The Trail: A Daily Diary of Campaign 2008



Demonstrators Want Lemonade at Obama Beer Summit

By Jacqueline L. Salmon
Representatives of Pray at the Pump (more about them shortly) and the pastor of Rising Sun Baptist Church of Baltimore plan to picket the White House today, asking President Obama to change his choice of beverage when he meets today with Sgt. James Crowley of the Cambridge, Mass., police department and Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. over a beer.

The demonstrators want the White House to serve lemonade instead.

Beer sends the "wrong message to our nation's youth who are becoming alcoholics at young ages," said Rocky Twyman, founder of Pray at the Pump, in a statement this morning. "Whether or not he likes it, President Obama is a role model for all the youth in America. His actions count."

Obama has arranged the beer summit in an effort to mediate the the racially charged controversy caused by the arrest of Gates by Crowley near Harvard University earlier this month.

Continue reading at God in Government»

Posted at 10:17 AM ET on Jul 30, 2009  | Category:  Religion
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this battle was fought and won by the repeal of prohibition.

no one is forced to drink; but to deride the president for having a beer on a hot summer afternoon is as irrelevant as to criticize him for wearing red ties instead of green.

Posted by: malachhamovess | July 30, 2009 5:52 PM

Sorry -- for sheer absurdity this is a distant second to the PETA protest about swatting a fly.

Posted by: BobT3 | July 30, 2009 12:48 PM

Going back to the actual topic of this particular story (protesters urging lemonade, not beer), I just have to smile at the wonderful democracy we live in.

Think about what it takes for granted: freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and (thank goodness) an amendment that repealed Prohibition that passed by a solid national majority not that long after the amendment that imposed it passed in the same way. A race incident with police and a member of a minority on a hot summer day ending with talk instead of tragedy. In fact, given this new debate of lemonade v. beer, I'd have to say farce instead of tragedy.

I'm glad to live here with all of you. Happy July 2009.

Posted by: fairfaxvoter | July 30, 2009 12:36 PM

It would be better to picket Gates when he returns home: 17 Ware Street, Cambridge MA.

Posted by: JakeD | July 30, 2009 12:02 PM


• Bottom line: Good policing would have avoided arrest and controversy

Already the word is out: Sgt. Crowley will NOT apologize in any way, shape or manner, and that the parties have "agreed to disagree."

If what began as an unnecessary and avoidable confrontation ends in stalemate, there will be no "lessons learned" other than the conclusion that a POTUS should never inject himself into a routine local policing issue.

But -- what if this were no "routine" incident, but part of a contrived set-up intended to cast aspersions on the character and reputation of Professor Gates? What if the professor had been "targeted" by so-called "community stalkers" for a campaign of continuous harassment?

What Gates' front door had been purposely sealed shut, leading him to force his way into his home, setting in motion the events that led to his eventual -- perhaps, preordained -- arrest?

President Obama was wrong to use the word "stupidly" in the same sentence as the word "police." But he was NOT wrong in noting that the outcome of the incident did not constitute good policing. A skilled, trained officer should be able to "handle" a 58-year-old college professor who walks with a cane. That did not happen.

This was not just a "failure to communicate." There was no moral equivalency between the actions of Professor Gates, distressed at the police intrusion and the matter in which he was treated, and Sgt. Crowley, a supposedly trained officer who should have been able to do his job without resorting to the arrest and shackling of an understandably distressed older man.

If President Obama does not underscore the unacceptability of the outcome, he will have demonstrated a disturbing tendency to equivocate when under pressure.

On the contrary, if President Obama reiterates the main point -- that good policing would have defused a stand-off that never should have occurred in the first place -- he will ensure that this "teachable moment" enhances his reputation as healer-in-chief.



OR (if link is corrupted / disabled): RE: "GESTAPO USA"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 30, 2009 11:47 AM

And if it were a barbecue, PETA would demonstrate asking Obama to serve soy dogs instead. [Not that I don't like soy dogs, but I'm not going to tell the president what to serve.] C'mon, these are grown men and there's nothing wrong with their discussing their differences over a civilized beer or two.

Posted by: csdiego | July 30, 2009 10:47 AM

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