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My Comment Piece In The UK Independent On Obama's Ability To Unify

Full piece here Excerpt:
The polling is clear. Obama has a steady national lead. More importantly, he is leading in the handful of states whose electoral votes actually matter including four states that voted for George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004. John McCain had hoped to make California competitive. Instead he finds himself ahead by only two points in his home state of Arizona, forced to commit resources and to start running deceptive automated phone calls in a desperate attempt to prevent an embarrassing loss. Assuming he wins, what can we expect from Barack Obama. Can he unite the country as he's promised? He will have his work cut out. The divisions in America run deep racially and politically, but there can and will be progress, if not total resolution. A friend and fellow comedian who produces a video series called "This Week In Blackness" spoke with me about the oft-repeated concept of a "post-racial" America. The notion is that we will have won the War On Racism by electing Obama and once and for all healed America's racial divide. Claims of employment discrimination, systematic imprisonment and economic segregation could be met with, "But you have a black president." The country could finally move on to more pressing matters, like selecting the next flavour of Coca Cola. This simple resolution will not happen. In fact, Obama's mere candidacy (and the reaction of his opponents to it) have exacerbated that racial divide in small but poignant ways. Obama has tapped into hope, but he has also triggered a backlash of fear from the more ignorant realms of our society.
As usual, Bring it for Barack

I'm In The NY Times With Drinking Liberally

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.
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.”

Need Drinking Liberally Chapters in HI, ND, OK By May 29th

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:

Drinking Liberally Map

I used to co-host the Cambridge chapter, and have seen how the DL infrastructure works. We were able to get 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 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