There’s no mystery why Washington drinks a lot: to blot out the realization that they’re rotten people doing rotten things to the American public. From Reid Wilson at thehill.com:
President Trump’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs withdrew his name from consideration this week after a number of serious allegations were raised about his stewardship as White House physician, including that he drank on the job.
The allegations against Ronny Jackson of excessive drinking shine a light on a problem that, while not unique to Washington, is particularly acute in the nation’s capital.
It’s a booze problem fueled by a uniquely stressful environment where many of the corporate structures of accountability and oversight don’t exist.
From the executive branch to Capitol Hill, K Street lobbying firms to high-pressure newsrooms, free alcohol is easily accessible.
The days of the three-martini lunch may be gone, but they have been replaced by hard-partying nights filled with fundraisers, receptions or long bar tabs.
“There is just a strong push and culture of intoxication in D.C. It’s been like that for a long time,” said Kevin Sabet, who served in the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy in three different administrations. “It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue. It really cuts across all ideologies.”
This weekend, Washington’s political class will hobnob during at least 10 events surrounding the White House correspondents’ dinner, where the drinks flow freely. The most common complaint at the dinner itself is that empty wine bottles are not replaced with sufficient speed.
During the holiday season, it is possible to spend weeks in a row drinking free while hopping from reception to reception sponsored by all manner of corporations and interest groups.
Half a dozen current and former aides and members of Congress, all of whom asked for anonymity to shed light on an unsavory side of the culture within government, said a combination of factors contribute to a heavy-drinking environment: Members are away from their families for long stretches of time. Lobbyists and supplicants are eager to please, whether via campaign contributions or a cocktail. And few formal rules governing workplace environments exist in the halls of Congress, or in the White House.
To continue reading: Washington’s heavy-drinking ways in spotlight