Do Barack Obama And Mike Bloomberg Want To Ruin Family Thanksgiving Gatherings?

Guess what's coming to the dinner table.

Rockwell, Freedom from Want 1943.jpg

A week from now, most Americans will be gathering with family and friends for a day of turkey, stuffing, football, and giving thanks. However, if certain politicians have their way, it would also be a day to discuss controversial political topics.

First up, there’s the President of the United States, who apparently wants his supporters to use the Thanksgiving holiday to tell everyone how great ObamaCare is notwithstanding its been suffering through six weeks of rather obvious problems and bad publicity. It all started with this tweet from the President’s own Twitter account, which most of the time is actually a propaganda arm for Organizing for America rather than a personal account for the President:

Conor Friedersdorf had what I think is the best response to this:

Once that conversation is over perhaps you could bring up reproductive rights, immigration reform, and judicial filibusters. They’re all important subjects of national concern. Why not set aside some time on Thanksgiving Day to discuss them too? Maybe just pick up the remote, turn off the football game, and ask everyone if you could have their attention while you explain how progressive public policy can improve their lives if only they do their part. They’ll appreciate it!

Just in case you’re unsure how to initiate this kind of conservation, some progressive group has come up with their own step-by-step plan for having “the talk,” something that makes it sound like you plan on talking to your 13-year old niece about the boy she’s been texting all day and whether or not she’s being careful about this his intentions might be. In fact, having that kind of conversation might actually be easier than trying to convince Uncle Harry about the greatness of ObamaCare while he’s trying to pay attention to the football game or asking you to pass the cranberry sauce.

But, don’t worry, if you don’t think that your family can handle a conversation about the Affordable Care Act, even when there is alcohol involved, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s gun control group has another idea:

I don’t know what holiday dinners are like at Michael Bloomberg’s house, but I suspect there’s an awful lot of picking at food while the windbag at the head of the table lectures the assembled guests about why he’s right and they’re all idiots. That’s the message I get from his pet Mayors Against Illegal Guns organization, which wants its loyal minions, if there are any, to sit down to their Thanksgiving feasts and immediately start fights with relatives they haven’t seen in a year about gun control. All you need is a handy list of tendentious talking points—and a shitload of patience from Cousin Bob, who rebuilds old pistols for fun and just wrapped himself around half a bottle of Jack Daniels.

On the Mayors Against Illegal Guns’ “Demand Action” site, the tone for a holiday frolic is set by the Talking Turkey About Guns page:

Everyone has friends and relatives with strong opinions and shaky facts. You can help set the table straight — all you need is this simple guide to Talking Turkey about guns!

The page adds:

This Thanksgiving, when talk around the table turns to politics and current events, you can help set the record straight on some of the most common myths about guns.

Cuz what everybody needs in the midst of what’s likely to be family chatter, or maybe a heated argument about Obamacare for those who delve into politics over the good china, is a chipper grad student spouting five non sequitur factoids about firearms, with no larger knowledge about the subject, or even links to other information.

This should work out pretty well for those with relatives from states that are relatively in favor of gun rights, especially after the alcohol starts flowing and someone’s wondering what to do with the leftover mashed potatoes.

All of this reminds me of an old rule in my family that there were two topics that were generally off limits at family gatherings, politics and religion. It came about before my time but was largely influenced, I’d imagine, by the political and cultural differences that were making their way through the country in the 1960s. Bringing up topics that were only likely to cause disagreement at a time when people are supposed to be spending time together and having fun obviously didn’t seem like a good idea, and it strikes me that this is still a pretty good idea. As it stands, the NFL games that will be on next Thursday will be the source of enough conflict between fans that there’s really not point in adding politics in the mix, especially when you’re talking about two incredibly controversial political topics.

So, my advice is to ignore what President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg are saying and enjoy the time with your family and friends. It really isn’t worth the effort to bring politics into an environment where there really ought to be a lot more to talk about.

FILED UNDER: Environment, Religion, Uncategorized, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. wr says:

    Right. Whatever you do, don’t mention to your unemployed brother in law he can now get subsidized health insurance for your niece and nephew. That would be socialistic fascism.

  2. rudderpedals says:

    Obama keyed my car

  3. mattbernius says:

    Cuz what everybody needs in the midst of what’s likely to be family chatter, or maybe a heated argument about Obamacare for those who delve into politics over the good china, is a chipper grad student spouting five non sequitur factoids about firearms, with no larger knowledge about the subject, or even links to other information.

    While I agree with the sentiment, I have a hard time seeing how this is all that different from the five non sequiter factoids about how everything liberal is evil, with no larger knowledge about the subject, or even links to information, that the Rush Limbaugh/Fox News fanatic at the table is sure to share.

    Or the five non sequiter factoids about how the nation is going down hill, with no larger knowledge about the subject, or even links to information, that an older relative is sure to share.

    For the record, I expect lots of lamenting over the “knock out game” which has arrived just in time for the holidays (now that we’ve gotten past the razor blades in candy time of the year).

  4. stonetools says:

    Wow, I guess Doug and his fellow conservatives really hate any talk about health insurance and gun control. What about talk about how the country is going to hell in a hand basket because DRONEZ! or the NSA!. How about a nice discussion about “economic freedom” or about how “taxes are theft!” and “the tyrannical federal government.” Would you be happier with conversation along those lines ?

  5. mattbernius says:

    Family Gathering Rule #152 – Invariably, the person most interested in loudly injecting politics into any family discussion is the person who is profoundly confident that her views are *right* regardless of her command over any actual facts (or coherent argument).

  6. edmondo says:

    No problem at my house. All four siblings detest Obama, even the two of them who voted for him last year. He “brought is together” just like he promised.

  7. Bill Hobbs says:

    For liberals, everything is politics, or subservient to politics. There is nothing higher than politics. So they have no qualms about trying to interject politics into every area of your life. Because to them you aren’t an individual, you are a political unit who must be deployed to achieve their larger political agenda.

  8. Surreal American says:

    @Bill Hobbs:

    So where do you get your information about liberals? Stereotypes Weekly?

  9. C. Clavin says:

    Yeah Doug….I’ll just listen to Republican family members go on about the Kenyan President who is gonna take their guns and is spending out of control. I love fiction.

  10. C. Clavin says:

    @Bill Hobbs:

  11. stonetools says:

    Well , I know I’ll be enjoying my government issued turkey at Thanksgiving dinner while I talk on my free Obamaphone to all my relatives-all the time being warmed by burning of American flags. We’ll have a great political discussion about the new era of Kenyan Islamic socialism being implemented by our great Comrade Mullah Leader Barack HUSSEIN Obama (never forget that wonderful middle name!)

  12. anjin-san says:

    @ stonetools

    I bet you are taking God away from people too…

  13. stonetools says:


    That’s on January 1 . On January 2 everyone gets gay married-no exceptions.

  14. Tyrell says:

    Around 5:00 pm on Thanksgiving, I will commence a discussion about how everyone needs to do something to help the country, to help other people, and to stimulate the economy. And then I will invite everyone to go out shopping with me. My list: new cell phone, “World War Z” blu ray movie, wolf t-shirt, and then on to a movie. I am doing my part.

  15. John425 says:

    At my house this Thanksgiving, we’ll be talking about our personal freedoms including the right to free speech and thought while we still have the chance. We also hope the uber-leftist bozos on this page will reflect on those freedoms too.

  16. David M says:

    I will lament the loss of freedom that is Obamacare. Never again will I have the sweet, sweet freedom of being unable to buy health insurance at any price. I’m really not sure I can bear the tyranny of an open enrollment period for individual health insurance policies.

  17. 11B40 says:


    Anybody down for some church on Thanksgiving ??? Or has that been fundamentally transformed too ???

  18. dennis says:

    This is why I surf porn rather than read the news anymore. The President’s tweet said nothing about lauding “Obamacare.” Shyt like this is why aliens fly right past us.

  19. jib10 says:

    @stonetools: Your should have legalized pot. In WA state on Jan 2 we all get stoned and then gay married, no exceptions.

    It should be one hell of a party….

  20. Davebo says:

    I’ll be kayak fishing for Reds and Flounders in the bay followed by alcohol and delivered chinese food consumption followed by flounder gigging that night.

    Won’t be much time for listening to idiots talk politics.

  21. Tyrell says:

    @11B40: Actually it has been moved. Years ago – Thanksgiving morning. Then to Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. Recently a lot of churches have moved it to Sunday night before Thanksgiving. I used to go to the Wednesday night community service and also to the Thanksgiving morning service at the local church. Those were the good old days for sure.

  22. Davebo says:


    I just mentioned I’d be at church all day and night. What more do you want?

  23. Tyrell says:

    @stonetools: But that would be against the law. I am already married.

  24. jib10 says:

    I have lots of tea party relatives visiting for the holidays. We will not be discussing politics, it is simply not worth the time. It really is not that important to peoples day to day lives, at least no more important than who wins the football games.

    I will however be wearing this to the dinner table.

  25. beth says:

    @stonetools: You forgot about the traditional Thankgiving abortion! You know how much we liberals love our abortions.

    By the way, it was just a few short years ago that Glenn Beck was asking his listeners to discuss politics at Thanksgiving with their families – his politics of course, and how Obama was ruining this country. So it’s not just the liberals who want to ruin the holidays.

  26. stonetools says:


    OK, so mandatory gay marriage AND polygamy. Remember, we are all Kenyan socialist Muslims now. That’s how we roll.

  27. stonetools says:


    So some libertarian conservatives misread and misconstrued something our head Negro said? I’m sure that’s never happened….

  28. JKB says:

    Just tell the true story of Thanksgiving. About how we only have it because the native Americans kept a bunch of socialists alive long enough to learn the benefits of private property and private profits. Kind of like China. Otherwise, we’d have nothing to be thankful for except for a bunch of starved socialists at a failed colony long, long ago.

  29. anjin-san says:

    Just tell the true story of Thanksgiving.

    You mean how the European settlers invited the Native Americans to dinner fed them, then killed them and stole their land?

  30. Stonetools says:


    Heh, you’d be surprised by what a strong sense of the common good the original Puritan settlers had . They established the first system of public schools and built many public works such as roads and dams, paid for by high taxes. They thought of all of this as God’s will, because they thought they had been brought here to America by God to do good and to build here a “shining city on a hill”. Of course, to know this you would need to read some actual HISTORY, and not just Fox fairy tales.

  31. James Pearce says:

    This is a clever trick to get right-wingers NOT to discuss politics at Thanksgiving. “That Kenyan socialist wants me to talk about healthcare? Well, I’ll show him……So how about them Lions?”

  32. Tillman says:

    Politics doesn’t come up at our Thanksgivings. Probably because we have anarchists, revolutionary communists, and Tea Party types more interested in catching up and eating good food.

    And if it does come up, hopefully someone brought weed.

  33. anjin-san says:

    Lets all have a nice tea party Thanksgiving. Invoke Jesus. Stuff our faces, and bitch about poor people and all the free stuff they get. (Sorry Jesus, following your teachings is hard). Then we can talk about what the Kardashians are up to and who has a baby bump showing.

  34. JohnMcC says:

    Well, as a 68yr-old who’s been working past my ‘official retirement age’ because Mrs McC has breast cancer and I was responsible for the family health insurance and everyone knows that now there are options and uncertainties because the changes in the health-insurance-racket, I find it really difficult to AVOID having discussions about “ObamaCare”. I bet I’ve been asked 15 or 20 times in the last few month by family-members, friends, friends-of-friends, and workmates about my experiences with the healthcare-dot-gov and the medicare options and reasons I chose this or that.

    There is a great hunger for information that is personal and useful out there. It is typical of Mr Mataconis that he wishes it could be sealed into a neat little box labelled “Politics” and so be considered “Not Family Friendly”.

    He is wrong as usual. If you have any personal experience with the choices we all will have to navigate in our future you will find that you have a LOT of questions from those who trust that you can explain what you have experienced, what you have chosen and why and what your expectations are.

  35. wr says:

    @John425: “At my house this Thanksgiving, we’ll be talking about our personal freedoms including the right to free speech and thought while we still have the chance. We also hope the uber-leftist bozos on this page will reflect on those freedoms too”

    Man, that sounds like a rollicking party. Personally I plan to spend my Thanksgiving with sane human beings.

  36. Woody says:

    As for my right-wing relatives, I only need to see what Steve Doocy, Thought Leader is spouting that morning to know what’s coming when we gather.

    That smirk is truly the epitome of oily odiousness.

  37. JKB says:

    But do take some time to plan your Feb 6th celebration of Ronald Reagan’s birthday. It’ll be a simple affair with macaroni and cheese casserole; red, white, and blue jelly beans, and time to reflect on the problem and the nine most terrifying words.

  38. C. Clavin says:

    So…if your world view is based on total nonsense…then your worldview is total nonsense.

  39. grumpy realist says:

    @JKB: Um, if you look at how Native American tribes worked, they were even more socialistic.

    Basically it was a bunch of people who knew how to live in the environment teaching survival tactics to people who didn’t know how to live in the environment.

    Oh yeah–and and then the latter turned around and stole the first group’s land, claiming that because it was “unworked” it wasn’t theirs and could be taken away by people who would “work the land.” Typical argument used over and over again to grab land.

    You might want to learn a bit more history. And a bit more about the foundations of property law in the US.

  40. merl says:

    @Bill Hobbs: I guess you’ve never met my con FIL. You know how cigarettes extinguish themselves now if you don’t keep puffing them? Liberal plot, my friend.

  41. Rafer Janders says:


    But that would be against the law. I am already married.

    To a woman, yes. But nothing to stop you from marrying a man as well.

  42. You Lie says:

    @Bill Hobbs: that tin foil hat is too tight on this one. Where do these people get their information? Is it beamed directly into the brain from the CIA through their fillings?

  43. Cosmic says:

    Lot of government-cheese-eating posters here. Addiction to the public nipple is a sad thing.

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