Sunday, June 01, 2008

Drunk Liberals

Time really does fly.

In the beginning, Mr. Krebs and his partner in starting the club, Matthew O’Neill, 30, would show up on Thursday, with just the two of them sharing a pitcher of beer. Since then, online social networking has helped the group grow into a national organization with 250 chapters across the country, at least one in each state.

“Eight years ago, someone told me that the Nader folks were trying to create a sort of potluck dinner group in every state across the country — the idea being that you organize people socially and out of that can grow a network that will move progressive politics forward,” said Sam Seder, a radio host on Air America. “The brilliance of this group is that they’ve actually done that.”

Four years ago, a person who attended meetings in New York moved to San Francisco and started a second Drinking Liberally chapter.

After the 2004 Republican convention, the Daily Kos and Atrios, two political blogs, began posting Drinking Liberally meeting times on their sites. By the time Election Day rolled around, 16 new chapters had sprung up.

“For a lot of us, it’s the only time that we really get to talk politics across generations, other than at Thanksgiving dinner,” said Katrina Baker, 27, the group’s national organizer.