Gary Ackerman’s Santa Claus Complex (Sept. 2008)

by Elizabeth Berney, Esq.Last December, the media was abuzz with Gary Ackerman’s bizarre discriminatory vote against a Congressional resolution honoring Christmas (H. Res. 847).  Ackerman was one of only nine Congressmen who voted against the resolution.  Notably, Ackerman’s vote against honoring Christmas came right after he voted for a resolution honoring the Muslim holiday of [...]

by Elizabeth Berney, Esq.Last December, the media was abuzz with Gary Ackerman’s bizarre discriminatory vote against a Congressional resolution honoring Christmas (H. Res. 847).  Ackerman was one of only nine Congressmen who voted against the resolution.  Notably, Ackerman’s vote against honoring Christmas came right after he voted for a resolution honoring the Muslim holiday of Ramadan (H. Res. 635).   The title of a New York Magazine article put it succinctly: “Queens Congressman Gary Ackerman Has a Problem With Santa.”  (Dec. 13, 2007).

But Ackerman’s 2007 vote was not his first brush with Santa.  Ackerman also voted against the December 2005 resolution honoring Christmas (H. Res. 579).  At that time Ackerman mockingly said, “I do not understand why we need to set up a straw man just to knock him down; to protect the symbols of Christmas as if they were under attack. . . . Did something happen when I was not looking?  Did somebody mug Santa Claus?  Is somebody engaging in elf tossing?”

Then, just recently (mid-June 2008), Mr. Ackerman’s Santa Claus complex reached a new low.  Ackerman complained that a proposal to send $86 million of our U.S. tax dollars to the Palestinian Authority and another $40 million of our U.S. tax dollars to a United Nations fund for Palestinians is not enough.  “‘It’s a day late and a $100 million short,’ said Rep. Gary Ackerman, a New York Democrat who chairs a House subcommittee focused on the Middle East.”  (Associated Press, 6/19/08)  Ackerman then stated that America should have been delivering goods to Abu Mazen and making him the Muslim Santa Claus in the Arab world so he was giving out the goodies.  Id.  Ackerman – who – frighteningly – holds the position of Mideast Subcommittee Chair – apparently believes that making Abu Mazen (also known as Mahmoud Abbas) into the “Muslim Santa Claus” is somehow the key to peace in the Middle East.  Hamas would “wither and die” if Abu Mazen is the new Santa, Ackerman claims. 

Now, we must ask, exactly what sort of “goodies” can this new “Muslim Santa Claus” be expected to distribute with the largesse which Gary Ackerman wishes to bestow upon him with our tax dollars?   Kalishnikov rifles?  More payments to suicide bombers?  Abbas co-founded the Fatah party with Yasser Arafat, and was responsible for funding the P.L.O. massacre of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics.  Abbas has remained unrepentant since then.  In April 2008, Abbas’ government sentenced to be executed by firing squad a brave Palestinian policeman who turned over information regarding four terrorists to Israel, saving Israeli lives.  Abbas’ government continues to pay the families of terrorists, calls for the killing of all Americans and Jews on state-controlled television and in schools and textbooks, praises Hezbollah, holds days of mourning for terrorists, and advocates a unified effort with Hamas to destroy Israel.  The Stotsky study demonstrates that every time funding to the P.A. increases, violence goes up.

Ackerman’s Santa Claus comments are telling in still another respect.  They reflect a cynical view that the purpose of government is to take the public’s hard-earned tax dollars, and use them to give out “goodies” for the sole purpose of retaining political power.  Indeed, Ackerman received the worst possible rating (“F,” which means “Big Spender”) by the non-partisan National Taxpayers’ Union.

But perhaps there is a bright side to all this.  Now that Ackerman has transformed Santa into a radical Islamic terrorist, maybe Ackerman will vote to honor Christmas next time around.

 

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