On Monday, Republican senator Susan Collins of Maine came up with an elementary school–style plan to keep the peace during bipartisan negotiations to end the government shutdown: People could only talk if they were holding a designated “talking stick.” And it seemed to have been going great — until an unnamed senator threw the darn thing at a glass elephant figurine.
As CNN reports, Collins introduced the “talking stick” to her colleagues during the negotiations, apparently assuming it would lead to civil discussions. Several senators told CNN that, just like in first grade, whoever was holding the talking stick was the only senator allowed to talk at that time. One Republican senator claims the stick was actually useful before chaos broke out. Per CNN:
One of the other senators was speaking while another asked a question and then turned with another quick, longer, louder question. The member who was holding the stick “forcefully delivered” the stick across the room — but it missed its mark and caused damage to a shelf in Collins’ office.
The stick-tossing reportedly resulted in a glass elephant on Collins’s shelf getting chipped. Another Republican senator told CNN, “There were no injuries, there were a couple close calls but everything worked out fine.” Everyone in the room “laughed” about the incident, and Collins swapped the stick for a rubber ball. Then, another senator brought a basketball, and they all started using that instead.
Hard to believe these guys caused the government to shut down in the first place!