The House Minority Leader, Whip and the ranking minority Budget Committee member could each actually be doing their jobs of trying to govern our country well. Instead, they came out with last week's 'Pledge to America' - smoke and mirrors that actually succeeded in confusing a small segment of the American public.
What they could actually be doing effectively is calling out Pelosi, Reid and Obama - especially Obama - on the fact that the 2011 fiscal year begins in four days and Congress has not passed a 2011 budget. Congress has not even seriously considered a 2011 budget.
Interestingly enough, the word 'budget' appears in the 'Pledge to America' 25 times. But we have not heard a peep from 'conservative' congressional leaders about the fact that Congress does not have a budget ready for the fiscal year that begins in a few days. Consider that, then decide how seriously you wish to take that 'pledge'.
Google as much as you like - you will not find a single Republican leader deploring the fact that Congress has not proposed, considered, or passed a budget. Or at least not where even the right wing blogosphere would notice, not to mention the MSM. I think a threat to filibuster a continuing resolution to keep the government going over the recess would get MSM attention, don't you? (Not sure about the continuing resolution process, but I *think* the Senate would be involved; if not, produce the threat anyway - the MSM always pays attention when Republicans say 'filibuster'.)
Few things are as basic to trying to run as country as successful as the US as a budget for government operations. Few things indicate the deplorable abdication of basic responsibilities as a failure to even consider a budget for the fiscal year that begins in less than a week.
They should especially be calling out President Barack Obama on the fact that he has not publicly insisted that Congress pass a 2011 budget. They should be pointing out the fact that lack of a budget suits Obama just fine: he can borrow and spend as much as he likes without the faintest restraint as long as he is not governed by a budget.
Past US Presidents have actually allowed the government to shut down in order to discipline/pressure Congress into passing a budget. We can certainly 'guess' that's not going to happen with Obama driving the school bus of state into a ditch.
Drive another nail into the coffin of Obama's irresponsibility.
Congress has violated its own laws by not passing a budget prior to its proposed recess at the end of this week.
Republicans who wish to be taken seriously should be drawing attention to this fact.
Congress will most likely fulfill it's minimal obligations by passing a continuing budget resolution at the last moment before they recess to hit the campaign trail back in their districts. They should discover to their misfortune that this does not serve them in an election.
Serious Republicans should be vocally organizing opposition to such a resolution. They should be asking why house and senate leadership were not hard at work on a budget weeks or even months ago.
Doing so will cause voters back home to take incumbent Republicans considerably more seriously.
Certainly, I'm not suggesting that we avoid voting for Republicans that don't do this. But we should watch and remember.
And use the knowledge we gain in the next few days to decide who to primary in 2012.