Looking to light a fire under conservatives? Just try and tell ’em how to ingest flaming confections.
So learned a U.S. Forest Service aide after incensed Web readers — and later House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — got all fired up about an administration-penned blog post suggesting Americans keep fire safety in mind whilst observing National Toasted Marshmallow Day.
“For the things that government is supposed to do — like confront terrorist groups — we don’t have a strategy, but for things Americans are supposed to be able to do for themselves — like figuring out the best ingredients for s’mores — government bureaucrats have that figured out,” the California Republican fumed in his latest floor agenda update .
Online critics got even hotter under the collar, torching the regulatory guidelines involved, the tone of the public service announcement and the writer’s language skills.
A couple of fans rallied to the Forest Service’s cause, chastising rhetorical bomb throwers for needlessly politicizing a friendly reminder.
Meanwhile, at least one sweets-obsessed observer managed to champion autonomy (“Can we just use our heads and govern ourselves with common sense?” someone using the handle “Jim” wondered) AND weave in a brilliant epicurean substitution (“s’mores with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are much better”).
The Forest Service attempted to tamp down the controversy with a cut-and-dry statement. “One of the Forest Service's responsibilities is to find ways to deliver messages to the public that encourage fire safety, which was the primary purpose of the blog,” the agency said in an official release.
If playing it safe got the agency into this much trouble, we’d hate to see what type of fireworks would erupt if the Forest Service ever goes out on a limb and intentionally gets political.
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