This afternoon, 26 House Republicans -- together with the GOP leadership -- will be forcing the full House to vote on whether House members support the "symbols and traditions" of Christmas, and whether they disapprove of the utterly mythical "attempts to ban references to Christmas." Today's roll call vote comes on the heels of a House floor debate held last night regarding H. Res. 579, a resolution "Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the symbols and traditions of Christmas should be protected." During the debate, Democratic members asked the Republican author of the resolution, Rep. Jo Ann Davis (R-VA), if she would permit the symbols of Chanukah and other holidays to be included in the protection of the resolution -- and she refused.Now, this resolution isn't a law. It carries no weight and creates no penalty for anyone. It's just a "show of support" by some Republicans who think they are too clever by half. Congress passes these symbolic statements all the time. Very often when a tragedy takes place, such as the Colombine shootings for example, Congress will get together and cast a voice vote stating that "their thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families", etc.
This isn't one of those cases, however. The Republicans are trying to force a vote on this nonsensical piece of fluff to see if they can get any of the Democrats to vote against it. While they may do so to protest either the silliness of the entire concept or the fact that it ignores all non-Christians and their holidays, it will become immediate campaign fodder for 2006. "Democratic candidate XXX voted to ban Christmas! Think of the children!" they will roar. Meanwhile they will make no mention of how they are frittering away their time and our tax dollars on this nonsense.
Lest you think that the entire House of Representatives have lost their mind, though, I would like to include the following poem (yes... a poem!) which was read into the House record by Rep. John Dingell (D-MI) on the floor. I think you'll enjoy it.
'Twas the week before Christmas and all through the House,
no bills were passed `bout which Fox News could grouse.
Tax cuts for the wealthy were passed with great cheer,
so vacations in St. Barts soon should be near.
Katrina kids were all nestled snug in motel beds,
while visions of school and home danced in their heads.
In Iraq, our soldiers need supplies and a plan,
and nuclear weapons are being built in Iran.
Gas prices shot up, consumer confidence fell.
Americans feared we were in a fast track to ..... well.
Wait, we need a distraction, something divisive and wily,
a fabrication straight from the mouth of O'Reilly.
We will pretend Christmas is under attack,
hold a vote to save it, then pat ourselves on the back.
Silent Night, First Noel, Away in the Manger,
Wake up Congress, they're in no danger.
This time of year, we see Christmas everywhere we go,
From churches to homes to schools and, yes, even Costco.
What we have is an attempt to divide and destroy
when this is the season to unite us with joy.
At Christmastime, we're taught to unite.
We don't need a made-up reason to fight.
So on O'Reilly, on Hannity, on Coulter and those right-wing blogs.
You should sit back and relax, have a few egg nogs.
'Tis the holiday season; enjoy it a pinch.
With all our real problems, do we really need another Grinch?
So to my friends and my colleagues, I say with delight,
a Merry Christmas to all, and to Bill O'Reilly, happy holidays.
Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas."