The war on candy canes
By Jamie BateReally, I don’t have an ax to grind when it comes to our congressman, John Doolittle. Yes, I’ve written a couple of columns regarding Doolittle’s allegiance to his indicted Republican colleague Tom DeLay and the lack of any explanation regarding his ties to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff.Other than blanket statements regarding how irresponsible the country’s media is regarding what could be two of Washington’s biggest stories of the year and the proximity of our representative to them, we get this from our diligent Congressman:”Doolittle: Attack on Christmas Must be Stopped”Yes, our man in Washington has surprisingly – or not – jumped on the “War on Christmas” bandwagon that was pushed out into the road by some of the talking heads at Fox News.And no, I didn’t make up the “attack on Christmas” quote above. It’s the headline from a Doolittle press release, with a sub-headline explaining the serious work our representative is doing for us, which is that he, “Supports Bill to Protect Nativity, Christmas Tree, Santa, Carols…”Oh, and don’t forget candy canes, which Doolittle referenced in the text of his release. The tasty little pepperminty morsels are, apparently, an endangered species threatened by the “Grinch who stole Christmas,” played by “aggressive, politically correct activists who have hijacked America’s favorite celebration and replaced it with a generic holiday that stands for nothing and celebrates anything.”Yeah, like the almighty dollar. Over the years I’ve met the Congressman a couple of times on his stops to newspapers in the district, although I’m sure he doesn’t remember me. What struck me were his off-hand remarks about environmental weirdos – and no that’s not a quote, but it’s close – and the assorted catch-phrases used for people he doesn’t care for. Unless I am totally out of touch with the sentiment in the Congressman’s district, the pandering, the fear mongering and tired name calling are things voters with open minds are sick of.Doolittle’s party is having a tough go of it right now, what with the indictments and all, so their bread-and-butter spiels – ethics and morals – are looking a little silly. The cynic in me thinks that if all this were happening around The Fourth of July, the usual suspects in Congress would be pushing that old flag burning amendment bandwagon out into the mainstream in order to get voters to turn their attention away from the real issues.Sadly, Doolittle is living up to his name by climbing aboard the war-on-Christmas bandwagon. Jamie Bate is the editor of the Sierra Sun. Reach him at sierrasun.com
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