The Official 2020 Democratic National Convention Drinking Game

Imagine a four-day Zoom meeting in which the likes of John Kasich, Michael Bloomberg, and Nancy Pelosi warn you for the fifty through sixty millionth times about the “existential threat” of Donald Trump, and you come close to envisioning both hell on earth and what we’re all in for this week with the Democratic Party’s Biden/Harris virtual coronation.

The alternative is to start drinking early.

The 2020 DNC represents the culmination of one of the most exhausting, repetitive, and depressing primary races America has seen. It was extreme both by number of candidates – the official count seems to be 29 – and by sheer quantity of identical-sounding rhetoric. The race from the start was itself like a giant drinking game, in which candidates were rewarded in polls for delivering the most pleasing versions of oft-repeated terms like “kids in cages,” “fascist,” “white supremacy,” and “this is not who we are.”

The stretch run of the primary, a clash between centrist Joe Biden and reform-minded Bernie Sanders that ostensibly represented a serious ideological split within the party, essentially came down to a battle of talking points, i.e. “this president” versus “corporations.”

“This president” ended up winning, and the upcoming DNC will reflect the relentless Trump-centric strategy of the victors (the same strategy the party deployed four years ago). It will be light on policy and heavy on market-tested barbs about Trumpian perfidy. A year ago, we’d have been drinking most to terms like “Ukraine” or “rule of law”; this year, it’ll be “post office” and “birtherism” (take two shots for creative variations like “neo-birtherism” or “birtherism redux”).

One point makes me nervous. This convention could obliterate the boozing public with a single word, previewed in about a thousand headlines when Kamala Harris was named Biden’s running mate last week:

Trump re-election complicated by historic VP pick

MSNBC

Why Kamala Harris is a historic VP pick for Joe Biden

BBC News

My favorite:

Reese Witherspoon shares heartfelt story in wake of Kamala Harris’ historic VP selection

ABC News

Turn on your TV to CNN or MSNBC right now. The odds aren’t bad – I’d put them at 7-2 – that the word “historic” is in the chyron. You will hear this word five thousand times, at minimum, per day of convention coverage. Out of respect for human life, you’ll therefore be asked to drink to “history” or “historic” only when uttered by actual convention speakers. I hope readers understand, without it being included on the list, that any mention of “Malarkey” is an automatic drink.

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