|AL DRAGO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES|
How are you spending your holidays? Perhaps you are visiting friends. Volunteering in a soup kitchen. Getting tipsy on egg nog. Kissing under the mistletoe. Struggling to assemble a child's first bicycle. Attending a midnight church service. Whatever it is, you aren't holing up in the White House wringing your presidential hankie and spreading Yuletide gloom tweeting out woes such as, "I am all alone (poor me) . . . waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security."
Grievances have spilled from Donald Trump like crude oil from a ruptured pipeline in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as he spent the run-up to Christmas Day cowering in his bunker.
Trump whined about the government shutdown that he alone had provoked. He whined about the blowback from his summary execution of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. He whined about "Little Bob Corker," the outgoing Republican senator who rebuked him over his Syria pullout order. And he whined about the stock market closing out its worst December since 1931 with an enormous sell-off, blaming the Federal Reserve and likening the central bank to a golfer who "can’t putt."
If there was to be a moment of levity amidst all the holiday whining, it should have been when the Big White Hat, who gave America those hideous blood-red Christmas trees, jetted back from Mar-a-Lago to join the president in the State Dining Room to make calls as part of NORAD's annual Santa-tracking program.
What could go wrong?
Answering a call from a 7-year-old named Coleman, it went badly wrong when Trump asked:Are you still a believer in Santa? Because at seven it's marginal, right?We don't know Coleman's reaction to the president's suggestion that his parents had been lying to him. I was happily enveloped in the Santa Fantasy Fog at that age, but kids are exposed to all kinds of plot spoilers today, so perhaps Coleman wasn't shocked over Trump's faux pas even if we were. (It later turned out that she didn't know what the word "marginal" meant.)
After all, he warned us that he was going to shake up Washington. But nuke our most sacred covenant with kids?
Has any one man's nervous breakdown ever been so copiously documented? Have we ever felt less sorry for someone at a time of year when compassion and forgiveness are supposed to banish less pure feelings?
And isn't it time for an intervention?