The only thing more fun than a major speech by the president is a major speech on Friday during happy hour. This being a Tuesday however, some controls will have to be placed on the presidential bloviatory drinking game that will allow those who perform important societal functions--say police, fire and pizza delivery people--to carry the rest of us tomorrow. As part of our community...er...public service therefore, we here at the marbled halls of IM Central offer the following guidelines:
The audience for his speech will be 600 to 700 soldiers. Watch their eyes. They will be looking off the to left to get their applause cues. Recommendation: when they applaud, one swig from the gallon of cheap red you're passing around.
Bush will argue that there is no need to change course in Iraq despite the fact that it's been over two years since he declared "Mission Accomplished" and we still don't even control Baghdad. Recommendation: Every time the president says "progress" shot of Absolut.
The president will remind us that 8 million people went to the polls and voted in Iraq. Makes sense, since without electricity or running water there wasn't much else to do. Recommendation: Down two shots of Jim Beam if he uses the number, one shot if he doesn't.
Bush has said we will not leave until Iraqi security forces are trained and equipped to keep the peace. Recommendation: If you think this is Deja 'Nam all over again, shot of Tanquery. If you believe Iraqi forces will be unable to take over for the US in time for your grandchildren to avoid the draft, get drunk before the speech starts.
Bush's approval ratings have fallen to the lowest levels of his presidency in part because of growing fears about Iraq. Recommendation: If he tells us he doesn't care about his popularity, chug a beer. If you're for the war, Bud Lite, if you're against it, Heineken, or 3 Monts.
Bush will stress the need for patience as Iraq moves toward establishing a permanent democratic government. Recommendation: "Freedom's on the march," shot of tequila. "Stay the Course" chug Jack Daniels until your eyes water, "Clear path to victory," Everclear until you pass out.
Special bonus: If he makes veiled attacks on opponents by implying they would rather give the terrorists therapy than blow them and their countries up, go find someone with a college degree and beat them up for America.
As always, drink responsibly and use a designated driver.