The Washington Post Style page, as we at NewsBusters can attest, finds all things liberal or "progressive" stylish. Conservative political and social functions, not as much.
So it was a bit amusing this morning to read Dan Zak's decent coverage of "dueling happy hours on Capitol Hill," one a five-year-old happy hour series called First Friday, the other an upstart hosted by liberals called "First Thursday" -- couldn't they think up something a little more original?:
Here, on a red-brick block of Capitol Hill, are the people who want to steer the country after their bosses have worn out the clutch. Here are the people who let their livers and libidos lead them to the like-minded, who pursue connections that become coalitions that become movements that become presidencies. (After a mini-pitcher of sangria, anything seems possible.)
Separated by a salon, a sushi place and an ideological chasm are the dueling happy hours. One conservative, one progressive. One long-standing, the other brand-new. One in a hey-bro, populist pub, the other in a mod, sunken lounge.
Leave your prejudices at the door.
Find new ones inside.
Overheard at the conservative happy hour First Friday at Union Pub: “I’ll be over at the Faith and Freedom conference tomorrow. . . . They beat Notre Dame this year. . . . When Snowmageddon happened two years ago, I had a reservation at Minibar. . . . The Weiner jokes are overwhelming me right now.”
Overheard at the progressive happy hour First Thursday at Lounge 201 the night before: “I’m also a PhD student. . . . I’m a lawyer by day but . . . We lost the message war! . . . Libertarianism doesn’t make sense. How can you abolish everything? . . . How drunk do I have to be to say, ‘Hey, Ron Paul intern’?”
Young, mostly single activists -- regardless of political affiliation -- like to let down their hair, down a pint, and to do so in a like-minded crowd. I've been to a few First Fridays, but Zak's wording is a bit misleading.
Some have actually been hosted by Lounge 201, but perhaps most have been at Union Pub. Both places are owned by the same gentleman, Matthew Weiss.
To his credit, Zak gets in a fair share of gentle ribbing about the idiosyncrasies of young lefties and righties in the nation's capital, but given how new-fangled and uncertain-to-catch-on the liberal First Thursday is, it kind of reminds me of the Post's gauzy coverage of the left-wing Tea Party decaffeinated alternative, the Coffee Party (see P.J. Gladnick's critique of that story here).