Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Ironic and the Furious: What I Want for Christmas



the President's offending 'holiday' greeting. mostly the GOP yawned. 


Two days ago MoveOn.org put up a post about the Republican reaction to the 2011 White House Christmas card. The headline read, 'Republicans Are Furious About Obama's Christmas Card? Wait Till They See Reagan's'. Those who thought to comment were mostly incensed that conservative pundits, GOP luminaries, and Tea Party Hacks were so petty that they would actually be furious about something as innocuous as a greeting card. What seemed to escape many of those commenting is the irony of being themselves so petty that they would get incensed over something that didn't really happen.
According to the article the only Republican who expressed any reservations about the card was Sarah Palin. She made her comments on Fox Radio. What she said was that she found it 'odd' that the President's Christmas card would highlight the family dog rather than traditional Christmas values like 'family, faith, and freedom'. Palin was clearly not furious. She was not even very judgmental...at least not compared to her usual standards. MoveOn's headline, in other words, was inflammatory, divisive, and untrue—the very charges that so many leveled against the GOP leadership, who apparently remain blissfully unaware that they are embroiled in a flap.
Personally I don't think that Christmas is a very good time to be sowing the seeds of hate and recrimination. I know that both sides do it, but the fact is that there are a lot of Democrats who think that only Republicans are capable of this kind of duplicity. Clearly this is not the case, and clearly many liberal believers are ready to be seduced into making the same kinds of unthinking blanket indictments of which they accuse the conservatives. I'm not letting conservatives off the hook here. They are not only just as guilty of this kind of flimflammery, they practically invented it.
Wouldn't it be great if we could get back to actually discussing real issues with logic and civility? Wouldn't it be useful if politicians and hacks would lay out their positions so that we voters could make informed decisions from a substantive array of facts? Wouldn't it be interesting if the media would delve into the meat of differing political positions instead of focusing on who changed their mind about what or who had a bad hair day or who left Jesus off their Christmas card? Wouldn't it be a 'Wonderful Life', if politics could actually make a difference?
That's what I want from Santa—a great big bag of political relevance. We could all use a little. Even a little would be a sea change...but oh, so welcome. 

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