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Posted at 10:36 AM ET, 12/16/2010

The Senate GOP's bore on Christmas

By Adam Serwer

The clearest sign that Republican obstructionists in the Senate are becoming desperate as a result of the increasing likelihood that much of the Democratic lame-duck agenda might actually pass is their pathetic attempt to politicize Christmas.

On Tuesday, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), whose attempts to derail ratification of the new START treaty through frivolous objections appear to be failing, whined that keeping Congress in session right up until the holidays would be "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians."

Yesterday Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) followed suit, complaining that "This is the most sacred holiday for Christians."

As many others have pointed out, most Americans, Christian or otherwise, work around the holidays. DeMint also rather blatantly screwed up his theology while trying to find an arbitrary excuse to whine about Congress doing its job -- Christmas is pointedly not the most sacred holiday for Christians, Easter is. As if that weren't craven enough, DeMint flatly admitted yesterday that his efforts right now are focused on trying to "run out the clock."

I'm a nice Jewish boy, and I don't have a dog in this fight, but this strikes me as one of the more egregious instances of conservatives deploying religion as little more than a culture war weapon. If Senators like DeMint find working around Christmas "sacrilegious," they should stop obstructing the Senate's business so they can all go home. 

 It's rather clear though, that DeMint and Kyl, like their Democratic colleagues, think their obligations in the Senate are more important than arbitrary lengthy leisure time around the holidays, or they wouldn't be so committed to "running out the clock." While I find their priorities frustrating, objectively speaking, senators should consider their duties more important than getting a few extra days off. But it also means Democrats aren't being any more "sacrilegious" than Republicans are.

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.

By Adam Serwer  | December 16, 2010; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Senate Republicans, gay rights  
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Comments

This is nothing, these are the same people who clam Jesus hates poor people but loves war. If there is a Hell...

Posted by: Bullsmith1 | December 16, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

I am a Christian. I do not want to offend Kyl or DeMint, but the most sacred day is the Resurrection, not the birth.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 16, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

Instead of acting like US Senators, Kyl and DeMinted are behaving like a couple of Iranian Ayatollahs.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 16, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

"I do not want to offend Kyl or DeMint..."

Why not? I'd offend those two any way I could (without putting my little kids chances for getting into medical school in jeopardy, of course).

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The most sacred holy day (holiday) for Christians is EASTER, not Christmas.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 16, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse


AM in Vienna


Kyl did say that about the holidays - he said there were two.

____________________________

There is a report out that Scott Brown will support Dont Ask - but we have heard this before.

The Senate is supposed to leave town TOMORROW -


This is EXTRA-INNINGS ON A LAME-DUCK SESSION


The democrats lost the election - at what point will they realize they don't have the support of the American People for their liberal agenda???

It has become a NATIONAL JOKE.


Go home and let the real representatives of the People run the government


Right now, this lame-duck is nothing less than a HYJACKING OF THE US GOVERNMENT


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 16, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The most noble cause of 2010 IS running out the clock on these pathetic, dead duck, congresional leftists that insist on pushing through a raft of legislative stink-bombs and throwing them at the America that is giving them the bum's rush outta town.

Running out the clock is something to be proud of. Only the losers think otherwise.

Run it out.........and then run them out and then America will be on the right track, again.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 16, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Once again, this is pure partisan hackery based on the usual total lack of historical knowledge, not surprising since Kyl is dumb as a sack of hammers.

The Puritans frowned on excessive celebrations of Christmas or most anything else, and this greatly influenced the founding generation. So Christmas was just not that big a deal. Congress met regularly on Christmas from 1789 to 1855. Our Christmas is a Victorian custom popularized by Queen Victoria's German husband Prince Albert. It was popularized in the US by retailers. It is above all a holiday that celebrates Capitalism. The real Christian holiday is Easter.

Posted by: Mimikatz | December 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

It is time to READ THE BILLS


Read all of them


The democrats are dragging out this lame-duck session - they are trying to use every loop-hole they can - it is perfectly within-bounds for the Republicans to "run out the clock."


The democrats LOST the election - they shouldn't even be trying to do this right now.


To try to make the case that ANYTHING the Republicans do in this atmosphere is just wrong.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 16, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Scott Brown and Lisa Murkowski support DADT repeal!!

Woo-hoo! 61 votes!

http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2010/12/big-boost-for-dont-ask-dont-tell-repeal-brown-backs-senate-bill-.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | December 16, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

shrink2 @ December 16, 2010 10:58 AM wrote "I'd offend those two any way I could (without putting my little kids chances for getting into medical school in jeopardy, of course)."

I empathize, but I am not as good at being an a55hole as they are ;)

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 16, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

The most sacred day in the American Calendar is Black Friday.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 16, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

RainForestRising @ December 16, 2010 11:00 AM wrote "Kyl did say that about the holidays - he said there were two."

Yes he did. I do not wish to engage in a theological discussion here, but the most sacred days are the Resurrection; the Baptism celebrated on 6 January; and the Annunciation celebrated on 25 March.

Please note that none of them are commercial. Also note that I still cannot agree with Kyl or DeMint on the substance of their comments.

Posted by: AMviennaVA | December 16, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Please stop feeding The Uber Troll who caused software to be written, just to mask it's ever present overwhelming stench.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 16, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

ALL,


I wouldn't count on Joe Manchin's vote


AND there are a few other votes that you really don't have.


The moderate Republicans are playing a game - they want to put out the press releases, but they don't want to go as far as casting a vote which will offend the Republican leadership.

The Republicans WON the election


Don't you get it? In 2008, the democrats won, but they twisted their mandate into something it was never meant to be. NOW, the democrats are hanging-on LIKE STALKERS WHO WON'T LEAVE.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 16, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The only poll that is 100% accurate is the mid-term election of November, 2010.

That poll indicated an OVERWHELMING REJECTION of everything Obamacrat by Americans from coast to coast.

Yet they persist in screwing with America, right up to the end. No wonder their Gallup, approval is down to 13%, and Gallup leans liberal.

13%. Dog catchers and truant officers can get that much approval.

Throw the bums out!

Posted by: battleground51 | December 16, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Great post Adam.

I agree 1,000,000%. What could possibly be more sacrilegious than using JESUS as a weapon for your own political whims?

As someone mentioned yesterday, on I think it was TPM, the fact that they used JESUS CHRIST as an excuse to block START -- a treaty to reduce the amount of nuclear weapons in the world, a treaty some might say to promote WORLD PEACE -- runs totally counter to JESUS' TEACHINGS.

Stunning hypocrisy, truly stunning.

But then again, what do I know, like you Adam, I'm just a nice Jewish boy.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 16, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The very first Congress enacted under the U.S. Constitution worked on Christmas Day (12/25/1889). Why did the Founding Fathers hate America so much?
Source: http://www.history.com/topics/christmas

Posted by: flounder2 | December 16, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

All, some very interesting developments in the push to reform the filibuster:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/movement_to_reform_senate_take.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 16, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

The position of Senators Kyl, and DeMinted is:

Let us start another Nuclear Arms Race, to mark the birthday of The Prince Of Peace.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 16, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The only word that can adequately describe Mr Serwer's essay is "counter whining".

Whining about others whining is just unseemly, but it is hard to imagine a dyed in the wool liberal such as Mr Serwer foregoing his opportunity to do so.

What is also very amusing is the continual, shameless use of "do as we say, not as we do."

Repeatedly the liberals in America demonstrate just exactly what depth of depravity the can explore, once they shed any sense of shame.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 16, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Let us start another Nuclear Arms Race, to mark the birthday of The Prince Of Peace."

Ha! Perfect!

Great to have you back Liam, and in fine form as always.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 16, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Christmas is what it is.

The only federally recognized, religious holiday in America. It honors America's deeply Christian heritage and historical foundation. That is a fact that cannot be denied by anyone. Case closed!

The real issue here is stopping the dead duck leftists in congress from jamming their smelly agendas down the throat of America while they still hold America hostage.

The cavalry is coming! Can our noble, nonRINO legislators hold out against the marauding savages bent on taking some last minute scalps??

For the sake of all that is patriotic, let's all pray so!

Posted by: battleground51 | December 16, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Shorter RFR: Wah! I don't like the rules! Wah!

Posted by: cao091402 | December 16, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

If they are so concerned about the "sacreligious", why are they Senators? Why don't they quit and become priests?

Posted by: jebeasley | December 16, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Demented almost made me spit coffee on my keyboard when I read this yesterday.

My suggestion to him is that he spend, I don't know, 2 seconds with a working family and find out how much vacation *they* get at X-mas.

More proof of a whining, out-of-touch, rich *ss-kissing GOP.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | December 16, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"The cavalry is coming!"

So PI. Native Americans find this expression unspeakably offensive. I bet you don't have a 'certificate' push-pinned up in your cubicle that certifies your (mandatory) attendance at inclusiveness training.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Joe Knows Christmas:

In the NBC/WSJ poll, 70% believe the Senate should approve this nuclear-arms reduction treaty. In his interview with Mitchell, Biden delivered this message to START opponents like GOP Sens. Jon Kyl and Jim DeMint:

"Let the Senate vote. Overwhelming, the American people support the START treaty. Overwhelmingly, the United States Senate supports the START Treaty. It's clearly in our national interests. Every former national security adviser, secretary of defense, the secretary of state on the Republican Party from George Shultz to Colin Powell thinks it's essential we pass this treaty. Get out of the way. There's too much at stake for America's national security. And don't tell me about Christmas. I understand Christmas. I have been a senator for a long time. I've been there many years where we go right up to Christmas."

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2010/12/16/5659452-first-thoughts-as-bad-as-it-gets

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 16, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Scarborough: DeMint And Kyl "Owe Harry Reid An Apology" For Questioning His Faith

SCARBOROUGH: 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. So are they disrespecting the holiday by continuing to vote to keep them in Afghanistan? […]

The Republican Party has the upper hand in so many ways; in these areas they need to just shut their mouth. They’re embarrassing themselves. […]

I do think that Senator DeMint…and Jon Kyl owe Harry Reid an apology and I will say it I will go there, it is unChrist-like. I will go there. It is unChrist-like to judge another man's faith in a way they have judged Harry Reid’s faith.

[...]

Scarborough said later in the show that Vice President Biden’s office called to associate themselves with Scarborough’s remarks and emphasize “how offended the Vice President was at these senators’ questioning the faith of Harry Reid.”

http://thinkprogress.org/2010/12/16/scarborough-demint-kyl/

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

" Overwhelming, the American people support the START treaty. Overwhelmingly, the United States Senate supports the START Treaty. It's clearly in our national interests."

Oh well, in that case, it is a dead duck. Don't forget Joe, a bunch of Republicans won some seats last month and that was the end of the Obama administration.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Oh well, in that case, it is a dead duck. Don't forget Joe, a bunch of Republicans won some seats last month and that was the end of the Obama administration.

-------------------------------------
shrink, you forget that in 2006 and 2008 the Republicans quickly acknowledged the message of their losses and acquiesced to everything the democrats propsed. It's only fair that Democrats now follow suit.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 16, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2...........

I was thinking of the British cavalry riding to the rescue of Cary Grant in the movie "Gunga Din", to save that brave little group from a marauding hoard of Indan terrorists.

Obviously, you thought of Duke Wayne and the noble, American cavalry riding to the rescue of the brave, American settlers being attacked by those stone-age tribes, peculiar to America, that some call native Americans and others call "Indians".

Natural mistake!

Posted by: battleground51 | December 16, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes ashot, but how come we can understand this process and everyone else seems so confused?

battle, yes and I was thinking of Lawrence, Peter the Tool charging Omar the Sheriff in Blazing Camels of Arabia. The Yakima Indian who almost punched my lights out at a fund raising meeting when I mentioned the option of calling the cavalry, well he didn't believe me.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Brave American Settlers are now pissing away billions of their own dollars in Casinos operated by those "stone age tribes".

I am sure that none of us begrudge the Native Americans for now extracting some reparations from the descendants of those who tried to exterminate them in their native homeland.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 16, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

"billions of their own dollars"

Those are borrowed, it is billions of Chinese workers' ¥ being pissed away.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 16, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

The last I heard, New Year's Eve is not a religious holiday. Nor are December 27, December 28, December 29 and December 30.

The theology is totally dead wrong, by the way. There is not simply one holy day associated with Easter. As a religious celebration, I prefer Easter to Christmas due to the minimal commercialization. The focus is where it should be.

BB

Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | December 16, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

These men are not true Christians. They need to read the Gospels a little more closely.

I might recommend they start with Matthew 6.

Posted by: theRealCalGal | December 16, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

We voters should expect our Congress people to work as we work during the Christmas period. For most of us, we get up and go to work through the 23th at least. And I seriously doubt any of us get the perks and the pay they do.

And IMO, the most important day for Christians has, when I was a church going member, considered to be Easter, that glorious time of Jesus rising from the dead.

That they make such a deal over this being the holiest time is a big whopping lie. They simply don't want to do their job.

These Republicans disgust me more every single time I read crud like this.

Posted by: limpscomb | December 16, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

For the record, Christmas is the most sacred day for CAPITALISTS. Most retail businesses earn 2/3 of annual profits during the holiday season. Perhaps these pro-business senators misspoke?

Posted by: cdreimer | December 16, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

"What is also very amusing is the continual, shameless use of "do as we say, not as we do."

Repeatedly the liberals in America demonstrate just exactly what depth of depravity the can explore, once they shed any sense of shame.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 16, 2010 11:43 AM

Remind me again of how much legislation the GOP abandoned in the lame duck session after the 2006 elections.

Oh, that's right, "depravity" is perfectly okay if its the GOP doing it, right?

Pure, easily-debunked hypocrisy, the feature, not the bug, of modern day "conservatism".

Posted by: kingcranky | December 16, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

People, it doesn't matter the time of year, it's the bills themselves. Democrats are at the 11th hour during the American people’s Holiday trying once again to acerbate the situation trying to pound 10lbs of chit into their 5 lbs bag much like they did last year at this exact time and we Americans deserve much better than this, much better from our leadership. CR all bills for this year, begin again in 2011 and take the time to do this right unlike HR3950 the healthcare bill on Christmas Eve no less. Anything less will have consequences for those who vote in haste for this, that you can bank on and it doesn’t matter what party you’re from. I’m a moderate Democrat that was fed lies form Obama to get my vote. The only ones banging the pots and pans over chasing these black dogs in dark rooms are the now 23% minority Progressives that have thus far hi-jacked our party. Regardless of how Progressives view this they are done for at least a generation.

Posted by: spiderbyte88 | December 16, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Christmas is sacred depending on your beliefs. That said, just about everyone with a job these days works over the Christmas holidays, so what makes the Republicans so "special" that they don't have to work? I want my money's worth from my Congressmen -- not a bunch of whining about having to "work".

Posted by: lddoyle2002 | December 16, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

shrink, you forget that in 2006 and 2008 the Republicans quickly acknowledged the message of their losses and acquiesced to everything the democrats propsed. It's only fair that Democrats now follow suit.
-----------------
I can't tell since it's online and I can't hear your tone of voice - that's a joke, right?

Posted by: aaaugh | December 16, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

Except for Christmas day, a Sturday, and on the other weekend days, I have to work all of the other days. Why cannot the elected people do the same?

Posted by: lynnlm | December 16, 2010 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Except for Christmas day, a Saturday, and on the other weekend days, I have to work all of the other days. Why cannot the elected people do the same?

Posted by: lynnlm | December 16, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

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