It killed me to see Katherine Clark strutting around with one of those root beers at the congressional Christmas party. She was elected by, like, three people (maybe four). I think they said on CNN that turnout for her election was the lowest since the founding of the Massachusetts colony in 1620, so per voter cost of her root beer must be astonishing. My voters, on the other hand, in the theoretical world in which they’d be dunned for my root beer, would pay far less dearly. Why am I not on the budget committee?

It’s not the cost, though, that gets me, it’s the symbolism. I’m not the new kid anymore and if I’m no longer new, what am I? Maybe after my speech, I’ll know.

As expected, there was an open bar, yet root beer could not be had, by the rest of us, at any price. I think Uncle Steny forbade its disbursal to protect the specialness of the newbie’s drink. Sure, I’ve never, anywhere, at any point in my life, seen a bar that served root beer, but I’m sticking to my sense that Hoyer put the kibosh on root beer for Christmas. This is the House of Representative, for soda’s sake, it’s hard to believe our bar would not serve root beer if a member wanted some for Christmas.

Unless it had been muscled.

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