The Hightower Report

The Ruby Red Cocktail; and An Appeal to Evangelical Voters


Time to take another peek into the "Lifestyles of the Rich ... and Cranky."

Most of us rubes and common riffraff simply have no idea how difficult it is to be rich. The demands are crushing, because one is always expected to live up to expectations. Take the simple act of ordering a drink in a bar. You and I would take a stool and say, "gimme a beer," or on special occasions, "I feel like a nice Chardonnay tonight." If you are Mr. Rich E. Rich, however, you must show more discernment, refinement, savoir faire, and – how shall I put it? – wealth. Yeah, that's it: wealth.

Luckily, the Reserve Club, a trendy spot in downtown Chicago, has come up with just the libation for the hoity-toity set to order: the Ruby Red. This is not a concoction made with Ruby Red grapefruit, as you and I might assume, but a delightful blend of Grey Goose vodka, Hynotiq cognac, PAMA Pomegranate Liqueur, a splash of Dom Perignon champagne – and, to top it off, a 1-carat, grade-A ruby. Yes, a real gem of a cocktail.

You can enjoy a Ruby Red martini for only $950 per glass. The club manager, who invented the Ruby Red, says he was trying to come up with something for the elite clientele that would be more memorable than merely opening yet another bottle of expensive champagne. "We wanted to use pomegranate because it's hitting a popular trend with the antioxidants," he explained. "Dom Perignon champagne added a certain je ne sais quoi, while using the Grey Goose vodka brought a smooth and silky kick," he twittered. And, of course, the ruby brought the "wow" factor into play – as well as bringing the price up.

So far, he's sold three Ruby Reds, including one to a twentysomething free-spender who was out to impress a first date.

The club also offers a Rubyless Ruby Red for only $120 – but that would be so common. He's sold none of those.


It's time for our friends in so many of the evangelical churches that have been politicized and Republicanized to face up to a hard fact: You've been snookered ... duped ... used ... had.

Karl Rove, George W., and other GOP partisans wooed you hard in 2004 – and, sure enough, such evangelical church leaders as James Dobson poured money, endorsements, volunteers, and your own Godly blessings into Republican campaigns. They put all of your political eggs into that one particular basket, putting Bush and the GOP in charge of the entire federal government.

But ... what have you actually won? The big prize, of course, was to be a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. Even though Dobson and other church leaders had to convince you working-class evangelicals to vote against your own economic well-being, you were told that Karl, George, and the boys would be true and would deliver this social prize, so it would be worth the sacrifice.

But, where's George, Karl, and the GOP now? They've poured enormous political capital and energy into such issues as privatizing Social Security, cutting taxes on the rich, and pursuing their war of lies in Iraq – all of which hurt families like yours. Yet there's been no push for the prize that was to be your reward – Bush even stopped talking about it as soon as the election was over.

The naked truth is that they never meant to pursue it. Oh, sure, they're now bringing it up for a token vote, but they know it won't pass, and George W. will not even be working it, much less putting a full-court presidential press into the effort. The only reason they're even raising it at this late date is that it's another election year – they want to dupe you again.

As George himself has said, "Fool me once, shame on – shame on you. Fool me – you can't get fooled again." He's not standing for you, so why would you stand for him?

For more information on Jim Hightower's work – and to subscribe to his award-winning monthly newsletter, The Hightower Lowdown – visit You can hear his radio commentaries on KOOP Radio, 91.7FM, weekdays at 10:58am and 12:58pm.

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Ruby Red Cocktail, Karl Rove, George W. Bush, James Dobson, Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage, privatizing Social Security, Evangelical voters

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