We tried our Presidential Debate Drinking Game and ... then things got blurry

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Presidential Debate Drinking Game: Your Very Own Political Shitshow!

Last night, at the presidential debate, President Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney spent nearly 25 of the first 15 minutes hashing out the variations in their respective policies. By the middle of the second segment, it was apparent that points had been exhausted, facts were still in contention, and Jim Lehrer was really trying his best to facilitate a civil exchange between an exhausted head of state and a misbehaving Mormon messiah. This tapering-off of new information was lucky, as my notes were beginning to slope off the page and into illegibility. I directed what remained of my motor skills to capturing Romney quotes. Some favorites: “By the way — I like coal!” “The president started this segment, so I believe I get the last word. I believe I get the last word — I get the last word. Let me make this happen.”

The generations-old practice of combining televised political events and drinking games is a tradition I never understood until this election season. Sure, the state of the nation is worthy of a long, slow accumulation of hangovers, but is it not nihilistic to drown one’s many unheard and censored sorrows over it? Doesn’t our stern, Brutalist political theater hold sway with its narcotizing capacity to numb our collective concerns and ramp up our appetites? If your answer is “yes,” then take a moment to re-consider the potential of turning a drunken eye on our televised democracy. Here are some guidelines for your very own political shitshow, whether it be the next debate, address or campaigning event this election season.


First Fifteen Minutes.

Drink at the following keywords:

- wife

- China

- small business


Drink for more than three repetitions (in quick succession) of the following keywords:

- jobs

- revenue

- resilience

- budget

- taxes

- billion

- trillion

- growth


Drink for every time a Republican interrupts a Democrat.

Drink when the president goes over the moderator’s head.

Drink if you’re wondering when the poor will be mentioned.


Optionally, one could carry these rules long past the first 20 minutes of a televised political discourse, but only at the risk of serious liver damage. Good luck this voting season, metro Detroiters, and remember to drink water.

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