The White House had to reverse course today on a Christmas tree-related tax, but its not the first Tannenbaum-related scandal this administration has faced. President Obama should know by now that a dead, dry Christmas tree can easily serve as kindling, readily set ablaze with political scandal. Take a look:
- The Christmas Tree Tax of '11 Pundits on the right had a fit yesterday when the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved a 15 cent tax on Christmas trees. The tax was part of an initiative sponsored by the tree growers themselves. Proceeds would have launched an advertising campaign that would promote buying non-artificial Christmas trees. After the likes of Matt Drudge posted headlines like "OBAMA'S NEW CHRISTMAS TREE TAX," the U.S.D.A. has announced that it will be delaying the tax and rethinking the program. So parents can now put that 15 cents directly into their joyous children's stockings so they can use it to buy ... absolutely nothing.
- The holiday tree rumors of '09 Fresh from a campaign in which he had to deny that he is a Muslim, in 2009, Obama had to reassure the blogosphere that, no, he wouldn't be renaming the White House Christmas tree a "holiday tree." Politico reported at the time:
The White House Historical Association has been receiving calls and emails about an alleged Obama decree that the Christmas trees in the White House would now be known as "holiday trees." And artists submitting designs for ornaments on the Blue Room tree were not allowed to depict Christian themes.
The calls, unsurprisingly, caught the Historical Association unawares, and they reassured callers that there were no such plans. Crisis averted. Until ...
- The Maoist plot of '09 ... Andrew Breitbart's Big Government blog pulled out its magnifying glass and found an ornament on the White House not-holiday-but-Christmas tree that featured Andy Warhol's "Mao" portrait. It was suggested that this was Obama's shout-out to his comrades in China, though the ornament depicted artwork that hangs in the National Gallery and was designed by outside community groups. Obama didn't respond to this as far as we know, but then, with so many Christmas Tree scandals to manage in the busy holiday season, where does one find the time?