Pete Peterson’s Baristas

I suppose it’s possible to come up with a phonier conflation of Holiday sentiments, political hardball, and corporate self-congratulation than the Starbucks “Come Together” campaign in its DC-area locations. But it does represent a new low: asking baristas to lobby for a “solution” to a fiscal “crisis” that by necessity involves a partial overturning of the latest election results, on behalf of austerity czar and gazillionaire Pete Peterson.

It’s the appropriation of the Season of Peace and Good Will on behalf of a campaign for “entitlement reform” that most offends me personally, as though reducing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid benefits is a blindingly obvious good thing that only someone full of the bile of hatefulness and partisanship could fail to support. We are supposed to imagine, I guess, some Member of Congress getting his or her Skinny Vanilla Latte, reading the “Come Together” message on the cup, and achieving satori about the need to make deficit reduction a personal obsession at the expense of every principle.

What a Venti cup o’ propaganda! Let’s hope it isn’t made available outside the Beltway.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.