Bash Compactor: The Donkey’s Ball

Written by Matt Harvey on . Posted in Bash Compactor, Posts.

week, an Inaugural Ball at Chelsea nightclub Rush was hosted by Living
Liberally, but nearly every person in the club identified himself as
part of its fun-loving predecessor, Drinking Liberally. Since the
latter’s inception in 2003, the fortunes of Democrats have waxed and
waned—bitterness, hope, defeat, despair and back—but through it all the
members of Drinking Liberally have remained unflappably drunk.

Now it’s time to watch them really party! But first, Justin Krebs, the
organization’s smooth-talking, pony-tailed Executive Director wanted me
to know that with great power comes great responsibility. Straightening
his wide American flag tie he said, “It’s a party but we’re doing some
charitable stuff too.” A Midwesterner in a jacket and tie, Peter Jones (of
Food Bank NYC) led me a few steps away to the windfall, a
forlornlooking box filled with dented cans of Spaghetti O’s and packs
of ramen.Tittering nervously he assured me, “We have a warehouse filled
with a million times that.” The second floor was packed with cougars
and their admirers, all on the prowl and moving with jerky, Jesse Spano
enthusiasm to “I’m So Excited.” A particularly adamant femme d’un
certain age
—with glasses and requisite low-plunging neckline—was making
the most of losing her job. She laid out her plans for an inauguration
road trip: “We’ve got furs and skimpy gowns, and we’re going to sleep
on a floor.” She pressed her breasts against my busily scribbling hand
repeatedly for emphasis. So this is how you build a coalition, I
thought, backing away and nodding idiotically.

I joined a handful of cocktail-dress-bedecked young Dems who were weighing the merits of mingling. “I’m still undecided,” Devon, a tall brunette joked. Anne Bracegirdle, a
lissome blonde, looked out at the clusters of gyrating dudes that
marked the path of the bar. “Can’t we just stay up here?” They nodded
in unison. So what’s with this crowd? “Awkward, awkward,” she
explained. Then she put a silver cardboard top hat—with “America, Fuck
Yeah!” written across the crown—on my head. Queen’s “Under Pressure”
came on, and Devon pumped her fist. On my way out, a bookishly charming
Living Liberally fundraiser called out to me from the ticket booth. “Be
brutal about it,” she admonished. I turned around with a laugh and
asked, “Huh?” She nodded and smiled. How’s that for transparency?