Let's look at the events of 2010 through this columnist's eyes.
Hilary Clinton was voted the most admired woman for the ninth year in a row. That is quite an accomplishment considering the assault launched against her by conservative talk radio and others for many, many years.
During the Clinton administration, a day didn't go by when she was not criticized about even trivial matters. No matter what the issue was, she faced it with grace and dignity.
She became an admired senator from the state of New York. When she ran for president and lost, she faced defeat with the same dignity and grace. She accepted the position as secretary of state and is always loyal to her former rival, Barack Obama. She now works quietly around the world paving the way through diplomacy.
The lame duck session of the U.S. Congress was the most productive in years. Everyone predicted it would accomplish absolutely nothing while being held up with gridlock and nonaction.
The minority party leaders tried to block every move, but the compromise tax/unemployment benefit bill jarred 37 Republican senators into voting for it. They couldn't pass up an opportunity to give more to the super rich. No one is truly happy with the bill, but that is the nature of compromise - both sides have to give a little.
In this case, it was a massive spending bill digging our hole even deeper with the vast majority of the Senate Republicans voting for it.
With their major goal accomplished, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona and Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina declared it was sacrilegious and disrespecting one of the two holiest of holidays to work on other pressing bills before Christmas. However, the Senate went ahead and passed the START nuclear treaty with 13 Republican votes. It seems to me very appropriate to pass a peace treaty before the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace.
Eight Republicans also voted for the stand-alone bill to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy of the military, passing a needed human rights bill. With these major accomplishments, Congress was still able to recess the day before Christmas Eve. They had accomplished more in a couple of weeks' time than in the entire year. The threat of staying after school also works with school children. Too bad the same method had to be used on our lawmakers to force them to do what is right for the good of the country.
The lame duck session was so successful that Rep. Lynn Jenkins, Republican of Kansas, is going to introduce a bill to end the lame duck session all together. She wants Congress to adjourn before the election and not come back until January.
Maybe it would make more sense to end the filibuster. It can be done on the very first day and only the first day of the Senate session. The Republicans used the filibuster 136 times in this session of Congress, causing the terrific backlog of work.
It will be an interesting session of Congress in 2011 to see if both parties will become a part of the lawmaking process.
Ruth Wood lives in rural Cresbard. Write to her at americannews
@aberdeennews.com or the American News, P.O. Box 4430, Aberdeen, S.D., 57402.