Beer Bust at the White House, The Brew Brouhaha, the Summit of Suds, the Cold (One) War, where racial confrontation came to a head, where they tapped into the national racial psyche...well you get the idea. (How come nobody called the whole affair GatesGate?).
The participants included Barack Obama, who lives there, Lewis Henry Gates, a black Harvard professor who lives in a white house in Cambridge, Mass, where he was arrested by Patrick Crowley, a white Cambridge cop, after having to push his way inside because of a jammed front door.
Also Vice President Joe Biden. Nobody's quite sure why he was there...perhaps somebody had to bring the pretzels and chips. Perhaps for racial balance? More likely because he's the only one who didn't act "stupidly" in this affair, "stupidly" being what Obama called the Cambridge police while shooting from the lip at a White House news conference that was supposed to be about health care reform.
Obama invited them for a "friendly thoughtful conversation" over a beer. Much has been made of the fact that all three drank red, lite and blue beers not entirely owned by U.S. companies. Gates a Red Stripe (Jamaican), Crowley a Blue Moon (partly owned by a British company) and Obama a Bud Light (now Belgian-owned). Bud Light? That should end all that talk about his being an "elitist." Matter of fact, he also likes Thunderbird.
Biden reportedly had a nonalcoholic brew. One beer and he starts talking...and talking...and talking.
After the third beer, Obama promoted Sgt. Crowley to Captain, but found out the next morning that his power as Commander-in-Chief did not extend to the Boston police.
The beer bash culminated 10 days of non-stop media coverage. And Michael Jackson wasn't even involved.
Gates and Crowley plan on a follow-up lunch. Said the Professor, "He's a really nice guy when he's not arresting you."
Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's take on the affair: When you're in a confrontational situation with a cop, "Shut Up!"
Spoken like a true ex-prosecutor.
Meeting went so well White House now considering inviting Iranian President Ahmadinejad for similar session. Beer wouldn't be necessary, since he'd probably arrive foaming at the mouth. Besides, Muslims don't drink alcohol. So they could serve tea to create more strained headlines, such as The Pekoe Palaver or Operation Oolong. Afterward, Obama could take Ahmadinejad to the Mall for a tour of the Holocaust Museum.
Meanwhile, another Boston cop referred to Gates as a "banana-eating jungle monkey." Guess he won't be invited to the White House. Or that Crowley-Gates luncheon.
Less important news to be updated next week.....