Monday, November 09, 2009

Grinch op-ed

All the Whos down in Whoville, the tall and the small, were up in arms recently. They were fed up with Gov. Grinch making off with their Christmas tree and replacing it with a "Holiday Tree."

The Governor, dressed up as Santa Claus, had crept into town under the cover of political darkness, slithered down the Capitol chimney, and decided to shove the state Christmas tree up through the fireplace.

But as he did this, he heard something. And it wasn't the coo of a dove.

Instead, it was a reporter at the Associated Press, who had just gotten a press release from the Kentucky Finance Cabinet seeking donations for a state "Holiday Tree," and he caught the Governor red-handed.

"Santy Claus, why?" asked the reporter, getting out his notepad and taking a pencil from behind his ear, "Why are you taking the state Christmas tree? Why?"

But the Governor was sly and the Governor was slick. He sent for a spokesperson and he sent for her quick. The aid, Cindy Lanham, explained that "the holiday tree reference is meant to be inclusive of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year's."


Why not just throw in Easter, Columbus Day, Presidents Day, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? And don't forget Groundhog Day, and the much neglected Friendship Day. I mean, if we’re going to be inclusive …

The chief problem, apparently, was that the Christmas tree could only be appreciated by people who actually celebrate Christmas. To most people that’s kind of the idea, but Gov. Grinch was having none of it.

The Governor and his spokesperson told the reporter that they were going to take the tree back to the workshop. "We'll take it up there," they said, gesturing toward the Division of Forestry, "and we'll bring it back here."

So they patted the reporter on the head, and sent him back to the media office on the 2nd floor of the Capitol building, at which point, the Governor went to the chimney and stuffed the tree up. The last thing he left was the log on the fire.

Apparently, the Governor really thought this act would be appreciated. So he put his hand to his ear. And he did hear a sound rising over the bluegrass. It started in low, then it started to grow...

Problem was it was sound of over 25,000 people on the "Save the Christmas Tree" Facebook page wanting their Christmas tree back. In fact, the thing blew up into a major public relations headache for state Grinch officials.

The AP story spread far and wide, and was even carried by national news organizations like Forbes and USA Today.

What went wrong? The Governor’s staff must have puzzled over it ‘till their puzzler was sore.

The exact problem with the state Christmas tree was never quite clear. Were there complaints about it? Was there some problem with the word ‘Christmas’? And who exactly was it who had issues with a baby in a manger bringing peace on earth and good will toward men?

It wasn’t those tolerant liberals was it? Why is it always the people who pride themselves in being tolerant who get offended by these things?

The liberals have somehow failed to notice that every time they try not to offend people it just makes them mad.

The Governor eventually brought the state Christmas tree back, reversing his decision. But why did he do it in the first place? It could be his head was not screwed on just right. It could be perhaps that his shoes were too tight. But some think that the most likely reason of all may be that the Governor's political judgment is two sizes too small.

Other people have tried to stop Christmas from coming, but it comes just the same. It comes without ribbons. It comes without tags. It comes without packages, boxes, or bags. It even comes when there’s no state Christmas tree.

In fact, the only thing that was ever really in danger was the reputation of a few out-of-touch politicians who may or may not have avoided joining the roast beast in getting carved up on the next election.

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