(Ed Note: we continue to host guest editorials from time to time. This guest op-ed is from Max Holland. Max, aka Birdpilot, is a retired former business owner who also spent a number of years in the corporate and academic arenas. He is a pilot and sailor, who has been active in politics since the Goldwater-Johnson election in 1964. Having been born in South Carolina and lived a number of years in California, he now is a Texan by choice.)
A week from tomorrow, many Americans will be working in restaurants. Many Americans will be working in hospitals. Many Americans will be working at airlines, at hotels, in gas stations and mini-marts. Many Americans will be working at other service industry jobs and in numerous other industries. And more than a few of these Americans will be working not because they want to, but because they have to. Because they have to feed their families, provide shelter, and hopefully get a few Christmas gifts for their kids and friends. And there are many more who want to work are not able to through no fault of their own.
Still more Americans will be working to protect the rest of us. They will be in the police and fire stations around the country. They will be at military outposts in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Korea, and other locations around the world, serving in harm’s way. They’ll be away from their families and loved ones and friends, because they are doing the job they were asked to do in service to our country.
All of these Americans will be working on Christmas Day for their families and their country.
We shouldn’t be jamming a major arms control treaty up against Christmas; it’s sacrilegious and disrespectful. What’s going on here is just wrong. This is the most sacred holiday for Christians. They did the same thing last year. They kept everybody here until Christmas Eve [author’s emphasis].
So said South Carolina Republican, and Tea Party favorite, Jim DeMint about the possibility that he, a United States Senator, might have to work through Christmas to complete the business of the nation in the job to which he was elected.
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 [author’s emphasis].
So said Arizona Republican Jon Kyl about the possibility that he might have to work through Christmas to complete the business of the nation in the job to which he was elected.
Two of the Republican Senators who have done more than most any other to implement the Republican Senate strategy of obstruction and delay are crying crocodile tears because they might be held to task and stay overtime to complete the work they have spent so much time obstructing. Even worse, they’re somewhat shamelessly using the tactic of playing the religious card to protest working through the holidays.
They don’t mind at all that they have had a major hand in creating the economic climate that causes so many American to have to work on “one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians.” They are oblivious to the fact that those serving overseas during the holiday are there because their votes sent them there.
This sense of entitlement causes them to believe that Congressmen and women are above the other Americans who will work through Christmas. The people who elected them to serve their country. The people whose labor and resultant taxes pays their salaries and all the perks of their office. The people who are protecting them from the enemy at their far flung outposts.
To the credit of many religious leaders, and some fellow Republicans, DeMint and Kyl have received criticism for those statements. But it does open a window on how they feel about their fellow Americans in relation to themselves.
(Editors update: Kyl and DeMint’s remarks have received considerable blowback and pushback, particularly on the Senate floor yesterday from Harry Reid who said [paraphrasing] ‘many fortunate enough to have a job don’t get a week or two off for Christmas’. Vice President Joe Biden also weighed in saying [again paraphrasing] ‘Don’t tell me about Christmas. Sorry to interrupt your Christmas shopping but this is the nation’s business. These are matters of national security. Do your jobs. Act!’)
- Senators Jim DeMint And Jon Kyl Call Democrats “Sacrilegious” For Pushing Legislation During The Holidays (alan.com)
- The Caucus: In Senate, a War of Words Over Christmas (thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Kyl and DeMint Think Baby Jesus Doesn’t Want Them To Vote On START During Christmas (crooksandliars.com)
- Sen. Reid: “I Don’t Need To Hear Sanctimonious Lectures” From GOP On The Meaning Of Christmas (mediaite.com)
- GOP Senators Call Christmas Senate Session “Sacrilegious” (outsidethebeltway.com)
- DeMint, Kyl and McConnell Fight the War on Christmas (dailykos.com)
- Jim DeMint Pulls the “It’s Christmas” Card to Block Legislation (shortformblog.com)
- GOP Senators Invoke Christmas In Order To Pointlessly Obstruct The START Treaty (huffingtonpost.com)
It seems to me that, ever so subtly, the Republicans are finally losing their grip on religious purity as a right-wing-only attribute. I think this is because of the rising influence of Teapers who claim not to be evangelicals or church-going social conservatives, just grass roots everyday folks interested only in fiscal issues. I personally don’t think that’s true… but it’s clearly the image Teapers want to project. And since they are now running the Republican party (right into the ground!) the GOP image itself is also necessarily becoming more secular, which makes them pretty ridiculous when they try one of these pious, smarmy “evil Democrats are standing between us and our Lord” kind of stunts.
Poor GOP… it’s tough to keep all the sheep corralled in one place for very long. Different groups keep breaking away and bolting from the herd. If they lose the moderates AND the evangelicals… what’s left?
Just the dregs at the bottom of the teapot, I guess… 😉
Again, DeMint and Kyl not making any logical/practical sense re: Christmas and politics, as per usual ~ much like Bartles last comment about self image reinforcement. 😀
Conservatives really do need a BS detector before they ever open their mouths and make stupid/nonsensical posts on the net.
solo estoy diciendo
Better to keep quiet and let people think you’re a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt!
It’s quite simple, they honestly think they are special.
Would anyone go for the theory that Tweedledum and Tweedledummer HAD to play the Christmas card because they know they don’t had a REAL basis for their further delay of the START treaty?
Religion card – The last refuge of the incompetent!
I saw where you can buy the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree you have pictured.
Indeed. The Republican Party has always been the party of the elites, the party that exhibits nothing but contempt for The People. The Teapers have (in typical Rovian fashion) been trying to turn this truth on its head. Rove’s basic strategy was to attack the other guy where he’s strong. That the GOteaPers are trying to steal the “populist” meme is sure proof that they’re elitists of the most offensive kind.
Hence, for the sake of forcing new tax breaks for the immensely wealthy, they tried to stop health care for 9/11 First responders (despite the decade-long history of Republicans attempting to use 9/11 to their political advantage).
For the sake of these tax giveaways, they tried to undermine American security, by stopping the START treaty and preventing the repeal of DADT (despite many decades of Republicans trying to convince us they were the party of military strength).
For the sake of welfare for the wealthy, they tried to prevent an extension of unemployment benefits (despite their new-found “populist” theme).
There is not a single platform plank of the Republican rhetoric that isn’t a piece of stinking hypocrisy. They hate American freedoms — example, the faux rage they stirred up over the Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, exhibiting their opposition to religious freedom — then they have the gall to try to use religion as an excuse to avoid doing the Nation’s business.
Republicans hate America. There can be no more doubt.