Happy Thanksgiving

By Benjamin Wittes
Thursday, November 22, 2012, 11:55 AM

This has nothing whatsoever to do with national security or law. But the Washington Post this morning reprinted one of my favorite editorials written in the time I worked there---a work of sheer editorial poetry. Originally entitled, "A Deep Fried Thanksgiving," it opens:

“THERE IS a Providence that protects idiots, drunkards, children and the United States of America.” That observation by the 19th-century German prime minister Otto von Bismarck has always seemed unnecessarily harsh to us, and it’s certainly not the right thing for Thanksgiving Day meditations, which tend to draw on the wisdom and eloquent expressions of gratitude of our forebears.

But then, our forebears never envisioned the culinary trend currently spreading across the great land and threatening to engulf Thanksgiving in flame — perhaps not to Bismarck’s great surprise. We are speaking of the deep-fried turkey, which is produced by plunging a whole, huge turkey into a pot of boiling oil and cooking it till it’s done. That is, if all goes well. If it doesn’t, what ensues are scenes of the kind you may have been viewing on cautionary segments of the local news this past week: hot oil pouring over the side of the turkey pot, hitting the fire and shooting skyward in a dramatic eruption high enough to ignite the backyard deck. Many dwellings have been lost in this way, and more likely will be as this formerly regional delicacy becomes a national enthusiasm. A computer search this week under “fried turkey” produced nearly 8,000 citations — recipes, recommendations, helpful hints — probably enough to burn down every house in America.

. . .

Do read the whole thing. Editorial writing doesn't get any better.

Happy Thanksgiving.