Another week, another despairing look into the machinations of our deeply stupid political moment. This one, by the New Yorker’s Evan Osnos, looks at exactly what Trump’s war on the so-called “deep state” has entailed. It is, in short, a corollary of the same political disfunction that has left so many political appointments un-filled and turned so many high-level positions into revolving doors. Trump, lacking the fixed political ideology and cognitive stability that’d lead to filling these posts with ideological colleagues, or trusting people placed by previous administrations, has instead made “loyalty” a primary hiring attribute, demoting and firing competent civil servants and struggling to back-fill their positions. The scale on which this has occurred is pretty staggering; Osnos writes that, “Across the government, more than half of the six hundred and fifty-six most critical positions are still unfilled.”
Accordingly, an effort has been made to fill these posts as quickly as possible by streamlining the vetting process, and, despite Trump’s promise to #draintheswamp and fill it with the “best and most serious people,” it has lead to scenes like this:
The Post also noted that the White House Office of Presidential Personnel, which hired Weyeneth for the job, was itself a youthful operation: a “social hub” where young Trump aides “hang out on couches and smoke electronic cigarettes.” At a happy-hour party in January, the office celebrated one aide’s thirtieth birthday with a drinking game that involved “hiding a bottle of Smirnoff Ice, a flavored malt liquor, and demanding that the person who discovers it, in this case the deputy director, guzzle it.” When I asked the senior Administration official about the story, he said, “That was pretty common knowledge. That was their style.”
You read that right: Some of the most powerful people in our country are still hiding berry-flavor malt beverages in couch cushions and jacket pockets and forcing their unwitting bros to take a knee and chug one or else get ripped on by the fellas all night. (They are also vaping.) This is an extremely unexpected resurgence of the the drinking game best known as “Bros Icing Bros,” a viral phenomenon which Google Trends confirms was popular for like two months in the summer of 2010 and only perpetrated by the most obnoxious pieces of shit you know from high school ever since then.
If this sent you scrambling for the old BrosIcingBros.com website, whose cheerfully low-rent frat-house vibe was the catalyst for the entire phenomenon in the first place, alas: it is now defunct. The website Bro Bible apparently told The Village Voice that the bros behind Bros Icing Bros had offered to sell them the domain for a remarkably high sum. Now, 8 years later, it lives on only in our memories, the Internet Archive, and also apparently The White House Office Of Presidential Personnel, where you must drink a Smirnoff Ice immediately upon finding one, unless you can counter it with your own Ice Block. Them’s the rules, bro.