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Bob Wooten: Politicians consistent if nothing else in 2010


With just a couple of weeks left before the new year, one might think the politicians down at the other end of Interstate 66 had run out of ways to look foolish in 2010.

We just wrapped up an election year during which candidates had semi-serious debates over the following matters:

• Witchcraft.
• Professional wrestling.
• Spending weekends at Nazi re-enactment events.
• Worship of something called "Aqua Buddha."

After taking what he called a "shellacking" in the mid-term election, President Obama promptly made a deal with his Republican rivals on tax rates and extending unemployment benefits. Then, in nearly the same breath, Obama applauded the bipartisan accord and ripped into the GOP as "hostage takers."

That one nearly gave me whiplash.

I could go on, but you take the point. We've had a 12-month food fight, not a serious effort on the pressing issues of war and recession.

With the year growing old, I was convinced there would be no topping this crazy stuff. But I was wrong.

Two U.S. senators dished up another doozy this week.

Time is running out for the lame-duck 111th Congress and a lot of big issues are still on its agenda, including an arms control treaty and a spending bill to keep the government running next year.

With so much unfinished business, Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid told his Senate colleagues he might keep them in session right up until the new 112th Congress takes over on Jan. 4. That would cancel the two-week vacation senators were counting on for sipping eggnog and shaking down campaign donors.

Two, Republicans Jon Kyle of Arizona and Jim DeMint of South Carolina, were aghast at the prospect of having to actually work through the Christmas holiday.

Reid was "disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays for Christians and the families of all of the Senate," Kyl fumed. DeMint chimed in, declaring it would be "sacrilegious" to force them to work through the holidays.

Add that to 2010's list of overcooked political rhetoric.

I can think of 15 million people who would love to work on Christmas Day, all of whom are drawing unemployment checks right now.

I'll be the first to acknowledge that Reid, Kyl and DeMint are doing what senators do best -- posturing for the TV cameras. But if a senator thinks his job is getting to be a little too much like real work, he should quit and go home.

There are plenty of unemployed Americans who would be willing to give it a try, especially since the starting pay is $174,000 and the health plan is top shelf.

• Bob Wooten is the managing editor of the Daily. Contact him at 800-296-5137 or at bwooten@nvdaily.com.


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