The world is full of sick puppies, twisted sisters, and black-hearted bastards, folks whose sole purpose is to spread misery and inflict pain on their fellow man. And at the top of that list is the horrible human being who came up with the Elf on the Shelf.
Like many of you, I spent Thanksgiving with family filling up on good food and good vibes. I loved every moment of it. Or at least I did until my cousin gave my two daughters an Elf on the Shelf. That's when the holiday took a dark turn. Now, don't get me wrong. I appreciate the gift. But the Elf will never ever sit on a shelf in my house. In fact, I'm of half a mind to throw it on a leaf pile and give it a Jedi funeral. Why, you ask? The answer is quite simple: The Elf on the Shelf is a despicable little snitch. Let me explain.
The Elf was created by Carol V. Aebersold and Chandra A. Bell in response to a question asked by Aebersold's children: How does Santa know if you've been naughty or nice? The answer was easy enough. Aebersold took an Elf doll and told her children that each night the spy would report back to Mr. Claus. She then told them they could never touch the Elf. And while he would never talk back to them, the Elf was perfectly free to speak to mom and dad. To further dupe her children, Aebersold moved the Elf every day so that when her wee ones awoke, it was in a different place. Big Brother would have been pleased.
Look, I understand that Santa has a naughty-and-nice list. That's fine. It has no real-world implications. No parent is willing to deny their children presents as the result of a year's worth of bad behavior, no matter how rotten they are. But the Elf on the Shelf takes this concept and twists it, telling children that not only do their parents not trust them, but mom and dad think you're all a bunch of no-good little shits. Call me crazy, but I'd rather my children learn to behave morally because it's the right thing to do and not because they are scared of Santa Claus.
On second thought, the more I think about it, the more I think there is somebody who could use an Elf — somebody who's been very naughty. And that person is Nikki Haley. See, the governor has a penchant for secrecy, and, frankly, it's time for her to be truly transparent in her dealings. Nothing makes this clearer than Nikki's behavior over the past few weeks.
First, a Georgia law firm, McKenna, Long, and Aldridge, hosted a fundraiser for Haley at their offices. Then our fair state's DHEC board, which seems to be primarily comprised of Nikki's campaign contributors, overturned an earlier decision forbidding the state of Georgia from dredging the Savannah River. The unfortunate reversal will give the Port of Savannah a competitive advantage over the struggling Port of Charleston.
Shortly after the flip-flop, GOP lawmakers, including Larry Grooms and Peter McCoy, cried foul, while two Dems, Leon Stavrinakis and Vincent Sheheen, requested that Haley reveal the names of her contributors and turn over all of her documents related to the fundraiser and the DHEC decision.
Then the governor refused to come before a state Senate committee led by Republican Sen. Harvey Peeler to discuss the DHEC decision. Peeler also requested that Nikki turn over all e-mail correspondence between herself, the governor of Georgia, and the head of the Georgia Ports Authority. Shortly thereafter, reports surfaced that the Haley administration has been routinely deleting nearly all of its e-mails.
And then on Monday, Nikki held a press conference to explain how all of this port business was just a huge misunderstanding, only to lie once again. First, she said that none of the contributors at the fundraiser had ties to the GPA when, in fact, McKenna, Long, and Aldridge actually specializes in port-related legal activity. And according to The Post and Courier, several McKenna staffers, as well as the firm's political action committee, gave money to Haley. (For the record, Keith Mason, a partner at McKenna, was previously the chairman of the Georgia Ports Authority.) Then — and this is really quite bizarre — Haley claimed that Motorola and GE donated money to her campaign at the Georgia fundraiser. They didn't. Oy vey.
I've said it time and time again, folks. Haley may not be the most corrupt politician in South Carolina history, but she's clearly the worst at it. I just hope that somebody has the good enough sense to put an Elf on the Shelf in the Governor's Mansion. Santa needs to know that Nikki Haley belongs on the naughty list.