Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Conservative Scrooge vs. Liberal Scrooge: who wins?

I guess the reason I’m so feeble with New Year’s resolutions is I lack resolve.

For instance, I’m about to demolish one of my 2012 resolutions and it’s still 2011.

Yes, I’m about to bash Republicans.

About two months ago I said to myself, “You know, I’m going to resolve to never get in another political argument. It gets everyone upset and is utterly pointless. And I will refrain from posting any blogs or tweets that might upset my Republican friends.”

I felt so pleased with my rationale I immediately began composing another resolution aimed at no longer talking to myself.

Yet, politics and politicians were providing too much compelling fodder to quit cold turkey even during a season renown for warm ham.

It happened on Christmas Eve. My thoughts were on the pending worship when I fired off the following tweet: “I'd like to be in church tonight when the pastor asks everyone to pray for peace on earth to see what happens after Dick Cheney stands up to object.”

It never occurred to me that this would be a violation of my new mindset restricting GOP-bashing.

In fact, it was sort of a Christmas wish, like a kid asking Santa for a new scooter.

Because it would, indeed, be electrifying. Imagine a reverend swept up in the spirit exhorting his flock to pray that wars cease, peace reigns and that goodwill toward all men prevails.

Then you’d see Cheney rise and say, “Now, hold on preacher,” and begin laying out the case for war, strategic bombings and Halliburton-boosting budgetary increases.

It happened again about three hours later during the annual telecast of “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I posted how meanie banker Henry Potter’s rhetoric sounded so in-tune with Tea Party stalwarts I kept expecting him to demand George produce a long-form birth certificate to prove he’s eligible to run the old Bailey Building & Loan.

The reaction was immediate: There was outrage. Umbrage was taken. Feelings were hurt.

Here it was Christmas Eve and I’d upset a bunch of GOP friends who, like me, couldn’t pry ourselves away from the social media on the holiest night of the year.

Now my feelings were hurt. It was a simple observation, the kind you see all over FaceBook -- “Yea! Almost Christmas!” -- and thin-skinned friends reacted as if I’d ruined the holiday.

It was as if I were some sort of Scrooge.

And, of course, I am some sort of Scrooge.

I’m the good one who wakes up in time for Christmas morning fired with inspiration to help the less fortunate.

Yes, I’m the liberal Scrooge. The one everyone loves.

The holiday-ruining miscreant Scrooge? He’d be leading the GOP race for president.

Check it out:

• Scrooge: “If they'd rather die, then they had better do it and decrease the surplus population.”

Wasn't that sort of line that drew raucous applause at the September Tea Party debate in South Carolina? Rick Perry also drew applause when he boasted about his state’s record of executions, even though Texas leads the nation in -- whoops! -- Death Row exonerations.

• Scrooge: “Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?"

Newt Gingrich enjoyed a surge in the polls when he said child labor laws are too restrictive.

• Scrooge on if he’ll donate to help the poor: “I wish to be left alone. Since you ask me what I wish sir, that is my answer. (My taxes) help to support the establishments I have named (prisons, workhouses, orphanages); those who are badly off must go there.”

So old Scrooge is a miserly Libertarian who believes charitable interventions are unnecessary.

And pointing this out to people who believe “The Muppet Movie” is an insidious indoctrination is some sort of affront.

One more from Scrooge: “Bob, I haven’t taken leave of my senses. I’ve come to them.”

This was the Scrooge who underwent a Christmas morning transformation so remarkable he extended universal health care of Tiny Tim, redistributed his hoarded wealth and became a man whose charitable heart will be revered throughout history.

The parallels are too obvious to ignore.

I say this with cheerful heart not to upset, but to like the Ghost of Christmas Past joyfully illuminate.

To prove it, I offer one more line from Dickens.

God bless us all! Everyone!

Even the thin-skinned Conservatives who forever fail to see the light.


Tom said...

I think the truth hurts your conservative friends since it has a liberal bias!

Chris Rodell said...

Good point, Tom! Sorting out the truth has become a real, ahem, dickens.

Happy New Year!