In this article and short video, a BBC reporter joined Drinking Liberally at Rudy's, home of the original chapter, to talk with us about how American Liberals are feeling in the era of Obama and on the eve of the midterm elections.
I discuss the vibrant community that exists and organizes on the Left -- though less sensationally than the Tea Party, and not fully in sync with the Obama Administration.
While in Denver, I had the chance to talk with Mario Solis Marich about the book, the meaning of "living like a liberal" and how much we all enjoy hoisting a drink with local host John Erhardt at the Skylark.
You can hear the interview here -- in the later part of the segment.
Also, the Denver Examiner profiled my visit to the local Drinking Liberally chapter -- discussing the book, its reviews and the story of the organization.
Boise was the 5th chapter of Drinking Liberally, the third longest consecutively running group, and the city that put Drinking Liberally on the map. So I was excited to meet them -- and delighted to learn they were excited to meet me.
Boise Weekly told their readers to come check us out -- calling us "a fresh-faced group of rebels [who] get together to share beers, laughs and *gasp* leftist politics." Their promotion of the chance to meet the national co-founder included a healthy dose of ironic excitement: "OMG, you can, like, totally start gushing blue now."
Dan Henry -- the dynamic host of our Idaho Falls chapter, a surprising hotbed of progressive organizing -- has written up a review of the book. Take it with a grain of salt: as he acknowledges, his own appearance throughout the book might color his perceptions.
Here are a few of his thoughts:
"538 Ways may sound like a catalog of rules that nobody could live up to, when it is anything but. Krebs weaves a narrative of culture, family, history, and experience that speeds along without getting bogged down in some sort of dry checklist. This is no prescriptive manual for living as a liberal. It is a helpful dialog of the many ways that liberal ideology can be seamlessly woven into our lives in ways that feel effortless.
"Just like the concept behind Drinking Liberally, Justin's approach is relaxed, easy-going, and non-confrontational."
Hmm...."non-confrontational" may not be the praise most politicos seek, but in our often divisive political climate, I welcome it.
I had my first chance to speak with a conservative radio host (the author of the great cover story in The Weekly Standard didn't want to chat with me for his piece) -- and it was an educational experience. Jan was affable, trading barbs, teasing but remaining a positive host. I could see why he had a radio show.
That was the first half.
Arkansas greeted me with open arms -- and even a few articles.
The Community Bridge is a great public affairs talk show in Manhattan, Kansas. Leading up to my trip to their state, we had a Manhattan-to-Manhattan dialogue (I did the interview from the room above Rudy's, the bar where Drinking Liberally started in New York City) -- and it was a great chance to build that bridge between the heartland and the big city.
A few hits from around the blogosphere in the dog days of August:
- Thanks to the North Texas Progressive Newsletter for recommending readers purchase their own copy of "538 Ways"
- Thanks also to P3 - Persuasion, Perseverence and Patience - for promoting the book along with the Oregon chapters of Drinking Liberally
- And finally, a nod to Blue Kennel who prefers the label "Crunchy Con" to liberal...but seems to jive with some of our values.
The Northern Kentucky chapter that meets in Covington greeted its local congressional candidate, veteran John Waltz -- a man not afraid to stand alongside a liberal author. Cincinnati.com picked up on this politcian-and-pundit double bill.
The Cucking Stool, one of the top progressive mouthpieces in the Minneapolis Netroots, let its readers know that "the first person to drink liberally" was coming. Not sure I was really the first...but there would be worse epitaphs.
My trip to Milwaukee was heralded with announcements across the Wisconsin blogosphere -- which is what happens when the local hosts are such well-respected bloggers that their chapter becomes a hub of political outreach and hive of progressive punditry.
The event was written up in:
The conservative magazine, The Weekly Standard, has given us a high compliment: they've dedicated thousands of words to 538 Ways to Live, Work and Play Like a Liberal.
Even more impressively, they've given us the cover of their upcoming issue.
Is it love? Depends how you define "love," I suppose. The conceit is that the writer spent 10 days living according to the ideas in the book -- finding the challenges and at times contradictions within the book's pages.
"Having been a liberal for as long as I can remember, I enjoyed 538 Ways tremendously. It was a great reminder of why I'm a liberal in the first place - because liberalism is simply a more enjoyable, more connected, more exciting wordldview and way of life than its narrow and stingy conservative cousin."
Check out the full review by Shai Sachs.
Courtney Martin has written the first review of "538" on the great site Feministing (#347 in the book).
From her post:
"It's a sanity-saving, moral guide to living in a contemporary society hell bent on crushing you with its consumer choices, paralyzing you with moral relativism, and making you want to go numb with all the pain and injustice."