I despise those ridiculous Thanksgiving turkey “pardons” that politicians engage in this time of year. This cheap and meaningless political theater began, apparently, in 1989 with the first George Bush.

I don’t know what the hell Herbert Walker was thinking, but thanks to him virtually every two-bit elected potentate in the country now feels the need to demonstrate how compassionate they are by ceremonially commuting the death sentence of a rock-dumb bio-engineered growth hormone-enhanced 25lb. walking breast with feathers whose ancestors at some point in the distant past may have been real turkeys.

Other than speaking, it is one of the most intellectually dishonest acts a politician can engage in. Which is why I think Sarah Palin should just say screw it and go turkey hunting.

If you haven’t heard, Governor Palin was criticized recently for conducting an interview during just such a pardoning ceremony while in the background an employee of the turkey farm is enthusiastically stuffing a presumably unpardoned turkey into what appears to be a grinder. The video and David Letterman’s hilarious “Top Ten Sarah Palin Excuses for Turkey-Gate” can be found here.

The fact Palin has taken some undeserved lumps for the gaffe points out the utter hypocrisy of the whole damn “tradition.” She’s no different that any other politician, she just had the bad luck to have a little reality muck up the script. Which brings me to number seven on Letterman’s list “My Remington shotgun says I don’t need an excuse.” It’s meant as humor but it rings with truth. If Palin or any other politician were smart they’d dispense with the farce, pick up a shotgun and go turkey hunting. Pardoning a lump of manufactured meat never has and never will reflect the spirit of Thanksgiving. Honoring our ancestors by putting honest food on the table will.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.