War is the Health of Debate: Reason’s Final 2012 Presidential Debate Drinking Game

Newsflash! There are other countries in the world besides America. And tonight  President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney will debate just what we should do about them. Bomb them? Attack them with drones? Erect trade barriers and brand them cheaters? Or perhaps just project our values, PowerPoint style. Bullets, bullet points, can anyone really tell the difference?

Apparently there aren’t that many countries, however, or at least not so many that matter. A leaked topic list indicates that the debate will focus almost entirely on the Middle East and terrorism, with perhaps a brief pause for Romney to brand China a cheater and Obama to say the word “outcompete.” What about Africa, Latin America, Russia, and the European Union? Well, what about them?

We’ll have to wait a few more hours to find out what the candidates actually say, but here’s a rough guess: Mitt Romney, who has toured other countries and embarrassed himself in the process, will accuse President Barack Obama of being an embarrassment as a national leader—someone who has “diminished American influence abroad” and “compromised” American values.

Obama, who came into office with little direct background in foreign policy and who has since ordered bombings and drone strikes that have killed hundreds, including at least 176 children, will imply that Romney is inexperienced and simplistically, dangerously hawkish.

Expect both candidates to make implausible promises about the country’s energy future, and both to seek ways to make themselves look tough on China, the country from which the U.S. imports more goods than any other. One candidate will be “wary” about the Middle East. The other will be “cautious.”

In other words, expect a lot of kinetic rhetorical action, but not much actual debate.

So you may as well find a fancy foreign brew and drink your way through it all.

Start with a robust pregame chug for all the foreign policy issues that won’t be discussed: Democracy and development in Africa, the future of Russia, the Eurozone crisis, Greece and austerity budgets, debt and monetary policy in Japan.

And then take a drink if:

  • Obama claims he ended the war in Iraq.
  • Romney fails to note that he didn’t.
  • Obama mumbles something vaguely incoherent about Afghanistan.
  • Romney mumbles something vaguely incoherent about Afghanistan.
  • Obama talks up sanctions on Iran.
  • Romney says those sanctions are not strong enough, but won’t say what action(s) would be.
  • Either candidate attempts to provide a detailed assessment of Iran’s nuclear program.
  • Romney once again botches his criticism of the Obama administration’s Benghazi blunders.
  • Obama defends his administration’s days-long insistence that the attacks were provoked by a YouTube video critical of Islam.
  • Romney promises to brand China a currency manipulator.
  • Obama declares that America must outcompete the rest of the world.
  • Romney, like just about every presidential candidate for the last few decades, pledges to achieve North American energy independence by 2020, but does not promise to discover unicorns, which is equally likely.
  • Obama says he wants to end subsidies to big oil without mentioning that he wants to plow those subsidies right back into dubious green energy projects.
  • Romney accuses Obama of having gone on an apology tour. 
  • Anyone uses the words “mission accomplished.”
  • Anyone uses the words  “brought to justice.”
  • Anyone mispronounces the name of a foreign country or city. Double shot if they pause to slowly correct themselves.
  • Anyone, including the moderator, gets mixed up about which war he’s talking about.  

Special rules:

  • Take one drink the first time President Obama mentions Osama bin Laden. Take two drinks the second time. And three drinks the third. Keep increasing the number of drinks accordingly each time he mentions him. And so on and so forth, so on the sixth time President Obama mentions bin Laden, you should take six drinks.
  • Buy a truck full of tequila, drive straight to Mexico, and open a bar under an assumed name if Romney responds to any of Obama’s bin Laden mentions by saying “you didn’t build that.” 

And remember to check back at debate time (9 p.m. EST) as Reason’s editors live tweet the entire event.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    I have lower chance of alcohol poisoning if I only take a drink everytime the Bears turnover the ball.

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||




    /football fan

  • Lord Humungus||

    oh come on, they're playing the frickin' Lions.

  • MJGreen||


  • dave b.||

    If you've played all of Reason's drinking games thus far, you're going to need Obamacare.

  • Auric Demonocles||

    Actually, since I'm in MA I already have Romneycare and don't need any Obamacare.

  • Natural Remedy||

    lol, or a hollow leg that you empty out every 2 hours. These drinking games are nuts!

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Ha I thought it said "War is Health".
    Been thinking about 1984 way too much lately, as I think where are there.

  • Jack the Reaper||

    Wow. That is a lot of rules to remember. If I remember every one, I won't by the time the debate is over.

    Will the live feed be keeping score? Should I drink a shot of tequila for one of Romney's and a shot of mimosa for one of Obama's?

  • Almanian's Evil Twin||

    I refuse to be limited by your "rules". I'll do what I want.


    /true believer

  • Archduke Pantsfan||

    you feelin' ok today?

  • some guy||

    This is going to be a rough debate for anyone who lives with him.

  • Brett L||

    He just started early, even for him.

  • Banjos||

    I believe his plan is to be passed out before the debate begins, fucking genius.

  • Timrek||

    May just save his life.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Addendum: Romney fails to point out that more US troops have died in Afghanistan under four years of Obama than in the preceding eight years of Bush.

    Addendum (worth a triple shot of the strongest alcohol you have on hand): Romney does point out the above and Obama says "inherited."

  • Andrew S.||

    My goodness. I though past debate drinking games were bad. I think this one may be proof that whoever's making these up is secretly someone who's trying to kill all libertarians by alcohol poisoning.

    Based on these rules, I'd probably be passed out on the floor by 9:10 PM at the latest.

  • some guy||

    "Start with a robust pregame chug..."

    Finally Reason adopts my preferred stance of already being drunk when the debate begins.

  • some guy||

    Also, someone may have already suggested this, but I think the best way to improve these debates would be to make the candidates play this drinking game too.

    By the end neither candidate would be able to say the word "manipulate" and the word "drone" would cause long spells of giggling from both.

  • oncogenesis||

    Anyone mispronounces the name of a foreign country

    Everyone involved will do so, multiple times. FWIW, Iran is pronounced "ee-RON", not "eye-RAN".

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    It creeps me out when Obama pronounces Pakistan the right way. I know it shouldn't, but it does.

  • Proprietist||


  • Moe Effingood||

    Obummer: I am going to sotdzomize Iran with some sanctions loob.

    Obamney: That's like an apology tour, Mr. President. Forget the sanctions loob, I will sotdzomize Iran with my war-diltdo.

  • Moe Effingood||

    Obummer: Everyone knows mine is not as big as yours Governor.

  • DK||

    Take one drink the first time President Obama mentions Osama bin Laden. Take two drinks the second time. And three drinks the third. Keep increasing the number of drinks accordingly each time he mentions him. And so on and so forth, so on the sixth time President Obama mentions bin Laden, you should take six drinks.

    I'm not quite clear. Can someone tell me what we should do on his seventh reference to OBL?

  • Proprietist||

    By that time, you will be incapable of counting, so just do as you like.

  • Ted Levy||

    Re your rule to drink if: "Anyone uses the words “brought to justice.”

    I suggest a double slam if Romney uses that phrase about Obama.

  • Lisa||

    Romney can sure chug the soda.

  • Enjoy Every Sandwich||

    I'm still amazed that anybody thinks either of these morons should have control of a large military force, drones, nukes, etc.

    For that matter, I'm amazed that anybody thinks either of these morons could run a hot dog stand.

  • Jose Angel||

    You guys are awesome.

  • Natural Remedy||

    6 drinks??!?! Who came up with this game, lol. You just want a bunch of drunken people tweeting at you during debates or something??

  • nike001||

    One hour we do not speak. I thought a lot. Finally, still feel like saying it's the fox is not possible, we Cheap Football Cleats can not find evidence that the gray-haired woman does not show fox, but no evidence, just to prove that the fox can transform himself into a cheap ugg boots for women white-haired woman. And to compare with each other, or scientific concepts prevail.

  • nikea||

    As a potential congressman, Massie supports the elimination of the Federal Reserve and wants to repeal the Dodd-Frank financial regulation package. He http://www.drdrebeatsbydreau.com/ favors both lower taxes and balanced budgets, helping him earn the backing of the Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Republican Liberty Caucus.

  • nikea||

    Running for office in 2008, he said he supports the “basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs.” He was “not going to be using Justice Department resources to try to circumvent state laws.” He http://www.cheapfootballcleatspro.com/ told an Oregon newspaper that he would stop the Drug Enforcement Agency’s raids on local pot clinics.

  • شات عراقنا||

    thank u


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