Well, that didn't take long.

Last week, the United States needed just two days to undo five months' worth of work by our state Legislature. Maybe you missed it, seeing as how it's the holidays.

On Thursday, a federal judge blocked three key provisions of South Carolina's tough new immigration law. Then, on Friday, the Justice Department delivered a kill shot to the voter ID law. Merry Christmas, governor.

And to think, many folks claim the feds don't do anything.

Now, some people will be quick to criticize those activist judges and the partisan Obama administration for meddling in our important bidness. They say that -- gasp -- there's politics at play here.

And they are right, this is largely all politics.

But mostly, the ones playing politics are our guys.

Wasted days

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel said, in essence, that immigration enforcement is the job of the federal government. And he's right, even though Washington is particularly dysfunctional when it comes to dealing with this problem.

But the state law as passed by the General Assembly basically called for violating the civil rights of anyone of Hispanic descent. And the voter ID law was going to disproportionately disenfranchise minority voters, something the feds keep an eye on here because of the state's sunny past of racist shenanigans.

Even if it isn't unreasonable to ask that people have photo IDs these days, this was poor money management. Who needs to spend millions to remedy a problem that doesn't exist? Come on, there have been no cases of voter fraud prosecuted in this state since the Carter administration.

Those problems were not exactly state secrets. Lawmakers knew there were issues with all this legislation, but they used up all their working session days to pass these bills anyway. Why?

"The Republicans that run our state do whatever the national Republican Party tells them to do, and they told them to pass immigration and voter ID," says state Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston. "So that's what they did -- and they did it proudly. We tried to tell them, but they didn't want to listen."

Avoiding hard work

There are a lot of problems in this state.

Unemployment is hovering around 10 percent, the schools are in trouble and we have so many people lacking health care that our Medicaid costs are breaking the budget.

Those are serious issues and would require a lot of work. But rather than tackling those things, which might require money or decisions that anger campaign donors, lawmakers instead wasted an entire session pandering to the talk-radio crowd, writing laws that don't do much.

And are legally suspect, as the feds pointed out last week.

It would be nice if those legislator types learned their lesson here, but they will probably spend more money fighting these decisions in court. And the people who whine the most about government waste will cheer them on.

Which would be funny if it weren't so stupid.

Reach Brian Hicks at bhicks@postandcourier.com or follow him on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.