Can't we all just get along?
Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cambridge police Sergeant James Crowley might have agreed to disagree over beers at the White House last week.
But now a restaurant trade group is objecting to what it considers an unfair attack from the mom-and-apple pie group Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
The national MADD leadership stayed out of the affair, hosted by President Obama in the Rose Garden. But its Delaware chapter president suggested in a local radio interview that serving beer at such an event wasn't the greatest idea since sliced bread.
"It’s a well known fact that young people tend to mimic the actions of the adults,” Nancy Raynor told WDEL-AM of Wilmington, Del.
Four days after the "beer summit," her comment drew this fullisade today from the American Beverage Institute, which represents sit-down restaurants: “MADD is no longer an organization that opposes drunk driving, but an anti-alcohol group that has been hijacked by the modern day temperance movement. That someone in a position of leadership at MADD would criticize President Obama for simply drinking beer, illustrates the neoprohibitionist mentality that now dominates the group.”
“MADD should return to its original mission of stopping drunk driving,” the institute's managing director, Sarah Longwell, added in a statement. “The more time and resources the group spends pushing an anti-alcohol agenda, the more irrelevant it becomes.”
Raynor tells Politico that she is being taken out of context and that MADD is not a prohitibionist group. “This is very upsetting. I am trying to do the right thing and this is what happens."
When Crowley said after last Thursday evening's soiree that he and Gates planned to talk again, he was asked whether it would be over another beer.
He said that would "send the wrong message" for a law enforcement officer to drink at such a high-profile event and suggested maybe over a "Kool-Aid or iced tea" instead.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.