Thanksgiving is a holiday that features food, family and, let's face it, a fair amount of infighting, bickering and blaming, especially after Uncle Steve has had a few cocktails.
In the seasonal spirit, it's worth noting that President Obama has been on the receiving end of quite a few unpleasant encounters lately: by our count, he has been interrupted during at least five speeches in the past six weeks -- sometimes several times in a single appearance.
Immigration has long motivated a steady stream of Obama hecklers -- including, famously, a member of Congress who called the president a liar for telling a joint session of Congress that undocumented immigrants would not be covered under the Affordable Care Act.
But the lion's share of the immigration-related heckling Obama's faced has come from individuals who ostensibly share the president's point of view.
In Las Vegas last week, he was interrupted during a speech at Del Sol High School -- a speech meant to spotlight the executive actions on immigration he'd announced the previous evening.
"I’ve heard you, young man. I’ve heard you, and I understand. I’ve heard you," he responded. "But what I’m saying is, this is just a first step. So, young man, I’m talking to a lot of people here. I’ve been respectful to you, I want you to be respectful to me, all right?"
But if the president thought that signing those executive actions would short-circuit heckling by immigration advocates, he learned this week: it's not quite so simple.
In Chicago Tuesday at an immigration-themed event, Obama was interrupted by several people after he said he planned to focus deportations on "felons, not families."
“That has been a lie!” one woman shouted, adding that he had deported ordinary immigrants who had not violated other U.S. laws. The shouting continued for several minutes, as other protesters joined in the chorus.
“All right, I've listened to you. I heard you. I heard you. I heard you,” he finally said, turning in succession to the different speakers. “But you’ve got to listen to me, too. All right? And I understand you may disagree. I understand you may disagree. But we've got to be able to talk honestly about these issues. All right?"
Sometimes the complaints less about actions people want the president to take, and more about actions they don't want to see at all.
The proposed Keystone XL pipeline has motivated months of Obama speech protesters. For instance, last year the president was interrupted during a speech on health care in Boston by hecklers calling on him to "stop the pipeline."
"We’re talking about health care today," the president responded. "That is the wrong rally. We had the climate change rally back in the summer. This is the health care rally."
It isn't always anonymous hecklers: some interruptions feature familiar faces.
The president was heckled during a 2013 speech at the National Defense University by Code Pink founder Medea Benjamin.
"Can you tell the Muslim people their lives are as precious as our lives? Can you take the drones out of the hands of the CIA?" yelled Benjamin, who has often interrupted speeches and hearings. "Will you apologize to the thousands of Muslims that you have killed?"
Some hecklers get to stay put; not this time. Benjamin was escorted out.
After she'd left, Obama spoke up on her behalf. "The voice of that woman is worth paying attention to," Obama said. "Obviously, I do not agree with much of what she said, and obviously she wasn’t listening to me in much of what I said. But these are tough issues, and the suggestion that we can gloss over them is wrong."
But the fact is, sometimes, hecklers aren't upset about things Obama has actually done, things he's planning to do or things he's decided not to do. Sometimes...well, it's not quite clear to the president what they're talking about at all.
Earlier this year, someone interrupted Obama's speech at the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting with a request.
"Tell us about your plans for nuclear war with Russia!" a man yelled.
"I'm sorry, who's that back there?" asked a very confused Obama, putting his hand to his brow and squinting toward the back of the room. "What the heck are you talking about? ...I don’t know anything about that plan. I don’t know what you’ve been reading.”
He didn't have much to say -- but that wasn't the point, of course. The heckle is less about getting a response than getting heard at all.