News & Politics

Senator Threw 'Talking Stick' at Colleague in Susan Collins' Office and Chipped Her Glass Elephant

Somehow, this is not a satirical story.

Photo Credit: Washington Post

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) allowed her office to be used for bipartisan negotiations over a bill to end the government shutdown. She decided to have the senators use a "talking stick" to make it clear whose turn it was to speak.

Yes, this is the same "talking stick" method used to prevent schoolkids from cross-talking. And like children, our elected officials can't be trusted with projectiles.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) "forcefully delivered" or "forcefully tossed" the stick toward an interrupting Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and missed his target. Instead, he chipped a glass elephant figurine owned by Collins.

The incident became something of a joke among the senators. Collins introduced a rubber ball to replace the stick in a later meeting. The offending Alexander showed up with a small basketball, which the senators started using.

Everyone involved suggests the stick-throwing was done in good humor. But envisioning a government shutdown at the mercy of legislators who can't hold a meeting without hurling projectiles at each other does little to bolster confidence.

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