Less important reasons to be thankful…

We all know that the things to be truly thankful for at Thanksgiving are what matters most in life: health, loved ones, family, security, country.

We who live in this great free nation of ours are the luckiest people on the face of the globe, the richest, most privileged, just plain most fortunate-- and for that we should all remember to be thankful, and not just on one Thursday every fall.

And then there’s politics.

And having a little fun.

So I thought I’d make a list of some other reasons to be grateful this Thanksgiving, including some you might not have thought of-- particularly after this fall’s election results and all the shifts that resulted.

So here are some other, admittedly less important, reasons to be thankful.

Rush Limbaugh is liberated, Sean Hannity doesn’t have to defend Denny Hastert anymore, and it will certainly be more fun to watch.

Balanced government has its advantages. Some people think it works better. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a better show. Now, if the Democrats want to do hold a hearing on something inane, Bill O’Reilly gets to attack, and I have to defend.

Nancy Pelosi is definitely more colorful than Hastert. Every time she disagrees with a woman (see, e.g., Jane Harman) or replaces a woman with a man (see, e.g., Jane Harman) the press can call it a cat fight, and I can try to explain why it isn’t.

Is it a dog fight every time two men disagree? Are all cats women? See what I mean? It’s a whole new ball game.

Makes life more interesting than the boys carrying water every day. They have enough to carry for the president without carrying Congress’ too.

Then there’s the war.

In a perverse way, it’s almost lucky George Bush is president and the Democrats control Congress. If John Kerry had won the election two years ago, things would still have gone downhill in Iraq, but there’d be no one very convenient to blame for it.

Kerry would say it wasn’t his fault, Bush would be long gone, and who would hold hearings attacking whom? Democrats would be, already, on their way out, instead of in; Republicans would be going nowhere, and the war would almost certainly not be going any better.

This way, think of all those hearings we have to look forward to.

Every Democrat worth his or her salt is going to be figuring out a way to hold a hearing on the war.

Those of us who have trouble sleeping at night and occasionally turn on Congressional hearings to induce slumber will have a plethora of choices. We can sleep for days.

And when we wake up, we may find out more than we want to know about what is happening and why it went wrong, and what the options are now to do something about it. And while the choices aren’t good ones, and they surely won’t improve with the number of hearings held, it's best to face it, sooner rather than later, and move forward.

At least we’re not staying the course any more.

And certainly we should be thankful for that. Even if, especially if, it took an election to make clear that the course was headed nowhere.

Besides, we don’t have to hear from a lot of people who were wrong that they were right.

Instead, we get the pleasure of seeing how they behave now that their advice has lead us south. Believe me, losing with dignity is a lot harder than winning with class. Kiss and tell is not pretty, and kicking the boss for following your advice is even less attractive.

Be thankful if these aren’t your friends behaving badly. Be grateful if you have better pals than the neocons who have turned on Bush.

And one last thing: Hannity and Rich Galen both owe me dinner at the Palm and not the other way around because the Democrats won both Houses. I think we should let Hannity buy for both of us. He can afford it…. I’ll buy in 2008 when we win the White House. Lobsters, even.

Click here to read Susan's response to your email .

Click here to link to Susan's new book, "Soulless."

Susan Estrich is currently the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California and a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today. She writes the "Portia" column for American Lawyer Media and is a contributing editor of The Los Angeles Times. She was appointed by the president to serve on the National Holocaust Council and by the mayor of the City of Los Angeles to serve on that city's Ethics Commission.

Estrich's books include the just published "Soulless," "Real Rape," "Getting Away with Murder: How Politics Is Destroying the Criminal Justice System," "Dealing with Dangerous Offenders," "Making the Case for Yourself: A Diet Book for Smart Women" and "Sex & Power," currently a Los Angeles Times bestseller.

She served as campaign manager for Michael Dukakis' presidential bid, becoming the first woman to head a U.S. presidential campaign. Estrich appears regularly on the FOX News Channel.

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Susan Estrich is currently the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the University of Southern California and a member of the Board of Contributors of USA Today. She writes the "Portia" column for American Lawyer Media and is a contributing editor of The Los Angeles Times. She was appointed by the president to serve on the National Holocaust Council and by the mayor of the City of Los Angeles to serve on that city's Ethics Commission.

A woman of firsts, she was the first woman president of the Harvard Law Review and the first woman to head a national presidential campaign (Dukakis). Estrich is committed to paving the way for women to assume positions of leadership.

Books by Estrich include "Real Rape," "Getting Away with Murder: How Politics is Destroying the Criminal Justice System" and "Dealing with Dangerous Offenders." Her book "Making the Case for Yourself: A Diet Book for Smart Women," is a departure from her other works, encouraging women to take care of themselves by engaging the mind to fight for a healthy body. Her latest book, The Los Angeles Times bestseller, "Sex & Power," takes an impassioned look at the division of power between men and women in the American workforce, proving that the idea of gender equality is still just an idea.