Soon it will be Christmas Eve, that one night of the year when politicos young and old lay their heads down to dream of the treasure that may await in stockings hung with care. But some on the American political scene have been a little nicer than others and Santa Claus has been making notes all year before deciding how to best distribute the wealth. Here’s a peek at some of the decisions he has made on his 2010 Naughty and Nice list.
Of course, if you have any of your own ideas about Santa’s list, be sure to make suggestions in the comments below. Ol’ Saint Nick is always listening.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
As the brightest member among Leader Boehner’s handpicked appointments to the President’s Deficit Commission, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and a minority conservative voice on the gateway House committees of Budget and Ways & Means, Ryan has pulled more than his fair share. Ryan’s work in envisioning an economic course for the government that sets the country on a course toward greater freedom and stability. Perhaps most notable, in Washington, D.C., where the primary economic industry seems to be the production of heated oxygen, Ryan created an actual plan. For actually doing the work his constituents deserve to have done on their behalf, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin tops the nice list for 2010.
House Minority Leader and Speaker-elect John Boehner
“Hell, no!” doesn’t seem like the sort of exclamation that should get positive recognition on the holiest of birthdays, but Rep. John Boehner’s (R-Ohio) emotionally-charged desperate howl on Christmas Eve 2009 continued to resonate through 2010. Just the prospect of replacing Speaker Nancy Pelosi with Boehner became a lucrative fundraising slogan for Republicans. His continued vocal opposition to the sweeping Democratic agenda will continue to serve as a critical aid for ideological navigation in the tumultuous months ahead.
GOP Old Guard Appropriators
In the case of GOP dinosaurs – Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Thad Cochrane (R-Miss.), Kit Bond (R-Mo.) being leaders of the pack – handing them a bag of coal is an elegant act of regifting what they have already dumped in the laps of the American taxpayer. Despite serious warnings from all corners of the political sphere that spiraling debt represents a threat to national security, this dedicated block of tax-and-spend Republicans earned their lumps this year by helping to increase the peril.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Attorney General Eric Holder has earned his lumps in 2010 more than perhaps any other Washington insider except for Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano. From his indecision and clumsy defense of the administration’s flawed policy to try cases against dangerous terrorists in civilian courts, to stonewalling the U.S. Civil Rights Commission’s requests pertaining to the controversial dismissal of voter intimidation charges against the New Black Panther Party, to aggressively challenging Arizona’s SB1070 despite admitting to never having read the law, Holder is certainly among the naughtiest in the Obama administration.
Gaia’ s Over-Protective Big Brother, Al Gore
Behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner is quoted as saying, “The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.” One candy cane for former veep Al Gore, and here’s why.
Gore’s relative silence in 2010 has more to do with a spate of personal difficulties including a separation from wife Tipper and a sexual assault charge involving a Portland, Oreg. masseuse that was eventually dismissed. Or it could be the calming of global warming hysteria, noted by a significant mellowing in acceptance of Gore’s belief in an approaching environmental catastrophe is based in sound science. Whatever the causes of Gore’s silence, one candy cane is a good training tool. Stay on the path, Al, and next year’s reward could be larger.
The Republican National Committee
While Republican candidates were hitting the campaign trail to connect with voter angst about fiscal excesses and irresponsibility, the RNC treasury was being treated as a cash machine for the over-privileged consultant class. Only weeks after a damaging revelation that the RNC reimbursed expenses for a leather-and-chains junket to an L.A. bondage club, Chairman Michael Steele’s own credibility was weakened by the disclosure of a flurry of questionable spending and allegations that he had suggested purchasing a private jet to use for his own travel.
Julian Assange ( x 10100)
That’s right – a googolplex of coal lumps for the man whose aim is to singlehandedly bring down an entire nation, and that may not even be enough. The Wikileaks founder has yet to face charges relating to the release of diplomatic and military secrets of the U.S. government during the past year, document dumps for which the extent of damage may never be fully known. Let’s just hope that yours truly [Santa] can still find this megamaniac now that the British court has seen fit to grant him bail.
[Cross-posted by author from Pundit League.]