Baratunde Thurston, 30, a stand-up comedian, performs around New York City with Laughing Liberally. “After the 2004 election, Drinking Liberally meetings were like a support group,” said Mr. Thurston, who was a co-host of the Boston chapter at the time. “There were a lot of questions: ‘What happened? How could fellow Americans re-elect this man? How exactly do you move to Canada?’ In 2006, the mood started changing from pity party to newfound hope regarding the midterm elections. Local politicians would come by and make their pitches. We did joint events with human-rights groups and abortion-rights groups. It was like a swap meet of liberalism.” Through Laughing Liberally, Mr. Thurston met other politically oriented comics and found his current job as a Web editor and writer at the satirical newspaper, The Onion. “This group has been an amazing tool for so many of us, injecting the political process into our everyday social lives,” Mr. Thurston said. “Talking about politics can be intimidating if you don’t know the inner workings of HR-257 or what FISA means. Having a social entree into the whole process makes it much easier.”
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The New York Times ran a Sunday piece about Drinking Liberally and its achievement of surviving for five years and having a chapter in all 50 states. I knew I gave them some quotable goods but had no idea they'd close the story with me. Dang.
cross-posted to Daily Kos This Thursday, Drinking Liberally turns five years old, and I'd like your help in celebrating. We have 247 chapters across 47 states, and need just a few more to cover the country. It's a 50-state strategy in line with what many of us in the netroots fight for at the local level: active, informed citizenship. As a part of Living Liberally, Drinking Liberally seeks to engage citizens in their democracy through social interaction. Not everyone can or wants to liveblog the FISA hearings or get into the intricacies of healthcare mandates. However, through local, on-the-ground infrastructure, the Living Liberally fam is helping reinvigorate progressive commmunities across this country, not just on the coasts, not just in swing states, but everywhere. Check out this map: Jerome and Markos in for a book reading where some couldn't even make it inside. Glenn Greenwald toured How Would A Patriot Act by tapping the DL network and reaching folks outside the major book chain system. Our mailing lists are massive and growing and local. Drinking Liberally is about more than social events among progressives. It's a platform for progressive politics embedded in towns across America. We're aiming to reach chapters in all 50 states by our anniversary day. So much so that, if we do indeed reach 50 states by May 29th, then everyone at our 5th anniversary celebration bash in NYC gets a free beer. The round's on the house. Paid for. If you are a progressive, or know any progressives, in HI, ND, or OK please please PLEASE contact us at email@example.com with any leads. Pump up this post, and share it with bloggers in those states. Take this opportunity to find your own Drinking Liberally chapter and meet your neighbors and continue the work of reinvigorating this nation. Finally, a message from Howard Dean, architect of another 50-state strategy