"Name one person who won or lost an election because they didn't get a budget resolution passed."


Click above to watch a Reason.tv video released last week that shows how the Tea Party is taking its fight to states and local governments. Because, in part, its leaders (at least in Ohio) figure they can't effect much change in Washington, given the level of inanity that dominates the government.

They're on to something: A federal government shutdown looms as the current continuing resolution supplying the gummint with operating cash runs out on Friday, right around the time the debt limit is gonna be reached.

What happened the last time(s) the fed government shut down? It happened twice under Bill Clinton: briefly in November 1995 for about five days, and then later at the end of the year for a three-week stretch that ran into 1996. The day-to-day upshot was that there was "confusion" at some government agencies, including veterans' facilities, and a bunch of workers were furloughed for a while.

This time around, the issue is compounded by the fact that most agencies haven't told their workers what if any contingency plans are in place. Which, come to think of it, is part of the reason we're in this jam in the first place. More specifically, there's no budget for the current fiscal year because President Obama and Congress (back when both houses were controlled by Democrats) failed pass a budget resolution, the first time that happened since 1974, when modern rules were adopted (there have been four times, including the two mentioned above, when specific proposals were voted down, but the government had not until now failed to hammer out a year-long budget before). 

Go back in time to see how this miserable state of affairs came about. Last year, the Democratic majority didn't want to take responsibility for another craptacular spending document, and the GOP minority was happy to let it all slide, on the theory that it would work to their benefit. The result? The short of shit-bag mentality on display below from Rep. Gerald Connolly back in May 2010 (when the damn budget should have been moving toward adoption):

"Name one person who won or lost an election because they didn't get a budget resolution passed."

Sadly, Connolly was right, at least in his own case. He won re-election last fall, with a confidence-inspiring 49.2 percent of the vote.

Polls show that voters will blame both parties for a shutdown. But really, we should blame ourselves for electing such total incompetents that even when they have majority power, they can't execute the most basic function of government competently, which is simply to sign their own checks. I'm not opposed to a government shutdown and given the lack of any serious discussion of spending reform (Paul Ryan's 2012 budget proposal is at best the start of a conversation, not the end of one), I don't think we should raise the debt limit. But there's no question that our "leaders" in D.C. deserve to be punished at the polls for pushing incompetence (and all the smugness that comes with it) to new lows.