Happy Thanksgiving!

posted at 9:49 am on November 27, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

On behalf of everyone at Hot Air, I want to wish all of you a very happy and safe Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving has two qualities for me, a combination of contemplation and Americana that makes it one of my favorite days of the year.  The act of giving thanks makes us count our blessings and truly and actively consider them, and not necessarily in a religious context, although for me that’s a major component of it.  I’m grateful, for instance, for the political system that allows for peaceful transfers of power every four years, because in many nations, that does not exist.  I’m very grateful for the men and women who will celebrate Thanksgiving in faraway places to ensure our liberty and help bring freedom to others.

On a more personal level, I’m thankful for the people who make it possible for me to earn a living doing something I love — Hot Air readers, Michelle Malkin, Allahpundit, and the rest of the Hot Air team behind the scenes.  My family is spread out over the US today; we’re in California, while our son, daughter-in-law, and the Little Admiral are in Alabama with my DIL’s family having a Gulf Coast Thanksgiving.  I’m thankful for my DIL’s family, who have adopted us and shown us great love, and I’m especially thankful to the Lord for my granddaughter and my granddaughter-to-come (in December).

Michelle writes today about her gratitude for self-reliant Americans, and that brings me to the American-ness of Thanksgiving.  In recent times, people have challenged the notion that the Puritans of New England were the germination of our liberty.  The Puritans did not exemplify religious freedom, it is rightly noted; they only wanted that freedom for themselves and demonstrated a remarkable inflexibility towards those of other religions, notably Catholics.  They expelled people who disagreed with them, most famously Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, on religious doctrine and other disputes.

However, that sells their influence short, as Ira Stoll’s book, Samuel Adams: A Life explains.  The act of sailing into the unknown and carving out a life without a safety net was uniquely liberating.  Europe had been a feudal society in which absolute authority had been imposed over its people through both the church and the monarchy.  While technically still loyal to the latter, the aristocracy became a remote consideration within a very short period of time for the colonists, whose concerns focused mainly on survival.  They had no one else but themselves to assist them, and that kind of self-reliance teaches that people don’t need feudal lords to run their lives.

By the time the mid-eighteenth century arrived, the descendants of those pioneers developed a deep appreciation for both liberty and property rights as the basis of their politics.  They understandably resented any imposition of outside authority other than that necessary for the common defense.  The Puritans and their descendants may have done so imperfectly, but their survival and success in colonization directly led to the revolution that followed 150 years later and the nation that resulted, for which we express thanks today.

So let’s finally give thanks for our imperfect national ancestors, who founded this holiday and created the impulse that would liberate half of the world.


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Happy Thanksgiving all!

Dash on November 27, 2008 at 9:57 AM

Yes, those colonists took a gigantic leap of Faith. It was that Faith, Humilty, and Courage that created AMERICA….
ONE NATION UNDER GOD.

…endowed by our Creater with certain unalienable rights…

GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Happy Thanksgiving Michelle, Admiral, and Allahpundit.
Thank you for this website.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, GANG!

kingsjester on November 27, 2008 at 9:58 AM

I’m thankful that Ed is in SoCal. And now it’s raining…. Which is a good thing cause we haven’t had any serious amount of rain in years.

multiuseless on November 27, 2008 at 9:58 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all and God Bless!

becki51758 on November 27, 2008 at 10:00 AM

Thank you, God, for giving “whosoever will” eternal life through the suffering & resurrection of your Son!

jgapinoy on November 27, 2008 at 10:01 AM

Thank you God for HotAir & freedom of speech!

jgapinoy on November 27, 2008 at 10:01 AM

For all of this and many more, I am thankful.

Now off to my son’s place in Berkeley!

Bob's Kid on November 27, 2008 at 10:03 AM

Nice essay, Ed, thank you for that. But it’s hard to be in the holiday spirit after what happened yesterday.

Let’s be thankful to the Indian troops who rescued those hostages.

Let’s also be thankful for OUR troops, because of them, what happened yesterday in India – doesn’t happen here.

Tony737 on November 27, 2008 at 10:03 AM

The Puritans and their descendants may have done so imperfectly

Every revolution is imperfect, whether military or intellectual.
Long before the Pilgrims, an imperfect (in that he retained the anti-Semitism of Rome) German named Martin Luther helped start the religious freedom movement.
Long after the Pilgrims, our Founding Fathers allowed slavery.

jgapinoy on November 27, 2008 at 10:12 AM

Happy Thanksgiving, Hot Heads!

RushBaby on November 27, 2008 at 10:12 AM

God Bless you all, and thanks to you Ed, for your prudent insight and endless good cheer. Have a happy!

Maquis on November 27, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Thanks, Ed, and Happy Thanksgiving to all here. Long live the Hot Air community!

petefrt on November 27, 2008 at 10:19 AM

I’m thankful for my health, freedom and liberty. Gotta run, having diner at my sister’s place.

Tommy_G on November 27, 2008 at 10:20 AM

Happy Thanksgiving Hot Air! God Bless you all.

tartan on November 27, 2008 at 10:20 AM

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless everyone.

mindhacker on November 27, 2008 at 10:20 AM

petefrt on November 27, 2008 at 10:19 AM

Ditto.

Long live the Republic. Long live the military, EMS, intelligence, and other levels of defense for this nation. Long live it’s patriotic inhabitants and the doctrines of freedom. Long live that sun who rises every morning..

blatantblue on November 27, 2008 at 10:24 AM

God Bless you all, but isn’t that photo racist? The only brown thing at the table is dead and trussed up? Just kidding.

eaglewingz08 on November 27, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Thank God for I was blessed with the privilege to immigrate to America.

Ropera on November 27, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Was that turkey executed by Sarah Palin?

Ropera on November 27, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all at Hot Air, including our Canadian friends!

Vince on November 27, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

May God the Father Almighty, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Bless us, one and all.

Zorro on November 27, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Happy Thanksgiving

rob verdi on November 27, 2008 at 10:45 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

I’m thankful for HotAir. It’s like having a political support/recovery group online.

Mojave Mark on November 27, 2008 at 10:47 AM

Thank God for I was blessed with the privilege to immigrate to America.

Yes! Thank God that my Philippine-born wife is here!

jgapinoy on November 27, 2008 at 10:49 AM

Happy Thanksgiving all :)

jasetaro on November 27, 2008 at 10:51 AM

Happy Thanksgiving!

Mr. Wednesday Night on November 27, 2008 at 10:52 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to you too, Ed!

And everyone else :)

Ugly on November 27, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Shouldn’t Obama provide turkeys to every family with taxpayer money?

iamse7en on November 27, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Happy Thanksgiving all.
Our family is scattered all over the world today…from opposite ends of Texas…to Japan…but we’re all together.
May you all be Blessed.
Oh…and Go Cowboys!!

TexasEngineer on November 27, 2008 at 11:10 AM

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Special thanks to our Armed Forces around the world.

kanda on November 27, 2008 at 11:12 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to Hot Air and to all across the US, And other Countries! I will raise a toast at dinner to all.

Cowboys? Yeah! As long as it is a great competitive game!

sheebe on November 27, 2008 at 11:13 AM

I give thanks for the good people of Hot Air and our zany cast of commenters. You make me laugh, cry, grrr, and most importantly, think. I also give thanks to our beloved trolls, who remind me that, for all my imperfections, I am all-in-all a fair and decent man.

Patrick S on November 27, 2008 at 11:14 AM

Happy Thanksgiving! My favorite neices and nephew along with their parents are visiting with us. By the time dinner is served at 3pm, there will be 18 in all! GOD BLESS ALL OF YOU reading this!
I am just very thankful for being able to wake up in this wonderful country every day and be FREE!

labwrs on November 27, 2008 at 11:18 AM

Thank you Michelle, Ed, Allahpundit, and Hot Air for all your hard work to bring us this blog. We will be thankful for the gifts we have today, and also keep in mind the more ancient American celebrations in which this day has its roots.

My wife has forbidden me to speak of politics today, as we are celebrating with many of our dear artistic and academic friends of diverse opinions. However, one of my contributions to today’s feast will be two versions of my homemade hot sauce, which I couldn’t resist labeling appropriately.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

dinobalz on November 27, 2008 at 11:21 AM

OK, who else just got RickRolled by Cartoon Network while watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade?

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 27, 2008 at 11:25 AM

THREE WORDS:

TIME

TO

EAT

tx2654 on November 27, 2008 at 11:28 AM

Thanks go out to all in our military,
To Ed, Allah and Michelle,
And to all the commenters at HotAir,
along with a special thanks to ManlyRash.

A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all!

Nikita on November 27, 2008 at 11:30 AM

Some articles for the season. God bless.

A Thanksgiving Lesson
The story of Squanto

dominigan on November 27, 2008 at 11:31 AM

BohicaTwentyTwo on November 27, 2008 at 11:25 AM

They RickRolled the entire parade.

amerpundit on November 27, 2008 at 11:32 AM

That was actually pretty cool.

amerpundit on November 27, 2008 at 11:35 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all Americans everywhere.

The Detroit Lions should be blowing another one in about 50 minutes. I’ll go out on a limb and predict a loss.

Canadian Infidel on November 27, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Happy Thanksgiving, all, and thanks to Michelle, Allah, and Ed for Hot Air!

I’m thankful today for my family, especially my niece and new nephew; for us all having good jobs; for freedom to worship, and for all the other freedoms we enjoy. Never ever take them for granted.

Rosmerta on November 27, 2008 at 11:42 AM

To all the Limerick family sends greetings of Thanksgiving.
Rich or poor, Blue or Red, we celebrate our bounty and acknowledge our blessings.

Limerick on November 27, 2008 at 11:45 AM

Happy Thanksgiving People!
—————————-
A Thanksgiving story about a HERO.

abinitioadinfinitum on November 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

A happy and healthy Thanksgiving to you all.
Extra special thanks to:
The Brave men and women who fight for our freedom and their families who sacrifice for us as well. We are so grateful.
Bless you and the United States of America!

beththebaker on November 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

THREE WORDS:

TIME

TO

EAT GIVE THANKS TO GOD

Fixed.

jgapinoy on November 27, 2008 at 11:49 AM

God Bless you all, and thanks to you Ed, for your prudent insight and endless good cheer. Have a happy!

Maquis on November 27, 2008 at 10:15 AM

Well said. Ditto.

mikeyboss on November 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM

God Bless America and a special blessing to all those who defend our freedom.

Done That on November 27, 2008 at 11:57 AM

We should all meet here later and have a virtual gathering of snoring, tryptophan-affected posters, all sitting in our chairs with a plate of leftovers nearby, a half-empty beer propped on our bellies and our heads lolling onto our shoulders.

It would be a boring thread though.

Bishop on November 27, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all –

Now I must return the kitchen and continue cooking the feast….

tru2tx on November 27, 2008 at 11:58 AM

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and a special thank-you to all our troops who are away from home and loved ones on this special day. We appreciate all the sacrifices you make on our behalf. May God bless and protect you all.

AZCoyote on November 27, 2008 at 12:02 PM

God bless the troops on foreign soil. We remember the price of freedom. Thank you.

whitetop on November 27, 2008 at 12:04 PM

God bless our wonderful country and all who live here. Thank you all military for your service, prayers for your safety. Thank you President Bush for keeping our country safe from harm since Sept. 11. Prayers to all in India for their horrible attack. Happy Thanksgiving to all here.
L

letget on November 27, 2008 at 12:09 PM

labeling appropriately.

dinobalz on November 27, 2008 at 11:21 AM

LOL! Awesome.

Happy Thanksgiving all. God bless America, land of the free, and the brave who keep her so.

pannw on November 27, 2008 at 12:22 PM

A blessed Thanksgiving to you all!

rightwingprof on November 27, 2008 at 12:29 PM

So much to be thankful for!

My sons are out hunting.

My wife is out at the barn butchering up a deer she shot last night.

(5) of my sons college mates are arriving later today to share this wonderful feast with us.

I’m in the kitchen preparing tonight’s feast.

What a life!

God Bless our sons, daughters, uncle’s, aunt’s, fathers, mothers; all whom serve us so brilliantly in uniform!

God Bless you and your’s Captain Ed…

Keemo on November 27, 2008 at 12:59 PM

pannw on November 27, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Seconded!

I HAZ TURKEY NOW!

Dark-Star on November 27, 2008 at 1:25 PM

Thank God for I was blessed with the privilege to immigrate to America.

Ropera on November 27, 2008 at 10:27 AM

Welcome, Ropera! How long have you been here?

I am thankful for my family, my health, and the fact that I live in the greatest country on God’s green earth. I’m also thankful that I’ve found a couple of great places to hang with fellow conservatives – it feels a lot less lonely politically because of all of you:

AP entertains like no other, Ed makes me nod in (sometimes somber) agreement, and Michelle makes me feel like fighting for my country…and it’s all good. Ah – and Treacher makes me laugh out loud, JetBoy reminds me to focus on what we have in common (and that a little kindness when we discuss our differences isn’t a bad thing), Madison Conservative reminds me why I’m proud to be from Wisconsin, Django is always good for an intelligent viewpoint, William Amos and baldilocks are always thoughtful, upinak reminds me not to lose a youthful spirit, in spite of how tough it gets sometimes – I could go on and on, but, if you’re not asleep yet, you get the point.

You guys are all great.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

capitalist piglet on November 27, 2008 at 1:32 PM

Happy, overstuffed Thanksgiving.

steveegg on November 27, 2008 at 1:33 PM

The great things that have happened in this country since people realized their freedom. And even greater things that shall come as more and more come to understand what that Freedom really means: Freedom for ALL to have Life, Liberty and the Pusuit of Happiness. Today, in this age, we all have the freedom to create our own heaven on earth, or, through ignorance, create our own hell. Let us hope and pray together that we shall all choose wisely.
Happy Thanksgiving….

DL13 on November 27, 2008 at 1:38 PM

I was very proud to learn, through the research of a cousin, that my family has been in America since 1630! While I’m not that sturdy and adventurous, I am pleased that my ancestors were (as were the ancestors of so many of us).

While the country appears to be at the beginning of a tough time, we do really still have a lot to be grateful for, especially our liberties. However, it is our duty to continue to jealously guard those liberties.

Happy Thanksgiving!

gmoonster on November 27, 2008 at 1:47 PM


Shouldn’t Obama provide turkeys to every family with taxpayer money?

iamse7en on November 27, 2008 at 10:59 AM

I knew it wouldn’t take long before some H/A groupie, GOP apologist couldn’t wait to slam Obama. Pathetic.

dk on November 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM

We are thanking God for establishing and preserving our country and for our troops who have helped us to remain safe not only in the last 7 years but over the last 232 years. We praise God we are not speaking German or Japanese or Russian. We praise God we are still the land of the free and the home of the brave. Here’s Washington’s (who liberals like to call a deist!!!) first proclamation of Thanksgiving:

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America
A PROCLAMATION
WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington

Christian Conservative on November 27, 2008 at 1:51 PM

I knew it wouldn’t take long before some H/A groupie, GOP apologist couldn’t wait to slam Obama. Pathetic.

dk on November 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM

This is a predominantly conservative blog, so knowing “it wouldn’t take long” to see a snarky comment about taxpayer-funded meals doesn’t exactly make you Nostradamus.

I’m not sure how that’s really a slam on Obama, since one would assume he’s proud of his political philosophy, and I doubt very much that you disagree with the concept of taxpayer-funded meals for all, either – so be happy, and take it as a compliment.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our liberal trolls. : )

capitalist piglet on November 27, 2008 at 2:10 PM

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. This is my favorite holiday and I am so thankful to be an American. America, F@#$ yeah!

Geronimo on November 27, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Here’s a beautiful story of the Constitution and Col. Davy Crockett. Sorry for the length but it’s worth it, and right on target.

Not Yours to Give
by
Colonel David Crockett;
Compiled by Edward S. Ellis
One day in the House of Representatives, a bill was taken up appropriating money for the benefit of a widow of a distinguished naval officer. Several beautiful speeches had been made in its support. The Speaker was just about to put the question when Crockett arose:
“Mr. Speaker–I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the sufferings of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right so to appropriate a dollar of the public money. Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the ground that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him.
Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity. Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week’s pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks.”
He took his seat. Nobody replied. The bill was put upon its passage, and, instead of passing unanimously, as was generally supposed, and as, no doubt, it would, but for that speech, it received but few votes, and, of course, was lost.
Later, when asked by a friend why he had opposed the appropriation, Crockett gave this explanation:
“Several years ago I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. In spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them. The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done.
“The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up. When riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to
the fence. As he came up, I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly.
“I began: ‘Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and–’
“’Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett, I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.’
“This was a sockdolager . . . I begged him to tell me what was the matter.
“’Well, Colonel, it is hardly worth-while to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in the honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the constituent to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. . . . But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.’
“’I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.’
“’No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?’
“’Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.’
“’It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be intrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government. So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other. No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had
been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give. The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.
“’So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.’
“I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go to talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I was so fully convinced that he was right, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:
“’Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it fully. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said here at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.’
“He laughingly replied: ‘Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.’
“’If I don’t,’ said I, ‘I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.’
“’No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.’
“’Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-by. I must know your name.’
“’My name is Bunce.’
“’Not Horatio Bunce?’
“’Yes.’
“’Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me, but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend.’
“It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.
“At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had every seen manifested before.
“Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.
“I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him–no, that is not the word–I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if every one who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.
“But to return to my story. The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted–at least, they all knew me.
“In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered up around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:
“’Fellow-citizens–I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.’
“I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:
“’And now, fellow-citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.
“’It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit for it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.’
“He came upon the stand and said:
“’Fellow-citizens–It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.’
“He went down, and there went up from that crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.
“I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.
“Now, sir,” concluded Crockett, “you know why I made that speech yesterday.
“There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week’s pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men–men who think nothing of spending a week’s pay, or a dozen of them, for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased–a debt which could not be paid by money–and the insignificance and worthlessness of money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighted against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”
Holders of political office are but reflections of the dominant leadership–good or bad–among the electorate.
Horatio Bunce is a striking example of responsible citizenship. Were his kind to multiply, we would see many new faces in public office; or, as in the case of Davy Crockett, a new Crockett.
For either the new faces or the new Crocketts, we must look to the Horatio in ourselves!
—Leonard E. Read

rrobin on November 27, 2008 at 2:20 PM

A Happy Thanksgiving to all, especially the nutroots who seem to have so little to be happy about today.

DannoJyd on November 27, 2008 at 2:29 PM

I’m thankful that I believe in God and so have hope and joy
I’m thankful for His Son who gave his life for my salvation
I’m thankful for a husband she shows me everyday, in his way, that he loves me
I’m thankful that I love him more today than when I married him
I’m thankful for our two wonderful children
I’m thankful for our lives here in the USA where through our own hard work and discipline we’ve done very well
I’m thankful for my family and my friends

Happy Thanksgiving all!

CCRWM on November 27, 2008 at 2:44 PM

I’m thankful for a husband she who shows me everyday, in his way, that he loves me

CCRWM on November 27, 2008 at 2:45 PM

There once was a Gov Named Palin

eaglewingz08 on November 27, 2008 at 2:56 PM

Whose hunting skills never went failing
When she appeared on tv
with some turkeys ableed
She sent Olberman ranting and wailing.

eaglewingz08 on November 27, 2008 at 2:59 PM

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

El Coqui on November 27, 2008 at 3:22 PM

I knew it wouldn’t take long before some H/A groupie, GOP apologist couldn’t wait to slam Obama. Pathetic. dk on November 27, 2008 at 1:49 PM

Is it too early to start talking about the failed Obama presidency?

We slam BO as an appetizer or pallet cleanser. Stick around, you may learn something.

I’m so thankful for God’s love and mercy on me and those of his kingdom.

Turkey’s cooking in the BBQ and all is set. Life is good. MMMmmm!

Mojave Mark on November 27, 2008 at 3:22 PM

Wish I was there. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

DarkCurrent on November 27, 2008 at 4:10 PM

“And for the season, it was winter; and they that know the winters of that country know them to be sharp and violent, and subject to cruel and fierce storms, dangerous to travel to known places, much more to search an unknown coast. Besides what could they see but a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men? And what multitudes there might be of them, they knew not….

Being thus arrived in a good harbor and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven, who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element.”

William Bradford, Plymouth, Massachusetts, 1620

DarkCurrent on November 27, 2008 at 4:38 PM

This is a predominantly conservative blog, so knowing “it wouldn’t take long” to see a snarky comment about taxpayer-funded meals doesn’t exactly make you Nostradamus.

capitalist piglet on November 27, 2008 at 2:10 PM

ROFLMAO

abinitioadinfinitum on November 27, 2008 at 4:54 PM

Living here in Oceanside,next to Camp Pendleton, I went up to the “SONGS” San Onofrey grocery store and got me a 137 pound turkey. I out it in the oven Tuesday night, it’s just about done! Deeeeewishoush!!

Mazztek on November 27, 2008 at 5:21 PM

Happy Thanksgiving!
May God continue to bless America and each one of us, everyone, as Tiny Tim would say, and may He especially bless our troops and their families for the sacrifices they make to keep us safe and free here at home.
God bless President Bush and his family.
And Go Cowboys!

Jenfidel on November 27, 2008 at 5:54 PM

Norman Rockwell. Good grief.

Grow Fins on November 27, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Happy Thanksgiving all.

johnnyU on November 27, 2008 at 6:24 PM

Thank You, dear Lord, for all you’ve blessed us with. Please help us to realize just how much you’ve given us, and to appreciate it. Amen.

Oh, and Captain Ed? Say hello to your son and daughter-in-law for me. Tell her (loudly) RTR!!!! She’ll understand.

Squiggy on November 27, 2008 at 6:31 PM

Norman Rockwell. Good grief.

Mixed message about Americana–you complain about the great Rockwell (?), but you quote Charlie Brown?

jgapinoy on November 27, 2008 at 7:42 PM

Happy ThanksGiving to all Americans,special shoutout to
the United States Armed Forces,retired US Military,as
well as US Veterans:)

And Happy ThanksGiving U.S.S HotAir crew,Capt’ED and
AllahPundit,and of course Michelle Malkin:):):).

canopfor on November 27, 2008 at 8:31 PM

You know something? I moaned and complained about just having cereal today and not being able to spend time with my family because of work. But then I thought I’m thankful because I *can* have cereal and I *do* have work.

scrubbiedude on November 27, 2008 at 9:17 PM

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

and I’m especially thankful to the Lord for my granddaughter and my granddaughter-to-come (in December).

And Ed, congratulations!!

4shoes on November 27, 2008 at 10:37 PM

Aw, good for you, scrubbie. Hope you get some turkey & family soon! (not necessarily in that order)

Christian Conservative and rrobin, thanks for the great readings. I’ve read the Col. Crockett story before and always love it, but never the Washington proclamation until now. Perfect for today.

We should all meet here later and have a virtual gathering of snoring, tryptophan-affected posters, all sitting in our chairs with a plate of leftovers nearby, a half-empty beer propped on our bellies and our heads lolling onto our shoulders.

I’m here, Bishop … er, wha…? zzz…

It would be a boring thread though.

But a very, very contented one.

Rosmerta on November 27, 2008 at 10:42 PM

Happy Thanksgiving, just remember that we Floridians had you yankees beat to delicious feasts, religious freedom and fun parties with the natives. The first Thanksgiving was in Florida and the part of the Natives was played by the Timuqua Indians and the part of the pilgrims was played by the Heugonots.

Squid Shark on November 28, 2008 at 4:32 AM

Thank God for America

John The Baptist on November 28, 2008 at 11:30 PM