Sen. Rand Paul's annual Festivus celebration was on Wednesday
He lobbed jokes and insults and "grievances" at presidential rivals on Twitter
It’s December 23, and that means the day has finally arrived for a political holiday tradition on par to some fans with the National Christmas Tree Lighting – Rand Paul’s Festivus.
For the third straight year, the senator took to Twitter to ring in the season with a special “airing of grievances” against political opponents and government waste, lobbing jokes and insults in a tribute to the classic Festivus ritual introduced by the sitcom “Seinfeld.”
And this year, his grievances were many.
Paul announced the festivities Wednesday morning on Twitter, writing, “Good morning and HAPPY #Festivus! I will be airing my grievances soon.”
Then, in true insult-comic fashion, Paul began taking shots, sparing none of his presidential rivals.
His first target: Donald Trump. Paul tweeted, “Where else to start but @realDonaldTrump. If you bring the Yiddish, know what it means. But I guess that’s more of a kvetch than a grievance” – a wink at the controversy surrounding uncouth language that the GOP front-runner used toward Hillary Clinton.
But Paul went on: “After the debates, @realDonaldTrump always trying to give us parting gifts of his made in China ties. Weird. #Festivus”
Paul’s next Festivus victim was Ted Cruz. “My friend Ted Cruz has still not pledged to issue exec order declaring Canadian ‘bacon’ is not real bacon. Makes me suspicious. #Festivus,” he tweeted.
Though Cruz – born in Calgary, Canada – has verified his status as a U.S. citizen, it sounds like Paul will take some convincing.
Paul also had some choice words for the famously soft-spoken Ben Carson. He tweeted, “I have no grievances against my fellow doc @RealBenCarson because I have not heard a word he has said in any debate. #Festivus”
To Chris Christie, Paul tweeted, “I think I speak for all in NJ when I say @GovChristie I don’t care how much u spend at Met Life, Cowboys fans should stay out. #Festivus”
Christie – whose state is home to MetLife Stadium and the Giants and Jets – drew jeers when he joined Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones in the owner’s box for an NFL playoff game last season and delivered a spectacularly exuberant celebration after the Cowboys’ win.
Paul also trained his sights on Marco Rubio, knocking the Florida senator for his spotty Senate attendance record. He tweeted, “To my absentee friend @MarcoRubio, I didn’t put your $170K+ salary in my waste report today. But I could have. #Festivus”
When it came to the Lindsey Graham, who just this week dropped out of the Republican primary, Paul paused his snark and sounded a more diplomatic tone. He tweeted, “I hereby retract grievance I was going to air about @GrahamBlog today. Respect for the recently departed. #EarlyFestivusPresent #Festivus”
But Paul quickly returned to form for a zinger at noted “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders. “To my comrade @SenSanders: Unless you’re Santa Claus, Socialism runs out of other people’s money #Festivus”
And for his grievance against Hillary Clinton, Paul couldn’t resist another nod to the simmering Trump-Clinton feud, bringing Carly Fiorina into the mix. He wrote, “@CarlyFiorina has ZERO trouble making it back from commercial breaks @HillaryClinton. Just saying #Festivus #waronwomensrooms”
Fiorina actually responded to Paul’s Festivus tidings, tweeting back, “Happy Festivus Rand Paul”
Paul finished his barrage with Jeb Bush, whose stilted debate performances have provided easy comic fodder. Unrelenting, Paul fired off his last grievance. “@JebBush is always trying to change the debate rules to allow extra time for awkward pauses in answers. Not gonna happen #Festivus”
And after previewing some grievances against government waste to come later in the day, courtesy of a 38-page “Festivus” report on examples of waste that he commissioned as chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight, the senator from Kentucky signed off.
If the presidential bid doesn’t work out, at the very least Paul has a bright future as a celebrity roast emcee.