Political Animal


December 26, 2012 12:53 PM Pete Peterson’s Baristas

By Ed Kilgore

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 is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Crissa on December 26, 2012 2:25 PM:

    Man, that's creepy.

    I hate it when rich people use other people's money as their own. They don't have enough of their own?

  • c u n d gulag on December 26, 2012 2:47 PM:

    If having a President who is half coffee, and half cream, and that didn't make DC "Come Together," but, instead, seemed to drive the two sides even further apart, then what will writing that simplistic message on cups of Starbucks accomplish?

  • John on December 26, 2012 2:55 PM:

    I don't know much about Peterson but apparently he is a huge driver behind the debt reduction zeitgeist.

    Listen to a fascinating interview with Dr. Stephanie Kelton on the topic of debt and taxes at the national level. Search for Le Show, October 28, 2012. She explains how our money system works, how national debt is totally unrelated to household debt, how we can never go bankrupt, how we are not at all like Greece.


    The related web site is http://neweconomicperspectives.org/

  • Patrick Star on December 26, 2012 3:26 PM:

    One can only hope that the longer this "fiscal cliff" nonsense plays out, the more obvious the sleazy motivations and intentions of the plutocrats become. I'm starting to think that the entire Investor Class has completely bought in to their deluded Randian Utopian fantasy world. They see themselves as Owners, not citizens, and that they've earned the right to call the shots, for all of us, whether we like it or not.

  • R on December 26, 2012 6:23 PM:

    At least there's a good collection of comments appearing on that Starbucks site. This stunt isn't quite like making coal miners show up on their own time to be a Romney backdrop, but it still stinks to further exploit one's own employees -- oh, I'm sorry, "partners" (as if they share profits!) -- this way. Tagging it to Sandy Hook is just crass.

  • Geoduck on December 26, 2012 7:20 PM:

    And of course, any member of Congress who might actually be able to do something productive about this is out of town on Christmas break, and will never see the cups.

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