At 11:06 a.m. EDT on Tuesday morning, a "GOP Leader Alert" e-mail landed in my inbox. From House Minority Leader John Boehner's office, it was headlined, "Great work, Congress: Speaker Pelosi's House to honor Confucius' birthday as unemployment nears 10 percent."
The e-mail continued:
These are your hard-earned tax dollars at work: with millions of Americans looking for jobs and the nation’s unemployment rate nearing 10 percent, the U.S. House of Representatives today will take up a grand total of four non-controversial "suspension" bills. Four.
One (H. Res. 784) marks the birthday of the Chinese philosopher Confucius, who was welcomed into the world 2,327 years before the 13 colonies declared their independence from Great Britain. With so many of Democrats’ top priorities lagging and their leaders ensconced behind closed doors plotting their government takeover of health care, Congress has been “playing hooky” and settling into a “leisurely routine.” It’s unacceptable for Congress to take it easy at a time when out-of-work families struggling to make ends meet are asking “where are the jobs?” That’s why House Republicans will take to the floor this afternoon to talk about our better solutions to help small businesses create jobs and make health care more affordable and accessible for America's seniors.
You can't make a real case against Boehner's argument here -- Congress often takes up meaningless resolutions while not working very hard on things that actually matter. But he should probably remember that people in Congress are generally very unwise to throw stones. When Republicans were in power, they too had a real problem with short workweeks. Plus, they too like to introduce a pointless resolution or two.
Just 20 minutes before Boehner's e-mail came in, there was another e-mail from House Republicans. This one was from the Republican Study Committee, a conservative group within the House GOP, and it was announcing a resolution to honor the marchers who came out for the tea party protest in Washington, D.C. on September 12th. As of that e-mail, 76 Republicans had signed on as co-sponsors of the resolution.