CNN’s bespectacled morning anchor, Carol Costello, opens her show at 9 a.m. with the following announcement:

Costello: “As the allergy season erupts all over America, the culture wars between right and left have shifted to a surprising new area: tree pollen. Yards, cars and streets have been covered in pollen. What is usually a nightmare for allergy sufferers has turned into a political lightning rod as political parties craft their respective platforms. To discuss this further, I’d like to welcome our guests on this topic, former Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum and California Senator Barbara Boxer. Welcome.”

Santorum and Boxer: “Good morning.”

Costello: “Let’s start with you Senator Santorum. What’s the issue here with tree pollen?”

Santorum: “Tree pollen is everywhere, and our society—with its deteriorating values— has just accepted it. Do you all know what pollen is? It’s trees out shamelessly looking for mates. We’ve got to nip this immorality in the bud!”

Costello: “Senator Boxer, the Democratic Party has been at the forefront of social change in the culture wars, but have trees gone too far?”

Boxer: “Trees have been under attack for centuries—clear cutting, deforestation, Lincoln Logs, etc. Now social conservatives are calling pollen immoral. This isn’t 1950, Carol. Trees have a right to a social life.”

Costello: “But is it fair for trees to impose their loose values on the rest of us? Their actions are seen uncensored everyday by children of all ages across America.”

Boxer: “It’s no worse than the lyrics in most rap songs, Carol.”

Santorum: “I have to disagree with you, Senator. Think about it. Trees are reaching out indiscriminately and mating right and left—it’s unnatural.”

Boxer: “Unnatural?”

Santorum: “Absolutely. Do you know that trees often mate with themselves? It’s kind of a sick form of tree hugging, wouldn’t you say? Cam and Mitchell of Modern Family don’t even condone that kind of thing.”

Boxer: “I’m sure if you asked Cameron and Mitchell, they would say it’s fine.”

Costello: “Senator Boxer, what about the millions of Americans who suffer from tree pollen allergies, like me?”

Boxer: “I don’t understand how that’s relevant to the morality of trees.”

Costello: “Why should we all suffer just because trees want to hook up?”

If you like this kind of satire, you’ll love Buzz Kill, William Goodspeed’s zany novel about political correctness in corporate America. Check out the reviews here.

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