There are few traditions more iconic than the annual presidential turkey pardon. The idea of the president saving a turkey or two from the fate that is a Thanksgiving table is pretty cute, but, personally, I always find the ceremony kind of bonkers. And it was even more so this year, when President Donald Trump took the opportunity to trash-talk his political opponents. These tweets about the 2018 turkey pardon are really not here for the president's attempts at humor. Maybe, next time, just stick to the dad jokes?
When the public gets a chance to watch the president and his family stand in front of some giant turkeys with weird names, you know that Twitter is going to pop off. After the revelation of this year's turkeys — named, appropriately enough, Peas and Carrots — it was on. Everyone was guessing. Who would get pardoned? Would one of the Trumps be scared by the bird? Would the three adult Trump women wear matching outfits? Anything is possible.
But what actually happened was perhaps even more cringeworthy than normal. Coming off of some rough midterm election defeats, Trump came out swinging. Which is, uh, slightly less than appropriate for a turkey pardon. In his short remarks, the president managed to rip on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, House Democrats, and midterm election recounts. Um, really?
Twitter had thoughts.
Some also pointed out the irony of the pardon coming the same day as the Trump administration publicly announced that the United States would stand by Saudi Arabia, despite the CIA's conclusion that the country's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (sometimes called by his initials MBS), ordered the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in early October. Saudi foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said in response that the kingdom "categorically reject[ed]" the assessment.
It's not the first turkey controversy. During last year's pardon Twitter had a lot to say — and by "a lot to say" I mean they completely roasted Trump. It all started when a day before the actual pardoning ceremony, on Nov. 21, the official White House Twitter account sent out a poll asking Twitter to vote on whether the president should save Drumstick or Wishbone (even though technically they both get saved and sent to Gobbler's Rest on the Virginia Tech campus). Instead of simply voting one way or the other, Twitter had a few choices to add to the list.
But the brutal tweets didn't end there. The White House poll was just a warm up for Twitter. Nimble thumbs across the country were still roasting away at full speed during the actual turkey pardon the following day.
At one point during the Nov. 21 ceremony, according to The New York Times, Trump asked if he could touch the turkey. Given Trump's history with woman — most notably the 2005 Access Hollywood tape — Twitter was quick to point out that it was a little ironic.
It's times like the annual turkey pardons that I'm thankful I'm just a girl, standing in front of a TV, watching the president trying to pet a turkey, and Twitter's been invented.