We all have our holiday habits, and one of mine is to have some fun writing the occasional spoof — a habit I was alarmed to learn I share with Sen. Roland Burris, who this week in his prosodically-challenged healthcare rendition of Clement Clark Moore’s famous Christmas poem saw fit to rhyme “leader Reid” with “our hour of need.” That’s pretty much the tenor of an era in which politics is right now exalting self-parody into the law of the land, not to mention the direction of U.S. foreign policy. With Mao Tse-tung’s visage bedecking an ornament on the White House Christmas tree, what’s left to say?
I tried anyway, first drafting a tale of Santa’s rounds. But gone are the halcyon days when free-market types like myself could still imagine St. Nick hooking up with Adam Smith for such pipsqueak stuff as stopping airline bailouts. (Blast from the past — you could still have fun with that in 2001 ). Today, it’s obvious, for instance, that Santa some years out will not be delivering presents at all. As an overweight, self-employed globe-trotter, with a workshop pushing out carbon dioxide at the North Pole, he’ll spend all his time dickering with the IRS, hiding from the Environmental Protection Agency and waiting in line for state-required end-of-life healthcare counseling. Presents will be selected and distributed by a White House Shopping Czar, in tandem with breathing rights, as a function of how craftily your senator sold his vote in the latest DC power grab. It was all so gloomy that I threw it out.
Instead, I settled for writing up an alternative Christmas gift catalog, offering some gems of recent times — United Nations Sanctions on Iran (the Boxed Set); the Complete Copenhagen Climate Collection (with polar bear suits). Here’s a link if you’re in mood to browse the rest. As always with Pandora’s Christmas Hamper, there is some light (let’s skip the “hope” for now) at the bottom of the box, as in the Rescue Kit at the end. Merry Christmas to all!