The far right is making a bit of hay about some of the baubles (“Images of communists and transvestites, oh my!”) on the White House Christmas tree this year, and Andrew Sullivan characterizes the feigned outrage as a form of paranoid McCarthyism. But as a devoted Obama supporter, I will say this about the Mao ornament: it shouldn’t be on the White House Christmas tree. No image of Mao Zedong, even of the ironic Andy Warhol variety, should be officially displayed at the White House. It is not an image befitting a democratic and liberal Republic. Sorry. No swastikas, no Soviet hammer and sickle images—and no images of Lenin, Stalin, or Hitler either. Images of Thomas Jefferson and Sojourner Truth belong on a White House Christmas tree. Not Mao. Not Mao at all. It’s a symptom of the decorator’s nihilism—or historical illiteracy, I don’t know which is worse—that such an ornament could find its way on the tree at all.