Sen. Cory Booker (NJ) went from being a hero to a villain in 48 hours last week. He initially drew praise for being the first senator to testify against another sitting senator during the trial of Trump’s nominee for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions. But praise quickly turned to anger among Democratic circles when Booker and 12 other Democrats voted against the Sanders- Klobuchar amendment, which would have allowed Americans to buy prescription drugs from Canada, where they are much cheaper. Especially agonizing to social media was that this amendment had attracted the support of several Republicans and so stood a chance of passing.
Booker defended his vote by saying he was looking after the interests of his constituents, many of whom work in the high-powered pharmaceutical corridor. Now, the reason this qualifies for the blue drink this week isn’t because arguably Booker and other Democrats have uncomfortably close ties with the pharmaceutical industry and/or this was a lost chance to actually make some positive headway in lowering prescription drug prices, an issue with bipartisan support.
The reason we’re writing about it is because this once again highlights the chaos running amok in the Democratic Party. The slew of articles that came out either in support or condemnation of Booker, often tinged with not-so-subtle ‘Berniecrat’ or ‘Hillary’ vibes, showcase the deep divisions that remain unresolved and to a large extent un-discussed. At a debate between the various individuals running for DNC chair hosted by Huffington Post Wednesday night the candidates made calls for ‘unity’ but didn’t make too much discussion of the genuine issues that divide the Democratic Party, much less have someone come out as a truly unifying figure. If the Democrats want to make any headway in gaining back ground, the party needs to decide where they stand, and then stand united.
We were all surprised by the results of the presidential election last week. After the initial shock, and concern over what the future might hold, I did some soul searching. I’ve always been interested in politics, but I got turned off by all of the fundraising, the continuous news cycle, the partisanship, and the obstructionism I was seeing at every level of government, from the President and the House down to the Ann Arbor City Council. Perhaps I waited too long to get involved, and I am embarrassed that it took the election of a man who flies in the face of decency to light the fire in me to try to make a difference, but here we are.
I, like many of you, see more and more absurdity every time I turn on the news or open up my Facebook feed. Acceptance of extreme ideas has become commonplace. So what One Drink, Two Drink, Red Drink, Blue Drink aims to do is heal through humor, calling out the absurdity with sarcasm, wit, and facts, and washing it all down with the occasional (read: frequent) stiff drink to help lubricate the discourse. We also aim to provide solutions, not just moaning out a sob story alone at the end of the bar, but motivating our readers to get out and affect change in the world. So we will be including actionable next steps at the end of of our columns.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time here looking at the election result. What’s done is done, and people who are imminently more qualified than I am will be writing their dissertations on the subject for years to come. I want to look toward the future. A future where both parties need reform. Democrats who have become elitist, complacent, and disconnected. Republicans who have become beholden to an extremist few. Party apparatuses geared more toward monied interest than governance. It’s going to get worse before it gets better, and we’re not going to get through this sober, so, here goes.