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The Official ‘Rolling Stone’ Debate Drinking Game: Nevada-Bloomberg Edition

If you feel depressed at how ugly the Democratic primary race has become, drink tonight

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The race for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination has intensified, and so must our boozing.

What else is there to do but drink? The veil has been lifted and the bitter contours of the primary are now unconcealed. The race is now an ugly triangle.

On one side, Bernie Sanders represents a besieged and defamed populist movement, openly opposed by senior Democratic Party officials and most news media. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar,, and (to a lesser extent) Elizabeth Warren are trying to win by securing the support of that same Democratic Party establishment and press, as well as voters.

Lastly, new debate participant and former New York mayor Mike Bloomberg is going a third route, battering voters with advertising and essentially running on a promise to use his $60 billion personal fortune by brute financial force.

Bloomberg’s multidirectional condescension has added a menacing new element to the circus comedy that has been the 2020 presidential race. Bloomberg snorts at Sanders as a phenomenon propped up by losers and college socialists. Bloomberg’s disdain for conventional Democrats is even more palpable. Knowing how easily Democrats are bought, he seems to look down upon them as one would at a family of dissolute aristocrats who have title but no fortune.

The first debate with Bloomberg should offer an interesting dynamic. Sanders should look like he’ll want to puke at the sight of the billionaire ex-Republican. The conventional Democrats will affect professional offense, treating Bloomberg like a jumped-up donor who doesn’t know his place. Bloomberg, meanwhile, will struggle to conceal his impatience with having to ask for votes and wait his turn to speak like anyone else.

It should make for a loathsome, soul-crushing evening. To that end, drink EVERY TIME:

  1. Someone makes an inappropriate/absurd comparison to communism in conjunction with Sanders (i.e., executions in Central Park, “Lenin also tried Medicare for All…,” etc.).
  2. Bloomberg lies about his record or reacts with regal displeasure to being asked a perfectly legitimate question.
  3. Bloomberg pivots with impressive alacrity from any unpleasant question to a phrase along the lines of, “blah, blah, blah, the best candidate to defeat Donald Trump and unite the country.…” Double shot if the question he’s deflecting is about the $300 million he’s already spent on his campaign.
  4. A candidate describes Medicare for All as an assault against unions and collective bargaining, and/or subsidized college tuition as a gift to the wealthy.
  5. Klobuchar is tossed a softball question.
  6. Someone asks Sanders about Bernie Bros, toxic followers, digital brownshirts, etc. Double if Chuck Todd is involved in the question.
  7. Warren tries to dig out from under her avalanche of personal irrelevance with a pointed attack on Buttigieg, Bloomberg, or Sanders. Make it a double if Klobuchar joins her in a scene commentators later describe as a gender-solidarity moment.
  8. Someone brings up the fact that Bloomberg supported George W. Bush. Drink twice, however, if no one brings it up.
  9. Sanders talks about being tired of billionaires running things, and someone onstage takes offense. Double if that someone is not Bloomberg.
  10. Klobuchar issues a strategic but basically meaningless/non-ideological criticism of Bloomberg — for instance, that he doesn’t do enough media.
  11. Biden loses the thread. Double if he has a “check, please” moment (cutting off his own speech before his time is up).

 

Drink ONCE per mention of:

  1. “Look…”
  2. “To be clear…”
  3. “Right here in…”
  4. “Choice.”
  5. “Unity.”

Additionally, drink after the debate IF Klobuchar is declared the winner within five minutes.

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