Political Animal


November 21, 2012 2:16 PM Gratitude Open Thread

By Ed Kilgore

I’m about to board a plane to Atlanta to visit family members for whom I am eternally grateful. I’m grateful for a lot of things this year (and not just the passing of the election after what seemed an eternal cycle), including my wife, whose support is more abundant each day, and my friends, among whom I presume to count many of you, dear readers.

So consider this an open thread to mention some things you are especially grateful for this Thanksgiving season. We all like to grouse a lot, and often we are entitled, but we are alive and mostly free and blessed with each other’s company.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Anniecat45 on November 21, 2012 2:25 PM:

    Here is a lovely column on this subject from Jon Carroll, in the San Francisco Chronicle. It's the best thing I've ever seen on Thanksgiving:


  • Daryl Cobranchi on November 21, 2012 2:59 PM:

    I am grateful that for the next 24 hours or so, we probably won't hear the terms "fiscal cliff" or "job creators."

  • SadOldVet on November 21, 2012 3:26 PM:

    I am grateful for Ed Kilgore. His DLC/DINO/Repuke-Lite background and regular snipes at older Americans provide me with occasional flashes of anger and retorts to his attitudes. In the absence, now for two years, of Evan (I'm damn glad he is) Bayh and with the coming disappearance finally of Joe LIEberman, Ed provides an occasional target of my wrath that used to be mostly reserved for Bayh and LIEberman. Thanks for the outlet Ed!

  • Ron Byers on November 21, 2012 3:28 PM:


    I, for one, have been grateful that you have the helm at Political Animal. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  • c u n d gulag on November 21, 2012 3:35 PM:

    Ed, I for two, am also grateful to you and your hard work. And to all of the weekend guest writers, and to the other excellent writers and WaMo.

    I'm thankful that my Father's passing was relatively quick and painless. And that my Mother and I had our family and friend's support at that difficult time, and in the time since then.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!!!

    And be thankful that that old turkey, Mitt Romney, and his sidekick, Paul Ryan, had their gooses cooked a few weeks ago.

    And just think - after the Holiday Season ends, we still have a couple of more weeks of Schadenfreude Season!!!

    But that ends when the last drunk passes out after the Inauguration Balls.

  • sjw on November 21, 2012 3:45 PM:

    I am thankful that sanity prevailed over insanity on November 6. Oh so thankful ...

  • Renai on November 21, 2012 3:49 PM:

    I am very grateful for all the seriously sane and at times, seriously silly minds that post here and over where Benen now resides.

    I am very grateful for this nation and its military of people who actually fight for liberty and justice for all, not just mouth the words.

    I am very very grateful to have our President in residence at the WH for four more years.

    Those are the Major Gratefuls. I am also keenly aware of the thousand and one Minor Gratefuls that make life in the US so wonderful.

    Happy Thanksgiving, you all.

  • mudwall jackson on November 21, 2012 3:56 PM:

    i'm thankful for charles peters' vision to start the washington monthly four decades ago and the many great writers who've come through its doors (real and virtual). the magazine and this site sometimes makes angry, sometimes makes me laugh but they always makes me think. thank you mr. peters.

    oh and i definitely second sjw ...

  • David in Nashville on November 21, 2012 4:03 PM:

    OK, I'll bite. I'm thankful for being alive, something that's not a foregone conclusion. About three and a half years ago I was taking an evening spin on my bike when a motorist suddenly made a left turn right in front of me. I was badly mangled, and could have been killed (the helmet saved my neck). I was facing a long recovery, a big problem given that I'm single, live alone, and have no family within two states of Tennessee. But, well, people started showing up asking to help. Colleagues. Students. Fellow singers. Fellow Presbyterians. My church men's group (It's a liberal mainline congregation, BTW; we're simpatico on those issues, Ed) made my house handicap-accessible; a brigade of church ladies kept me fed until I was able to cook and grocery-shop again. I couldn't be left alone overnight for about three weeks after returning from rehab; a number of volunteers sacked out in my living room in rotation. My employer covered for me until I could return. I'll never completely recover (accidents like that have permanent effects on guys in their early sixties), but generally I'm fully functional and healthy, and above all I feel really, really loved.

    In the last several years I've become a belated but passionate fan of the Harry Potter books; I'm not altogether sure why, but I think it's because of the centrality of loyalty and solidarity to J. K. Rowling's vision (no Randian she, thank God). I've experienced that, and know what a miracle it is. I just hope that I can give back anything close to what I've received.

  • T2 on November 21, 2012 4:12 PM:

    thanks to Ed and all the rest of you for seeing us through the election and craziness that is today's politics. Have a happy holiday and drive safe.

  • Eric Wilde on November 21, 2012 4:14 PM:

    I'm thankful for the continued health of my children, wife and aging parents. I think that's enough, though lots of nice things happened this year (including on Nov 6.)

  • jprichva on November 21, 2012 4:21 PM:


    You are a most worthy successor to the seat of Drum and Benen. Your posts are terrific, and I'd also like to say thanks to your weekenders, especially Kathleen Geier and Ryan Cooper. Kathleen especially brings perspectives and issues in her posts that no one else seems to note. She is perceptive and brilliant and if you ever decide to move on from P.A. she'd be a great successor.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  • efgoldman on November 21, 2012 4:59 PM:

    I'm grateful that tomorrow is pretty much the only day all year that I have to spend time with my racist, alcoholic, gun totin' brother in law.

  • punaise on November 21, 2012 5:13 PM:

    Ed, I have to confess to having had some trepidation when you took the helm here. Your DLC pedigree(or the FDL-slanted view I had of it [although I stand by my eternal and often-expressed contempt for Joe Lieberman]) did not seem to bode well. Instead, I was immediately and more than pleasantly surprised to discover the quality of your writing and analysis and the seemingly solid pragmatic progressive foundation it springs from. Bravo, and thanks.

    During the campaign season I advised my two young adult offspring to monitor just three sites regularly to maintain sanity: here, TPM, and 538.

    Finally, borrowing liberally from c u n d gulag:

    I'm thankful that my father's passing (last March) was relatively quick and painless. And that my mother, brothers and and I had our family and friend's support at that difficult time, and that Mom is coping well since then.

  • c u n d gulag on November 21, 2012 6:15 PM:

    My condolensces...

  • Diane on November 21, 2012 6:29 PM:

    Thankful for a warm, safe home (found a new leak in the roof though), a good paying job (so at least I can afford to fix the roof), a car that starts, and a son that I raised on my own who has now blessed me by completing his MS degree, gotten a good job where he can support my wonderful daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. Oh yeah, as of September I am now a "sustained responder" after taking a new treatment for Hepatitis C .... thankful to feel good after 20+ years of undiagnosed misery.

  • punaise on November 21, 2012 6:33 PM:

    thank you, c u n d. Mine to you were unfortunately merely obliquely implied.

  • Werewolf on November 21, 2012 7:06 PM:

    I'm grateful for this site, and others like it, that have helped me maintain my sanity over the last 3 election cycles.
    I'm grateful for my kids, who are great.
    I'm grateful for the ceasefire in Israel in Gaza, and that my friends and relatives are no longer being targeted by rockets.

  • mb on November 21, 2012 9:03 PM:

    I'm thankful that my rightwing, religious (is that redundant?) family is still willing to feed me this T-day in spite of my dangerous progressive atheistic views. (You might wonder, as an atheist, to whom I'm thankful? I'm thankful to my family for not rejecting me for my apostasy. My lovely, logical, wonderful apostasy which, ironically, has finally brought me the inner peace promised so many years by my former faith.)

    And I echo the thanks others have mentioned for the yeoman work done here by Ed. Congratulations for leaving the DLC mindset mostly behind and finding your way toward the light.

    Seriously, you're doing a great job. Keep it up.

    My captcha is "grataut" & "cake." Seems oddly apropos.

  • joanneinDenver on November 22, 2012 1:04 PM:

    I am thankful that I found this blog and all the intelligent bloggers as well as all those who absolutely do not agree with me and vice versa.

    I am so thankful to Charlie Peters, not just for the Washington Monthly, but for his Evaluation Unit in the early days of the Peace Corps. Those comprehensive reports on visits to Peace Corps sites archived, forever, at the National Archives in College Park, MD. represent the only real time history of that agency.

    Thank you all.

  • 4jkb4ia on November 22, 2012 11:26 PM:

    Ed Kilgore at this site is one of the many, many examples of the Almighty giving more than usual effort to save my life. He is insightful, he has panache, he can write, and on any given Saturday night he is home with his wife and presumed sober. *

    I'm grateful for the whole community which helped celebrate our new Torah with us today. The place was more of a madhouse than on Simchas Torah. I'm also grateful that I have the opportunity to learn what everything costs.
    I am grateful that the same cast of characters in DC has the opportunity to fail better instead of complete Republican control and an unquestioned failure for the country.


    * John, YOU wrote you drank too damned much. I didn't. I don't have the credibility to write it.

  • 4jkb4ia on November 22, 2012 11:54 PM:

    I may have to say this more than once. I like John Cole as much as I ever did, and that is a heck of a lot. The first time I was ever there, which I am guessing is late 2005, I remember seeing that there were headings for "Republican Stupidity", "Democratic Stupidity" and "General Stupidity", i.e. that he was willing to go after stupidity no matter where it came from, even his own party. I said, "This is a guy after my own heart." That has not changed. But I am trying to deny him the power to drive me crazy. **

    ** 90% schtick is a perfectly good blogging model. DovBear used it to great success, too.

    I didn't want to get out of this mess by hating John. I don't, and John can be so cheerful and earnest, and so thoughtful, and so good, that it is completely unpossible. ABL saw that, and she had more of a case than I do.

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