Of Angry Arms and Alcohol

My friend and erstwhile travelling companion, Jay Brooks, first told me of this tumultuous tale while we were taking in the delights of London last week, and now he’s blogged about it for the world to see. If you wish, take a look and gaze greedily upon his furious indignation. For the rest of you, here’s a quick summation.

Following the so-called beer summit when Obama met over a Bud Light, Sam Adams Light and Blue Moon with the possibly racist cop and potentially over-reacting professor, some knob at the Delaware chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving opined that she hoped the appearance of the president drinking beer “(doesn’t) send the wrong message to the millions of young people.” This evoked a response from the American Beverage Institute, an organization representing restaurants that serve alcohol, in which their managing director stated that “MADD is no longer an organization that opposes drunk driving, but an anti-alcohol group that has been hijacked by the modern day temperance movement.”

Return fire came quickly, of course, this time from the national office of MADD. Among other, more reasoned statements, MADD’s Frank Harris chimed in that the ABI was “the angry arm of the alcohol lobby,” and that, my friends, is what spurred Jay to first laughter, then outrage and finally creativity. (Really it did, and you should check it out.)

What I found most fascinating about all of this, however, was not that MADD did something stupid and then tried to defend it, but that some organization connected with the responsible serving and consumption of beverage alcohol actually called them on it! They didn’t roll over and say “Oh well, we can’t criticize MADD because then it will look like we’re in favour of drunk driving,” as so many have done in the past, but they called the suckers out for what they are and challenged them on their own supremely self-righteous turf!

Good on ya, ABI. I hope the rest of the “angry arm” soon learn to follow suit.

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