Jonah Goldberg

The implication is that the only thing standing between you and Hillary's trinkets is a president who doesn't want you to have 'em. This is monarchical thinking; good ruler throws loaves of bread to the peons and asks for nothing but love in return.

The truth, as Clinton knows very well, is that it's not so easy. To govern is to choose. "Give" the people X and it will come at the expense of Y. Indeed, until recently, Clinton's whole schtick has been to emphasize that change is hard work, requiring sacrifice and compromise. She'd lecture Iowa audiences that real change comes from fighting for it. Now that she's on the ropes, it's all yours for the asking.

It's a profound commentary on the state of our political culture that Huckabee's ad is the controversial one. Huckabee promises nothing, Hillary everything.

The contrast between the Candidate of God and the Candidate of Goodies should remind everyone of P.J. O'Rourke's timeless book "Parliament of Whores."

"I have only one firm belief about the American political system, and that is this: God is a Republican and Santa Claus is a Democrat," wrote the indispensable O'Rourke.

"God" he explained, is "a stern fellow, patriarchal rather than paternal and a great believer in rules and regulations. He holds men strictly accountable for their actions. He has little apparent concern for the material well being of the disadvantaged. ... God is unsentimental. It is very hard to get into God's heavenly country club."

P.J. continues: "Santa Claus is another matter. ... He's nonthreatening. He's always cheerful. And he loves animals. He may know who's been naughty and who's been nice, but he never does anything about it. He gives everyone everything they want without the thought of a quid pro quo."

"Santa Claus is preferable to God in every way but one," O'Rourke concluded. "There is no such thing as Santa Claus."

P.J.'s right. But you won't be hearing that from Hillary this holiday season.


Jonah Goldberg

Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online,and the author of the forthcoming book The Tyranny of Clichés. You can reach him via Twitter @JonahNRO.
 
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