2/11 UPDATE: Please see the end of this article for recent developments.
Organizing for America (OFA) has found a way to deal with all the bad news President Obama will deliver during the State of the Union speech: alcohol, and lots of it. And they have a Republican's joke to thank for it, in what may be the best trolling prank on Democrats in quite a while.
OFA is a Democratic organization that once ran the President's reelection campaign, and they are promoting watch parties for Tuesday's State of the Union address. These watch parties are hosted by Obama supporters around the country, and OFA is encouraging those on its email list to attend and cheer on the President.
However, a Texas Republican named Richard Morgan, a subscriber to the OFA email list, offered to host a watch party in Dallas for the State of the Union. "Creating the event was actually quite easy," Morgan said. The former Congressional candidate had joined the OFA email list to monitor their messages, and when a friend suggested he use his email membership with OFA to offer to host a watch party with a Republican twist, Morgan couldn't resist. He then offered to host a drinking game in his home based on the failings of the President.
Amazingly, the offer was taken seriously (or not properly vetted), and it was made an official watch party by Organizing for America. An email from OFA executive director Jon Carson to supporters in the Dallas area was sent out Saturday. "Want to meet up with supporters in Dallas to watch President Obama's State of the Union address? Here's your chance: Folks are getting together near you this Tuesday, February 12th, to watch the speech and talk about what's next for our movement. After his speech, the President himself will be joining the conversation -- on a call with supporters like you at watch parties around the country."
The email includes an RSVP link for Morgan's event, if they live near his zip code. However, a description provided by Morgan (as shown in a screenshot provided in the slideshow) makes it clear his event won't exactly sing the President's praises. The event is titled "The Barack Obama Drinking Party (State of the Union Watch Party)" and offers the following description of the event:
Take a sip when Joe Biden gamely leads the Democrats in applause. Take a sip when the camera catches any of the following: Harry Reid or Michelle Obama looking bored. Take a swig when Obama makes the wrong pause in the wrong place and gives Republicans in the audience the opportunity to ironically applaud. Take a swig when Joe Biden succumbs to some prolonged peal of laughter. Pound a shot when someone in the audience "pulls a Joe Wilson" and shouts back. Pound a shot when Obama says, "The State of the Union is FUBAR."
Morgan's event quickly filled its quota of RSVPs, and he is unsure whether they are Republicans who get the joke or Democrats who actually plan to attend. Either way, he is serious about holding the event and is ready for whomever might show up on his doorstep. "I have nothing against Democrats coming to my house who are respectful," he said. "I have a lot of Democrat friends, and I've thrown a number of parties. Hopefully they'll keep their disagreements based on the issues, and I welcome an honest debate. I'll have several Republican friends here as well, and I don't expect to change any minds, but I'm not worried we'll be able to present a strong and reasoned contrast to their own ideas.
"I bet some of the people who RSVP'd are Republicans or people who joined the mailing list who like the idea of a drinking party and aren't too thrilled about his results," he said.
Morgan will be interested to hear if Obama will take responsibility for the state of the country and his plan to improve things. "I was encouraged to hear Obama say last week that the economy is now his priority. I wonder why that wasn't the case four years ago. Unemployment is still high, and the CBO predicts a bounce in unemployment back to 8% during the second half of the year.
"I think the lasting effect of Obama's presidency will be that a lot of independent-leaning young people who bought into his promise of hope and change will find themselves disappointed and wary of the Democrats' offerings. The last few months I've encountered more young people complaining about Obama than I did his entire first term. Unless things improve drastically, I think the right messenger running as a Republican will win their votes in 2016," he said.
Morgan unsuccessfully challenged Texas Congressman Lamar Smith in the Republican primary in 2012. Smith had raised the ire of many over his sponsorship of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which many felt violated personal freedom and privacy. Morgan later worked for the Mitt Romney presidential campaign.
Morgan's event was still listed as an official watch party as of Sunday afternoon, and on Tuesday, Dallas residents voters will be able to join Morgan and drown their sorrows while the President makes his case.
2/11 UPDATE: According to an update from Richard Morgan, Organizing for America removed his watch party from their website Sunday night. Morgan said he had received 60 RSVPs for the event, and still plans to hold his watch party.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SIGN UP or SUBSCRIBE button at the top of this page.