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.”
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.