Every year I put together a list of things for which I am thankful. My lists are not intended to offend anyone, but inevitably do, often resulting in intense arguments at the Thanksgiving Day table. Things I see as positives are viewed differently by others. For example, I am glad that it looks like the House of Representatives will finally expel congenital liar George Santos from its ranks. I doubt Santos shares my gratitude.
Here is my list. As long as I am talking about Congress, let me say that I am thankful it is out of session. This means no more news about an Oklahoma Senator challenging the president of the Teamsters Union to a fight. And I am thankful we can take a break from hearing anything new from House Speaker Mike Johnson. The news that he and his son share an app that ensures neither of them is viewing pornography was already too much information.
I am grateful that Ron DeSantis is dropping in the polls. His chances of becoming the 2024 Republican presidential nominee were always slim, but now he is running behind Nikki Haley. The book-banning DeSantis embodies most of the negatives of his one-time mentor, Donald Trump, but without the problems of age or advanced mental illness.
I agree with The Spy’s From and Fuller that Trump will not be the GOP nominee. I would rather see Haley as the next president than DeSantis if the country ends up with another Republican in the White House. Still, I hope Biden, or another Democrat will win.
And, while I question whether Joe Biden should run for re-election, I am grateful that he has done a decent job as president, put together a stellar team of cabinet members, and secured the passage of major legislation addressing climate change and infrastructure. I also like Biden’s focus on civil rights, equity, and inclusion.
I am grateful that the Eastern Shore was not hit by a hurricane this year. Climate change is causing the weather to get progressively more severe. Every year that we do not suffer a major storm is a good year.
I am grateful that Jack Smith (the federal special counsel that Trump calls deranged) is not intimidated by Trump. Thanks to Smith and prosecutors in Fulton County, Georgia, and elsewhere, 2024 will be a bad year for the man I still call the Orange Menace. I am grateful that the clock is running out on Trump’s political career.
I am grateful that the pandemic is mostly behind us. I hope that anyone who has not gotten the most recent COVID vaccine will do so before Thanksgiving.
I am grateful that inflation is subsiding. We have a long way to go, but the economy is improving.
I am also grateful for The Spy and its founder and editor, Dave Wheelen, and I enjoy being one of Dave’s spies. I am also grateful for The Spy’s readers, including those who hate most of what I write.
This week saw the first signs of a de-escalation of the war in Israel. That war, and Putin’s war in Ukraine need to end. To watch the rising death toll, increasing devastation and destruction is heartbreaking. I hope all hostages will be released, and all the young children taken by Russia will be returned to their rightful families.
Let me close by sharing a quote from Marcel Proust that The Spy’s Maria Grant shared with me. When I told her what I was writing this week, she suggested I close the piece with the quote: “Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
I am grateful to Maria and am glad she is part of my life.
Happy Thanksgiving. May it be safe and spent with family and friends. If you avoid political arguments, you will have one more thing to be grateful for.
J.E. Dean is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant writing on politics, government, and other subjects.