As America enters week two of the government shutdown, many furloughed employees and angry/frazzled/despondent citizenry are medicating with some good old-fashioned drinking.
A new website, drunkdialcongress.org, allows you to harness your dranger (drunken anger) or your sober spite into a constructive act of democracy. Simply enter your phone number and within mere seconds you'll receive a phone call connecting you with a member of Congress.
Revolution Messaging, a DC-based progressive mobile media solution company, posted DrunkDialCongress.org a mere 24 hours ago. Since then, CEO Scott Goodstein says they've clocked over 300,000 unique visitors and 40,000 calls to Congress.
"These are tough times here in DC," Goodstein told CL. "There were the reports of members of Congress drinking before the shutdown happened. We thought, what would it be like if America was calling them with a drunken message?"
"Every bar has a 2-for-1 drink special now," he said. "This is something our firm was able to do, to put pressure on Congress to end this nonsense."
Goodstein's company already had the ability to automatically connect people to Congress simply by entering a zip code.
"So we just randomized it," Goodstein said. "Calls are connected to the DC office or district desk. Then we added cocktail mixes and some factual talking points."
CL Tampa tested it out. Immediately after entering a number in, the phone rings.
"Is this government shutdown making you want to drink? It sure makes me want to drink. Let me tell you, when I drink, I like to tell people what's on my mind. So in a minute, we're going to forward you to member of the House of Representatives and you can tell them what's on your mind and tell them to get back to work."
Next, the call is connected to an actual (living, breathing) member of Congress.
First, we were connected to Florida Congressman Ted Deutch, but the call was disconnected. On the second try (okay, third try, we chickened out on the second one), we reached the desk of Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter of San Diego. Our "drunk" dial wasn't his first.
"Calls are getting through and it's fun to watch happen," Goodstein said. He worked on President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign as director for external online operations, running all the social media and mobile platforms.
"I'm a Democrat upset with the Republicans, but I'm mad at the Democrats, too," Goodstein said. "I want to see the end of the shutdown and see my friends get back to work. This is personal and real for people in D.C."
So folks, the weekend has arrived. How will you spend it? Talking about BridesThrowingCats? Continuing that mile-long political Facebook rant with the guy you kinda know (but are now planning on defriending)?
Or giving Congress a piece of your mind?
Here are some liquid-courage recipes from drunkdialcongress.org to fuel that political rant.
THE BAD REPRESENTATIVE
1 oz Scotch whisky
1 oz cherry brandy
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1 oz lemon juice
1 slice lemon
THE SLEEPY SENATOR
1 oz absinthe liqueur
1 oz tonic water
1 oz sugar syrup
2 tsp lime juice or sour
THE SOUTHERN CONGRESSMAN
2 oz Jack Daniels Tennessee whiskey
1 tsp lime juice
5 oz sour mix
THE FANCY STATESMAN
2 oz blended whiskey
juice of 1/2 lemons
1 tsp powdered sugar
1 egg white
1 slice lemon
THE BLOODY BASTARD
1 part sour mix
1 part vodka
1 tbsp grenadine syrup