Thanks For What?

December 3, 2013

“For all sad words from mouth or pen, the saddest of these are, what might have been.” – Whittier

Thanksgiving was always the best of Yankee holidays; indeed, unlike most things we celebrate, a unique occasion, a special American institution. In its original incarnation, the last Thursday in November was set aside to thank God and our ancestors for the blessings and bounty that make America what it is.

Somehow the institution has become the enemy of the original idea.

The cynic sees Thanksgiving as just another paid holiday; but the optimist knows better. Thanksgiving is a starting gun, advent for a Christmas shopping orgy. “Black Friday,” is the spending riot that follows turkey Thursday, eclipsing the day before – and preventing acid reflux.

How much Americans consume between the end of November and the first of January is now both an annual economic metric and a cultural marker. Spending on turkey day is the jingle that stimulates Kris Kringle. More spending every year is good; less spending than last year – not so much.

If you like your shopping; you can keep your shopping – 24/7. Commerce never takes a holiday anymore.

Forget those tedious turkey dinners with riotous kids and obnoxious in-laws. Hit the mall before last call. Give thanks to Uncle Sugar for the day off and give thanks to the big boxes for giving us a place to go besides home, some place other than a hot kitchen and a noisy dining room on a weekday.

Speaking of government, let’s not forget to give thanks for that too. Withal, like consumption, more government does not necessarily make for happier campers.

Take the new healthcare circus. Watching Obamacare (nee Hilarycare) blow up on the launch pad might be a blessing too. It’s not just the prospects of a new regime; more significant is the possibility that implementation equals implosion. But for the moment, if you like the Affordable Care Act, you can keep it – and all those “navigators” that will help sign you up for new taxes.

While you’re in the queue, take comfort in knowing that Congress and staffs have special access to the exchanges and special subsides for their healthcare plans. Those between the ages of 18 and 64 might also send a tweet to individual representatives and wish them all the best in 2014.

And while the subject is politics, give thanks for another pair of breeding lawyers in the White House. The Clintons were a hard act to follow, but the Obamas are doing them proud. Hard to believe that Barak Hussein could out fudge William Jefferson. Facts don’t lie; but lawyers can factor by God.

When the subject is mendacity, the Clintons and Obamas are mirror images. Bill lied to a grand jury and Barak sold snake oil to tomorrow’s patients. One was diddling the help and the other was screwing the Hippocratic Oath. Deficits of candor and surpluses of pander make for a thoroughly modern commander.

If you like your politicians; you can keep your politicians! Hilary and Howard Taft are waiting in the wings. Yes, Hilary – hands down favorite to give Bill another chance with the interns on Pennsylvania Avenue.

Did we say Howard Taft? No, no; Taft was another Republican where girth might have been a measure of worth. It’s Jersey not Ohio that we’re thinking of. Chris Christie is likely to be Hilary’s opposite number a few years hence.

Before the Jersey shore comes south, Christie may have to squeeze past the titular head of the Republican Party, John Boehner. You might recall that Boehner is another Ohio guy who starts to weep every time someone shouts, “mister speaker!” Never mind, give thanks anyway for a polity that is about to cough up the most entertaining political dog fight of the new millennium.

So let’s raise a glass to the loyal opposition too, Boehner’s Republicans. Party tenure is the political stream that keeps deadwood afloat. Politicians and academics are alike in that regard. If either stays around long enough, they get promoted to their level of incompetence. The Speaker of the House does have one thing going for him. He’s not a lawyer.

And while the eggnog lasts, let’s give thanks for shysters too. Indeed, the legal profession is our 21st Century oligarchy, clever authors of the invisible coup- and the seamier side of democracy. Nearly every ambulance chaser dabbles in politics now. All three branches of government are dominated by the legal profession. When it comes to public office; cowboys, plowboys, and plumbers need not apply.

Seems only lawyers are fit to rule the modern social democracy. Ironically, when it comes to public approval, politicians and lawyers rank somewhere between cat scat and the curb. Not that this is an impediment. Surely the differences between Democrats and Republicans in America are obliterated by the standards of a common profession. We all have needs, we are all plaintiffs. Without lawyers how could we cope?

The purpose of social democracy after all is to insure that every citizen gets three hots, a cot, a laptop, condoms, a significant other, a Stairmaster, an allowance, health insurance – and daycare until mom and dad hit menopause. Ask not what you can do for yourself. Ask what your country can do for you. Happy 50th anniversary Jack!

Thanksgiving is like the Academy Awards, when you give thanks you need to make sure that you don’t forget anyone.
Alas, let’s not forget then to give thanks to the new Janissary on the E-Ring. Pentagon peacocks have come a long way in the last five years too: from helmets to hijabs,” from victory to “transition,” and from no-man-left-behind to “cover-your-behind.” “What does it matter?” says Mrs. Clinton on behalf of the JCS. Indeed!

The general officer corps (or corpse as the president might put it) is now on the cutting edge of social progress and fashion. Diversity is the best defense. Ambiguity is the best offense. Unisex puts the moxie in slogans like “An Army of One.”

And if you like silly hats on your head and fruit salad on your chest; you can keep them too, thank you. The Pentagon is not unlike T-Ball today. Win or lose, everybody gets a ribbon. Why reward performance or battle field victories when appearances will do?
So there you have it; a litany of thanks for another year in the world’s foremost social democracy. Happy holidays!
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American Thinker did not publish this assessment as part of their holiday fare. Too tart perhaps.