I wrote my column this week about how the tax cut deal and its attendant festivities have played out like some sort of Washington Christmas story (or, if you’re a progressive activist or House Democrat airing your grievances, a Festivus story). I could have added that the U.S. Congress increasingly looks like the Island of Misfit Toys, thanks in no small part to Arizona GOP Sen. Jon Kyl’s attempt to politicize Christmas.
In case you missed it, Kyl has taken grave offense to the notion that (seeing as how the GOP is trying every stalling tactic in the book to run out the lame duck clock) the Senate will be in session next week.
It is impossible to do all of the things that the majority leader laid out without doing--frankly, without disrespecting the institution and without disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate, not just the senators themselves but all of the staff.
The mind reels. As Joe Scarborough--no font of godless liberalism he--put it:
It’s offensive that people would use Christianity for political leverage with an argument that is so baseless that I got to say, my breath is taken away. Do we want to start with the most obvious one about who else is not going to be home on Christmas day? Troops in Afghanistan.
Of course we’re not actually talking about senators not being home for Christmas. We’re talking about them working during what the 99.999 percent of us who don’t serve in Congress call a “regular work week”--you know, those days that stretch from Monday through Friday.
Mike Huckabee, who as a Baptist pastor knows a thing or two about Christmas and Christian theology, told Jon Stewart Thursday night that he had no problem with people working the week after Christmas. “No I think in fact it’s sort of like the heavy duty season for most Christians,” he said. “They work a little harder. So it really does not, I think, bother me if the Senate and the House were to work a little extra. It’d make up for all the times they’re not working, which is the rest of the year.”
(Kyl isn’t alone. South Carolina gadfly Sen. Jim DeMint echoed him; and Texas GOP Rep. Joe “Don’t Touch BP’s Junk” Barton told Politico that he hadn’t yet bought a Christmas present because “Pelosi and Reid keep dragging us up here.” Umm, Joe? It’s called Amazon.com. But he couldn’t be expected to know that, it’s not like he’s the incoming “chairman emeritus” of the Commerce Committee. Oh wait…)
Of course as many have pointed out, the Senate could easily get its work done and be home for the entire Christmas week but for the GOP stalling tactics led by … Jon Kyl among others. So I guess if he’s bothered he can take it up with the Kyl Who Politicized Christmas.
Not surprisingly, Stephen Colbert had the best take on the whole affair, which you can find after the links below.
- See photos of the Obamas behind the scenes.
- Check out this month's best political cartoons.
- See which industries give the most to Congress.
|The Colbert Report||Mon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Christmas Holy Week|