I’ve been watching the rise of partisan blog social events (“Drinking Liberally,” comes to mind) with some amusement. The amusement is based in part on the notion that the blogs have gotten big enough that we can parse who we want to associate with, and partly on my wry acknowledgement that American politics today consists of two camps, armed with sharp tongues and quick thumbs – the better to text disparaging messages about each other.
Now I like a disparaging message as much as the next guy, but I also have fond memories of the lesson taught me by an ultra-right-wing politician early in my career.
John Schmitz was (literally) a member of the John Birch Society. he was a California State Senator when I met him in my capacity as a junior lobbyist for Gov. Jerry Brown’s administration, and he told me something I’ve remembered for a long time:
When Moscone ran the Senate, he and I used to fight hammer and tongs all day, then go out and have drinks over dinner and laugh about it. We differed on where we wanted the boat to go, but we recognized that we were in the same boat. These new guys would gladly sink the boat rather then compromise.
So in honor of the late Sen. Schmitz’s sentiment – if not his child-rearing ability or political views – I’m going to see if we can kick off a series of blogger meals – first here in Southern California, and then maybe elsewhere, if folks can be found to make them happen.
The John Schmitz – George Moscone Dining and Drinking Society. Motto: “It’s just one boat; we’re all on it; let’s make sure the food is good and there’s lots of booze.”
We’ll have our first dinner Saturday, November 12, someplace near the 405 and 110 in the Los Angeles area (I’ll pick a venue when I have some idea of how many people may come). We’ll meet for drinks at 6:00.