Turkey in the Straw

Jimmy Breslin, the author and columnist of nearly half a century, wrote wonderful, terse, and glowing prose. Sentences were clear and simply loaded with the best choices. He was a master writer.

In 1963, just about now, he was in Washington for President Kennedy's funeral. While all other columnists were searching out the famous and near greats in attendance, Mr. Breslin sought out the grave digger at Arlington reasoning that of all people, he was perhaps the closest to the scene of that day's event. That decision is still taught in journalism class; finding the person closest to the event and it is true. Like tossing a rock in a lake, the initial waves are closest and the ones that reach shore are farther away and therefore removed.

On Thanksgiving the President of the United States gives a little radio talk, pardons a couple turkeys, and generally wishes everyone a fine day.  A few years ago, the right wing, in a true showing of empty fury, descended on him for not thanking God (or god) for the feast day's bounty. "Aha you lout! You didn't thank God (god)".

We would do well to invoke the Breslin rule here for who or what is closest to the action than the turkey itself. We should ask the herd above if they are thanking the great turkey god for the two lives spared while millions die. How does Mr. Gobbles feel about the day? What is his or her frame of mind as the ultimate bad day draws near?

Instead we hear from those far from the action - way across the lake - who notice a ripple in the water and lash out in a moronic display of "gotcha".

I doubt that whatever God or god is either offended or even notices Mr. Obama's lack of invocation. He/he/she is probably pretty busy with the souls of millions of birds who had the bad luck of being born with the potential to be part of turducken. Those birds were the ones meeting their creator (remember your "endowed by their Creator" from the Declaration --- huh huh remember that?) because our founding fathers specifically left God/god our of our documents and figured that what went on in the minds of men and turkeys was between him/her/it and who they came to believe created them.

Not to ruffle any feathers here but these critics look like the north end of a mule headed south and they miss completely when held up to the intent of our founding fathers and more importantly, who is closest to the scene. I heard Rush Limbaugh invoke the Judeo-Christian ethic yesterday and infer that this was secret code, double dog dare ya' proof that Mr. Obama was indeed a closet Muslim. First of all, Judeo-Christian wasn't in any deck of cards during Jefferson and Adams' time. It is a bogus phrase. Second, it proves that Mr. Limbaugh didn't go to journalism school but we all knew that.

Last, this endless carping, this pettiness, this automatic outrage button, has no place on the Thanksgiving table. The turkey does. He/she/it just gave it all up for your enjoyment and hopefully made whatever peace turkeys make with the turkey God/god and let that be the end of it.