It’s certainly been a … year … since last Thanksgiving. As befits the day, we pause to look back in gratitude, and in relief…. (More)

For example, last Thanksgiving the Republican presidential nominees sat around a table for the 97th of their 138 debates. Yes, that’s a slight exaggeration, and I will resist the impulse to comment on the number of turkeys present. Regardless, I’m thankful that’s over.

Thanksgiving quickly gave way to the Holiday Shopping Season or, as Fox News calls it, the War on Christmas, and a few dozens hundreds thousands millions were irked peeved offended traumatized as harried retail clerks refused to offer the officially sanctioned greeting: “Merry-Christmas-In-God-We-Trust-Have-You-Applied-For-Our-Discount-Card?”

We survived that as well, although the next Holiday Shopping Season War on Christmas starts tomorrow, unlike the next Republican primary season, which started Saturday when Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) made his first visit to Iowa. Thanks, I guess.

Then came the Super Bowl About Which We Shall Not Speak, although Giants’ fans and Patriots’ haters were doubtless thankful. What.Ever.

Of course that was sandwiched in between the Republican primaries, which offered rolling swaths of the nation a chance to have their reality TV shows interrupted by political ads, making it difficult to be sure whether the people insulting each other were actual contestants in a stupid game or merely Republican primary candidates. For which viewers were thankful, at least when their states’ primaries ended.

The primaries extended into the spring, for which we were thankful. The spring, that is. Or we were, until the National Hurricane Center issued their annual forecast and said – for the first time – that we could expect a milder-than-usual storm season. Gee, thanks.

Spring gave way to summer, and much of the Midwest could only water their fields with sweat while other places sloshed through rainy day after rainy day. Plans to build a gutter to move the water from Here to There were scuttled by Republicans because, they said, those jobs might improve the economy. Instead, they said, we should build an oil pipeline from Canada, because we use oil to make popcorn anyway and the fall election campaign season was coming so why not put the oil in the corn from the start? Thanks, but no thanks.

The economy continued to improve, slowly, prompting theories that the Bureau of Labor Statistics were including too many Democrats in polls. Or something. Anyway, thanks for the entertainment.

Then came the parties’ national conventions, much like the silliness of Mardi Gras before the inspiration of Holy Week. Thank you all.

We all got busier making calls, knocking on doors, making more calls, knocking on more doors, amidst political ads, debates, more ads, polls, more ads, assorted punditry, and a few more ads just in case. Thanks to everyone … except the ad makers and pundits.

Then came Super Storm Sandy. Umm, thanks again for that “milder-than-usual” forecast, National Hurricane Center. Really. We mean it, from the bottoms of our … somethings.

Finally it was election day, and our work paid off with the reelection of President Obama, gains in the U.S. Senate and House, gains in many statehouses, and wins on many state ballot questions. Thank you, voters.

And now we gather to celebrate with our families, careful not to mention The Wrong Topics while Certain Relatives are at the table, making sure to eat just enough of that Jello salad to be polite while saying “Oh it’s delicious!” before “Can someone pass the mashed potatoes?” and “Is there more gravy?” and “Wow that sofa looks comfy….”

So to the faculty, staff, students, and guests of BPI, we say … Thank you, one and all. Please pass the stuffing.


Happy Thanksgiving!