By Daniel Rigney
Rep. Paul Ryan (R) of Wisconsin won’t turn 43 until January 29, when he hopes to be a heartbeat away from the presidential chair, a seat now fully occupied by President Barack Obama. Still, it's not too early to begin narrowing down your shopping list of possible birthday gifts to send Paul as an expression of your affection for him and his grand old party, which the Republican National Committee is now rebranding as the the love party (formerly the party of compassionate conservatism).
Here are some creative gift ideas to honor a politician who’s not so self-important that he can’t take a joke.
Submitted for your consideration:
… a tee-shirt that reads: Election 2012: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint.
... a free guided tour of the Midwest, with lively commentary along the way, compliments of Nuns on the Bus.
… a complete set of Catholic social encyclicals, beginning with Leo XIII’s Rerum Novarum (1891), the church’s response to both socialist and capitalist forms of economic materialism, issued at the height of what Mark Twain called the “Gilded Age.”
… a leather-bound, authoritative and whip-smart collection of the complete works of Ayn Rand, signed by the author, and featuring such works as The Virtue of Selfishness. (Caution: Do not place on the same shelf with the social encyclicals. Rand will require her own shelf.)
… a gift subscription to a Coursera course in actual philosophy, a genre distinct from adolescent social science fiction. (See Ayn Rand).
… a Jane Fonda workout disk, digitized from the original videotape.
… a photograph of Rep. Ryan noodling a catfish (suitable for framing and submitting into evidence).
… a semi-automatic hunting rifle, engraved with the second half of the Second Amendment.
… a sporty Humvee convertible with custom carbon emissions amplifier.
… a home lie-detector testing device.
… antique souvenir campaign buttons from the Coolidge and Hoover presidential campaigns of 1924 and 1928.
… a voter suppression kit, including and a map-illustrated guide to gerrymandering and legal poll taxing.
… a portrait of the Supreme Court with the faces of several justices painted out and replaced by the faces of major campaign donors. Caption: The Koch-Adelson Court.
You may have a few gift suggestions of your own. Please post these below or on Twitter at #paulryangift.
Thoughtful reminder: Mitt Romney’s birthday is March 12.
Danagram as Rimshot the Sitdown Comic.
This message was not approved by Citizens United. Citizens Untied maybe.