I came across this line in an article about LBJ (who I have grown to think of as a tragic hero in the Greek tradition, with his greatest strength-- the ability to make people compromise-- leading to his downfall-- the Vietnam War):
"Johnson would have dressed these people down in public and then drank all the liquor in their cabinet."
Drank or drunk? To me, it's drunk (would have drunk) because it is the conditional-- he didn't actually drink. But for a second, before it flew out of my mind, I thought I had a reason why "drank" is right. Now it's gone, but I remember that at some moment, I had a blinding insight.
Poor me. My blinding insights are so often lost during the blinding.
Anyway, does anyone have a good argument for "drank" there? Or are we all agreed -- conditional tense (would have) takes past participle (drunk)?