Beer: is there anything it can’t do?

hops

President Obama, Dr. Henry Gates, and Sgt. James Crowley of the Caimbridge police will meet over a beer  (link opens new window) on Thursday, presumably to talk race relations.

After the whole flap about Gates’ arrest and Obama’s comment afterwards, the president has taken a completely different tack than right-wingnut pundits expected. He invited his friend and the officer who arrested them over for a beer. While I preemptively agree with the president’s detractors that this is a PR move, you have to admit it’s a brilliant one. It wasn’t a statement issued and read at a press conference, not a half-assed apology, just a simple meeting over mankind’s favorite beverage.

Now, I wonder if an invitation to have a beer would get me out of my next speeding ticket…



53 comments ↓

#1 Angry Guy on 07.28.09 at 10:02 am

Too bad Crowly requested Blue Moon. Everybody knows you ease racial tensions over 40’s of OE & blunts.

#2 l3wis on 07.28.09 at 10:15 am

Funny that Obama would pick Bud, considering the Europeans own them now. Personally I would have ordered a CAMO Ice and a bottle of Turkey.

#3 comoprozac on 07.28.09 at 10:17 am

Nice. Very classy, AG.

Of course, Blue Moon is bottled by Coors. It’s not as if Coors is racist or anything.

Why don’t they settle it over a Dogfish Head 120 Minute IPA? I’d love to see that.

He should settle everything over a couple of beers: health care reform, North Korea, the auto industry…

#4 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 10:22 am

Steel Reserve or Old Style would have been my picks. Good working-man beers.

Or I’d have some good microbrew from Boston brought in.

#5 Sy on 07.28.09 at 10:39 am

Brilliant? It’s transparent and phony. Like Obama drinks beer anymore than he bowls.

The truth is he had to do something as his poll numbers were and are plummeting, but just like Wright he was caught between what he actually thinks versus what will play out with swing voters.

Gates is an angry, racist loudmouth who used this incident to advance his own agenda. Read the police reports at smokinggun.com. The cops acted professionally and Crowley actually teaches a course at his academy on profiling and what to/not to do in these situations.

This was indeed a teachable moment, if you paid attention, you have been taught that associations do matter and they will give you a much better clue to who a person is than all the shiny packaging.

#6 Angry Guy on 07.28.09 at 11:17 am

STFU Sy.

#7 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 11:42 am

Brilliant? It’s transparent and phony. Like Obama drinks beer anymore than he bowls.

Predictable. I’ll just bet that if Bush did the same thing you’d think it was brilliant. You’ve become quite the partisan ever since Obama was nominated.

Gates is a friend of his. Do you agree with 100% of what your friends say or do?

Everyone involved in this fracus “acted stupidly”, now they’re actually going to sit down and talk to eachother.

#8 hossenpheffer on 07.28.09 at 12:11 pm

speaking of BEER.
The Phoenix in Harrisburg has BEER tonight
and kickass rock n roll PLUS 2 blondes,
a car and a continent…..

#9 Sy on 07.28.09 at 12:27 pm

GoD:

“Predictable. I’ll just bet that if Bush did the same thing you’d think it was brilliant. You’ve become quite the partisan ever since Obama was nominated”

Bush did many things I didn’t agree with, but even his most ardent detractors agreed that the things he did were because it was what he felt in his heart was the “right thing to do” and for the most part it was polls be damned.

I’ve said from the beginning that Obama ran on an intentionally vauge platform and if you looked at things like his voting record and who he hangs with, it didn’t match his claims of being moderate or centrist.

And since Gates was his friend, he could’ve just as easily condemned his actions and risked no political backlash with his base, just like with Wright, but instead his went with his gut and kneejerked on the Police.

I know you hate to admit it Dude, but this isn’t the Obama you thought you were voting for, is it?

#10 l3wis on 07.28.09 at 12:40 pm

“The cops acted professionally ”

How do you figure? Once Gates was identified, the cop should have left. Police have no right to harrass a man in his own home unless they have a warrant or suspician of a crime. Once they figured out Gates was breaking into his OWN home, they should have left, case closed. Gates could have told the cop to go fuck himself, the first amendment protects that right, especially in your own home. The cop was pissed because Gates was insulting him. I wonder if the cop will cry in his beer on Thursday – boo-hoo.

#11 Sy on 07.28.09 at 1:09 pm

Again, I say read the reports and picture in your mind how that went down. Gates totally lost it the second the cops showed up, even though his place had been broken into before.

They had to take it outside because Gates was screaming so loudly the officers couldn’t hear themselves above him. He asks like 4 times for the officer’s name and the officer complies each time. Once outside he was offically disturbing the peace, which is what they booked him on.

Gates has a book to sell and a huge fuckin’ chip on his shoulder, instead of taking the high road which was there the whole time for him, he chose to escalate the situation until the cops finally had enough.

It sends a message that all you have to do is scream racism loudly and often enough and you’ll get off, thus making it exponentially more difficult for law enforcement as a whole.

CNN has a vid of the Cambridge officers commenting. One is a black, female cop who had supported Obama and feels sold out. Watch it and again put yourself in that same situation.

Gates is the one who should’ve been universally condemned and the one who acted stupidly.

#12 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 1:19 pm

I know you hate to admit it Dude, but this isn’t the Obama you thought you were voting for, is it?

The Obama I voted for was simply the better of two choices.
I liked McCain until he won the nomination and turned right. I liked Palin until she opened her mouth.
As I was standing in line at the polling place, I still hadn’t made my mind up completely. Then I remembered all the rabid Palin supporters shouting incredibly stupid things at rallies, and all the scaremongering and abject lunacy from the right during the election and decided I didn’t want any of that anywhere near the oval office again in my lifetime.
So no, the Obama I voted for is still the one in office. I don’t agree with 100% of what he’s done or wants to do, but I’m still glad McCain and Palin weren’t elected.

#13 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 1:21 pm

Also, what was stopping the cops from just reporting “the guy owns the house”, and politely leaving. Arresting him only gave him exactly what he wanted.

#14 hossenpheffer on 07.28.09 at 1:29 pm

A limerick for you homos:

I’m sick of this whole mess and hassle
I say you fight it out by macho leg-rassle
Quit acting like queers
Let’s go have some beers
And rock out to the Scorp Child and Castle

#15 Sy on 07.28.09 at 2:09 pm

GoD:

“I liked Palin until she opened her mouth.”

and like many in here, your standard is different for her than it is for our current Veep Biden. Why is that btw?

Just today you got the Russians getting mixed signals from him, not long ago he was blabbing, than retracting about Cheney’s bunker.

Hell, he’s got a running list going, but hey at least he didn’t fumble about something critical like what magazines he reads.

“People, when I say that, look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?” he said at a stop in Virginia. “The answer is yes.”

or

“Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number-one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S, jobs.”

or

“During a Sept. 12, 2008, speech in Columbia, Mo., Biden called for Missouri State Sen. Chuck Graham, who is wheelchair-bound, to “stand up.”

“Oh, God love ya,” Biden said, after realizing his mistake. “What am I talking about?”

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/04/17/bidens-list-political-blunders/

#16 Sy on 07.28.09 at 2:20 pm

GoD:

“Also, what was stopping the cops from just reporting “the guy owns the house”, and politely leaving.”

Gates started in on him from inside his front door and as the cop is on the porch asking to talk to him. First he refuses to talk, then he jumps right in with “why? because I’m a black man in America?” crap as the Cop is trying to do determine whether or nor Gates is who he says he is.

Go read the reports, you can tell it took at least 20 minutes or more worth of screaming and one attempted phone call to the Chief of Police BEFORE Gates eventually produced his Harvard ID.

#17 Sy on 07.28.09 at 2:22 pm

If you’re actually interested in how it went down:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/years/2009/0723092gates1.html

#18 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 2:26 pm

Since when did this become about Biden? Is that the only way republicans are able to defend Palin?
Nobody’s claiming Biden’s a mensa member, but to me, it isn’t the persn – it’s what that person represents. Biden represents a bumbling VP who doesn’t seem to give a shit if people laugh at his buffoonery or not. He doesn’t have a rabid fan base trying to investigate someone’s citizenship or claiming the president is a terorist in disguise. That’s what Palin has come to represent to me – eveything totally ass-backwards about the GOP. Fundamentalist Christian neocons have taken over the party thanks to Karl Rove and seem hellbent on turning this country into a theocracy bent on global hedgemony. Sorry, I can’t vote for that. I’ll take a center-left candidate any day.

#19 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 2:28 pm

Sy – Who, in your opinion, will end up running against Obama? What do you think are their odds?

#20 l3wis on 07.28.09 at 2:50 pm

I think Romney is gonna run.

Sy- Doesn’t matter. I agree, Gates acted like a snob, but hell, he is a snob. After identifying Gates, they should have left. They had no reason to question him outside, period. They could have written in the report that he was uncooperative and left it at that. Crowley acts like it was the first time a citizen insulted him. Some cops ask too many questions and they try to entrap people (which they did), Gates knew it, and that’s why he went off on him. I would be pissed to. The officer had no right to be in his house after he was identified. Period. Doesn’t matter what Gates said. I think Gates screwed up by leaving his house. If I was him I would have just sat down and said, “There’s the fucking door, bye.”

#21 Sy on 07.28.09 at 2:59 pm

Good question Dude, hard to say at this point. Because I’ve followed Politics a long time and these days none of the past benchmarks seem to apply. Might be someone no one has heard of yet.

I’m sure you’ll see Romney in, doubt McCain will give it another go. Probably Huckabee. Maybe someone like Lindsey Graham or maybe even our own John Thune. I think Bobby Jindal might make an intriging candidate as well.

I don’t think Palin will run, although she may take another crack at VP if in fact she’s asked.

As it sits today, if things keep going on this course, Obama will be toast against ANY Republican as L3wis pointed out a few threads down.

I think about 9 million of the 10 million swing voter folks who gave Obama a shot are having some serious second thoughts these days, and that isn’t because of Palin or Rush Limbaugh.

#22 Sy on 07.28.09 at 3:06 pm

Sorry L3wis, I don’t buy it.

If you or me acted like that to a cop of any race/color, we’d have been booked as well. Only difference is the charges against us wouldn’t be dropped and we wouldn’t have ben mentioned on prime time TV. It shouldn’t matter if the guy is a Harvard prof and/or buddies with POTUS, you go off like that and you should be booked.

#23 lewis on 07.28.09 at 4:21 pm

“you go off like that and you should be booked.”

Yes, you should, but you are protected by free speech rights in your own home, and are untouchable, that’s why the officer got him to go outside, because he knew he didn’t have a case inside the house. If Gates wanted to be a real dick he could charge the officer with trespassing.

#24 Eric on 07.28.09 at 6:16 pm

“If Gates wanted to be a real dick he could charge the officer with trespassing.”

No, he couldn’t. The officer had a legal right and a duty to be there. He was responding to a call of a possible crime. Suppose the person in the house hadn’t, in fact, been Gates and the police did nothing. Then Gates would be crying racism for sure. This asshole should be tried and convicted!

#25 l3wis on 07.28.09 at 6:17 pm

“This asshole should be tried and convicted!”

Since when is breaking into your own home a crime?

#26 Eric on 07.28.09 at 6:37 pm

The crime was not breaking into his own home. The crime was being disorderly. Gates behavior could almost be considered assault.

#27 Eric on 07.28.09 at 6:42 pm

Furthermore, having been broken into before, Gates should have been appreciative that the police were ensuring proper ownership.

#28 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 9:15 pm

If you or me acted like that to a cop of any race/color, we’d have been booked as well. Only difference is the charges against us wouldn’t be dropped and we wouldn’t have ben mentioned on prime time TV. It shouldn’t matter if the guy is a Harvard prof and/or buddies with POTUS, you go off like that and you should be booked.

Why? There was absolutely no good reason to arrest Gates. Had the officer done the smart thing and walked away, it wouldn’t have caused the shitstorm it did. Gates WANTED to be arrested – something you or I would absolutely not want. Instead, you get a stupid news story that went from attacking cops for being racist to attacking the president for going off half-cocked.
Arresting this guy only gave him exactly what he wanted. Charging him with a crime, while satisfying to folks like Eric (seriously, are you a cop?), would only make him a martyr.
I don’t expect any of you ‘conservatives’ to understand that. Inflaming situations in the name of law and order is the conservative approach to law enforcement and international relations after all.
Also, since when is “almost assault” a crime, Eric?

#29 Ghost of Dude on 07.28.09 at 9:22 pm

As it sits today, if things keep going on this course, Obama will be toast against ANY Republican as L3wis pointed out a few threads down.

The only people more despised in this country than democrats are republicans… and maybe bill collectors.
You can’t just run “any republican” against an incumbant president. That sort of thinking by the dems led to John Kerry’s nomination in ’04. Somehow, though, I doubt the RNC will take any lessons from the democrats on how not to win an election.

#30 hosepheffer on 07.29.09 at 4:47 am

blah blah blah…..
ya all are getting b o r i n g

#31 Sy on 07.29.09 at 7:07 am

The difference Dude, between the cop and Gates, is one was simply doing his job and another was choosing to behave in manner that was loud, disruptive and when it went outside, became a public nuisance. You know I’m not a cop, but I have friends who are and I wouldn’t expect them to let me go if I went off on them in an irrational and insulting manner.

If we are having an honest discussion on race, which is what this turned into as opposed to a discussion on the rule of law, than we need to be honest about applying the law equally without predjudice and had the cop let Gates off precisely because he is an angry, black Harvard professor, than it would be the cop not doing his job.

As for international relations you have two viewpoints about the role of the US in the world and you can argue whether or not our national interests are served by stepping in or turning away. Are we doing our “job” as a country by stopping geonocide or overthrowing dictators? That is up to the voter to decide.

#32 hossenpheffer on 07.29.09 at 7:26 am

PLEASE Scott, make a NEW POST so these freaks will STFU!

#33 Ghost of Dude on 07.29.09 at 7:27 am

I wouldn’t expect them to let me go if I went off on them in an irrational and insulting manner.

The difference is that being arrested isn’t a badge of honor for you. To Gates (at least in his mind) it puts him on the same level as MLK. He now gets to think of himself as a martyr for the “cause”, and use this experience to advance his agenda. The cop should have recognized why Gates was trying so hard to get arrested and walked away.

Are we doing our “job” as a country by stopping geonocide or overthrowing dictators?

Stopping genocide? Sure. I support that.
Overthrowing dictators? No.

#34 Sy on 07.29.09 at 7:58 am

GoD:

“The only people more despised in this country than democrats are republicans… and maybe bill collectors.”

and all those bill collecters are despised why? For doing their damn jobs as well. It wasn’t the collector who forced folks to overreach.

Congress had a lower approval rating for most of the last quarter of the Bush Presidency than Bush did, yet Obama won mainly by tying McCain to Bush. Even though as an occassional member of the Senate, Obama voted for TARP, the whacked 08 Budget and either voted for or didn’t vote on most of the other crap that has gotten us where we are fiscally.

People didn’t make that connection last time around, the next time will be different. He can’t go on blaming Bush forever, although today it looks like he’s right back there.

#35 Sy on 07.29.09 at 8:01 am

hossenpheffer:

“PLEASE Scott, make a NEW POST so these freaks will STFU!”

and while you are at it, please stop forcing hoss to be in here, as she obviously isn’t a fan of politcal debate.

Untie her and let her go outside and play for a while.

#36 l3wis on 07.29.09 at 8:22 am

” The crime was being disorderly.”

You can be disorderly in your own home, that is not a crime. You understand free speech rights? Don’t you Erik?

#37 Ghost of Dude on 07.29.09 at 8:33 am

and all those bill collecters are despised why? For doing their damn jobs as well. It wasn’t the collector who forced folks to overreach.

I didn’t say they should be despised, only that they are. Big difference.

Congress had a lower approval rating for most of the last quarter of the Bush Presidency than Bush did, yet Obama won mainly by tying McCain to Bush.

Both candidates were senators, so the congtressional approval rating was a moot point. The difference was in the letter behind their names, and their approach to the country’s problems. People liked what Obama had to say, and unless the republicans can hit the mute button on the neocon fundy wing of the party, they’ll elect him again.
Republicans’ popularity will continue to slide so long as they don’t appeal to the vast majority of rational people who populate this country.
They’ll continue to win among the old-school conservatives like yourself who just want to be able to make a living without much interference. But you don’t strike me as someone who goes along with too much of the social conservative agenda that has infected the party. You aren’t alone there.

#38 hossenpheffer on 07.29.09 at 8:46 am

the RACIST pissing match is getting old,
Mr. Green Chuck Taylors

#39 Sy on 07.29.09 at 9:07 am

hossenpheffer:
“the RACIST pissing match is getting old,
Mr. Green Chuck Taylors”

Well, hoss…the issue certainly is a relevant one, would you not agree? We were told this POTUS and his election was turning a new page, but unfortunately we seem to be still reading from the same tired old playbook.

#40 l3wis on 07.29.09 at 9:14 am

Hos-

I agree with you partially, but remember, Gates is the one who brought up race in the situation, which I think is BS, but I still don’t think he broke the law, like I have said repeatdely, you can say whatever you want in your own home, even if what you say is stupid.

#41 Eric on 07.29.09 at 1:45 pm

First, no I’m not a cop. I happen to not like cops. Every experience I’ve had with the police has been bad but I’ve always been mature and cooperative. No sense making a bad situation worse which is exactly what Gates did.

What’s ironic is that all these people crying racism want “fair treatment” until the treatment is a negative one.

Hey l3wis, you keep saying “in your own home”. Gates was no longer in his home when he got arrested for being disorderly. By the way, are you and lewis different people? (and it’s Eric with a “c”, not that that’s a big deal)

GoD: I never said “almost assault” was a crime. That’s what the “almost” part means. But it doesn’t take much to be convicted of it. I know, I have been. Albiet, convicing a jury that the officer felt threatened by Gates would be a streach.

Hey hoss, why do you coming to this post if you don’t like it? And, by the way, STFU!

#42 Costner on 07.29.09 at 2:01 pm

“Sy: The truth is he had to do something as his poll numbers were and are plummeting”

I should have known with all this talk from Rush about poll numbers it was only a matter of time before you used it in one of your comments.

I like how you give credit to Bush for doing things he felt were right poll numbers be damned, but you don’t extend the same courtesy to Obama… you just think it is all a little game.

I’ll admit I have no idea what his goals are with this little meeting, but I sincerely doubt it has jack to do with polls when we are over three years away from a friggin’ election. I’m just willing to openly state this meeting is a much better idea than trying to judge via the press – so why not give him the credit for arranging it and keeping his mouth shut on the issue.

If we see the entire exchange on C-Span then maybe I’ll be a little more critical, but if this is actually a sincere attempt and discussion then where is the harm?

I also have to agree with Dude that it probably take more than just any Republican to run against Obama if they want to win. A true conservative has a chance, but a Republican that tries to present themselves as a fiscal conservative while their record doesn’t support it *ahem* Sarah Palin *ahem* won’t have an ice cube’s chance in hell of earning the party’s nomination much less the Presidency.

Personally I’d like to see Bloomberg run as a Republican. I wouldn’t mind McCain to run again or Newt for that matter, but I know both of them suffer from the same problem – they sound moderate and are full of good cross-aisle ideas right up until the point they decide to run for higher office… then they are right back to far-right policies and old school GOP thinking that keeps them in the bleachers instead of the end zone.

#43 Sy on 07.29.09 at 2:13 pm

Huh..kinda like how hossenpheffer and hossepheffer are perhaps different people?

and one last point, as Eric noted, the arrest happened in front of the house, where as the report stated there was a crowd of people gathered. Gates had earlier said, in his home, to the officer upon suggestion that they move outside that he would “Talk to your mama outside” and that statement didn’t get him arrested. So whatever was said outside we can assume was worse and if the officer thought other people (like the neighbor who called in) were in danger based on what Gates was ranting about, he had no other option but to cuff and stuff this scholarly pal of the POTUS.

Obama should’ve scolded his pal for acting the fool and apologized to the Police. He couldn’t even do that, best he could come up with was that Gates “might have overreacted”.

Yeah right, and the deficit might be a bit large.

#44 Sy on 07.29.09 at 2:23 pm

costner:

“I should have known with all this talk from Rush about poll numbers it was only a matter of time before you used it in one of your comments.”

There are any number of places you or I can find polls on approval ratings. Rasmussen, CNN, ABC, Quinnipiac, Zogby, etc. or even Gallup who had this to say about his recent numbers:

“While Obama’s recent commentary on the arrest of Harvard Professor Henry Gates has created a political firestorm, it appears that Obama’s dip in public support began a few days prior to the July 22 press conference in which he spoke out on the matter. The press conference focused on healthcare, but Obama’s assertion that Cambridge police acted “stupidly” in the Gates case, in answer to a question about the matter, has received considerable media attention.”

http://www.gallup.com/poll/121934/Obama-Approval-Slips-Three-Points-Past-Week.aspx

and Bush stayed the course on his policies, despite polling. Obama made the comment, got his numbers, then backed off it and came up with the “let’s have a beer” line when it was obvious that he had stepped in it.

If he were acting like Bush on this issue, he would’ve came out and said: “Look, I know you all are pist, but the cops are stupid and racist and that’s the end of it..next question”

#45 Costner on 07.29.09 at 2:40 pm

“There are any number of places you or I can find polls on approval ratings.”

Yes there are…but we both know where you get yours from, and it isn’t because you are visiting Gallup on a weekly basis.

Oh well – gotta take every chance to get a little jab in at the left or Obama am I right?

#46 Sy on 07.30.09 at 7:29 am

Costner:

“Yes there are…but I ASSume I know where you get yours from, and it isn’t because you are visiting Gallup on a weekly basis.

Oh well – I gotta take every chance to counter any jab at the left or Obama any way I can whether they are on the mark or not, am I right?

There, I fixed your post for you.

#47 The Minuteman on 07.30.09 at 8:51 am

I’m suprised the president of Kenya would even drink beer. Doesn’t his religion ban alcohol?

#48 Costner on 07.30.09 at 9:42 am

If I meant assume I would have wrote assume. On the otherhand when I can listen to Rush on a Tuesday or watch Fox News on Wednesday and know what you will post on Thursday… well let’s just say it isn’t much of a stretch to say I know something rather than assume it.

#49 Eric on 07.30.09 at 1:41 pm

“I’m suprised the president of Kenya would even drink beer. Doesn’t his religion ban alcohol?”

Ya, there not supposed to drink. All my Muslim friends drink. But stay the hell away from pork… that stuff will kill ya!

#50 The Minuteman on 07.30.09 at 1:56 pm

Any religion that bans pork is inherently anti-american. Not having pork at least twice a week is probably less american than putting brown mustard on a hamburger.

#51 Eric on 07.30.09 at 10:50 pm

I like to feed them pork and tell them it’s hamburger. Wait till they to the afterlife!

#52 EggBert on 07.31.09 at 8:06 pm

Greetings, friends:

WTF???

Sincerely,

EggBert & his footlong

#53 Steve Olson on 09.13.10 at 8:39 pm

Do any bars in South Dakota still have “Hamms” or “Grain Belt” on tap?