Want a Solution to the Government Shutdown? Drunk Dial Congress

A new website allows the heavily inebriated to ring up random lawmakers.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama sip Guinness at a pub in Ireland on May 23, 2011.
National Journal
Matt Vasilogambros
Add to Briefcase
Matt Vasilogambros
Oct. 10, 2013, 6:43 a.m.

A few too many glasses of bour­bon and a phone call are usu­ally not a good com­bin­a­tion — wheth­er it’s with an ex-girl­friend or your boss. But what about a mem­ber of Con­gress?

That might be OK. A new ser­vice called “Drunk Dial Con­gress” al­lows you to enter your tele­phone num­ber on the web­site and get con­nec­ted to a ran­dom law­maker’s of­fice to air your griev­ances. And drink­ing be­fore­hand is en­cour­aged.

It’s still morn­ing, so I’ve only had a couple cups of cof­fee, but I wanted to test the ser­vice in the name of journ­al­ism. I entered my num­ber and got a call from an 888 num­ber. The voice of a heav­ily in­ebri­ated man said:

Hi. Is this gov­ern­ment shut­down mak­ing you want to drink? Well, it sure makes me want to drink. And 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 a mem­ber of the House of Rep­res­ent­at­ives and you can tell them what’s on your mind and tell them to get back to work.

I tried the ser­vice four times and reached two Demo­crats and two Re­pub­lic­ans: Reps. Dina Tit­us, D-Nev., Tom Cot­ton, R-Ark., Mike Turn­er, R-Ohio, and Brad Schneider, D-Ill. Don’t worry, I hung up to spare the already-thinned of­fices from hav­ing to deal with my ex­per­i­ment.

The web­site in­cludes talk­ing points with links to art­icles about the gov­ern­ment shut­down. It also in­cludes five drink re­cipes, which in­clude the South­ern Con­gress­man, the Fancy States­man, the Bloody Bas­tard, the Bad Rep­res­ent­at­ive, and the Sleepy Sen­at­or.

A pro­gress­ive di­git­al-mar­ket­ing group called Re­volu­tion Mes­saging is be­hind the ser­vice, al­though the web­site it­self doesn’t ap­pear to have any polit­ic­al bi­ases. Ob­vi­ously, this is just a site to add a little fun to a bleak situ­ation in Wash­ing­ton.

Try it out for your­self.

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