VodkaPundit

Synchronize Your Cocktail Shakers

Will I be drunkblogging tonight’s GOP presidential debate?

Does a Girl Scout sell cookies? Do the Red Sox play baseball? Does the Queen like hats?

That’s a yes, then — yes?

Tune in to the PJMedia homepage fashionably early. That’s a bit before 8PM Eastern/5PM Pacific.

UPDATE: Over at the PJ Tatler, Myra Adams has a debate drinking game for you. Divide your gang into Team Reagan and Team Bush, and follow the following rules:

1. Gather all your friends into two teams – Team Ronald Reagan and Team George W. Bush.

2. Choose the adult beverage of your choice.

3. Whenever a candidate invokes the name of Ronald Reagan, Team Reagan takes a swig.

4. Whenever a candidate invokes the name of George W. Bush, Team Bush takes a swig.

Fair enough, and it’s a pretty sure thing that all the members of Team Reagan will all fall into alcohol-induced comas, while Team Bush is still trying to figure out how to get the screwtops off their wine coolers.

But let me tell you why I don’t play any political drinking games, and how I came to invent political drunkblogging.

Gather round, kids.

Early in 2003, I believe, when VodkaPundit had just turned one year old and still had that new blog smell, Andrew Sullivan was passing around the rules to a State of the Union Address drinking game. I read the rules. They were cute. And we all needed a little levity, this being the first SOTU speech going into what we were sure was about to be another war with Iraq.

At the time, “liveblogging” big events was a recent innovation, and it gave me something of an epiphany.

I’d been watching SOTUs, elections, debates, C-SPAN town halls, the lot of it, for over 20 years. And I was only 33 years old. I didn’t need any games. I didn’t need any rules. What I needed, to get through my 22nd SOTU in my 33 years, was to drink early and drink often and to hell with any rules. This was drinking in self-defense.

Needless to say, there was a lot of sympathy out there in Blog Land. Turns out, there was a lot of empathy out there, too, as others took my example and ran with it. Or more likely, they stumbled with it — I know I have.

When Roger Simon helped form PJMedia a couple years later, I was brought on board with strict instructions that “the drunk flogging will continue until morale improves.” There was, apparently, some confusion over just what it was that I do.*

And so it goes. A few days before some political event, our managing editor, Aaron Hanscom, sends me an email with a heads up. Nothing fancy. Usually just the name and day of the thing, and a note asking, “Drunkblog?” The answer is almost aways “yesh.”** Because I’m devoted to my work like that.

Tools of the Trade

Preparing for a drunkblog is straightforward enough. For lunch, a big bowl of pasta; for dinner, another big bowl of pasta — you’ve got to cushion the blow. A few hours before the event, Ed Driscoll sets up a special drunkblogging entry page for me, because they don’t let me near the techie stuff. And I don’t blame them. An hour before the event, I make a martini and prepare the battlespace, as seen to the right. 15 minutes beforehand, I sit down in front of the computer, and make a second martini.

Tech issues over the years forced me to invest in a little doohickey called EyeTV. It’s a realtime MP4 converter that cables in between a cable box and your computer. EyeTV takes signals from your cable box and plays it live at up to 720P on your computer screen. It can even record what you watch, DVR-style. But I don’t rewind when drunkblogging, because that would be antithetical to the purity of the sport.

But in eight years of this, there’s one thing I’ve never done: Two drunkblogs in two nights. It’s not just the drinking, it’s the energy doing one of these things requires. Mind you, that’s an observation and not a complaint. That I get paid for this is an amazing glitch of living in the 21st Century, and one I greatly enjoy. But, jeeze — the next two nights are going to be a bit rough.

But you know know what? Politics, like war, is a battle of endurance. If you can keep going just a little bit long than the other guy, you win. Progressives know this instinctively, which is why we usually, in the end, lose to them. We give an inch, just to make the constant yip-yip-yip noises stop. Before we know it, they’ve taken a mile.

So that’s what tonight and tomorrow add up to: My tiny little contribution to keeping up the good fight, and to do it with good cheer — and a belly full of vodka and pasta.

What could go wrong?

•ENDNOTES•

*Not a true story.

**A true story.