Continuing Irresolution

by Kevin D. Williamson

“The only thing holding up an agreement is an ideology,” says Harry Reid. But the main thing holding up an agreement is Harry Reid.

Somebody ought to remind Senator Reid that the only reason we’re in the middle of this continuing-resolutions fiasco is because his Democrats never got around to passing a budget for FY2011 when they had a majority in the House. I am trying as hard as I can to remember what precisely it was that Nancy Pelosi was up to that was so god-awful important that the House couldn’t pass a budget. (I am not coming up with much.)

There are two main theories about why the Democrats refused to pass a FY2011 budget. One is that they are cowards — who knew that a budget without serious cuts in it would be an enormous electoral liability in what already was going to be a tough year for them, so they just didn’t pass one. The second is that they are saboteurs — who knew that they probably were going to lose the House and concluded that they would have more leverage in the minority if they kept Republicans tied up in last year’s business.

And so they have. Republicans have just unveiled a brave and necessary budget plan that, if enacted, will achieve important spending reform. But before they can get going on it, they still have to clean up the FY2011 mess that Pelosi and Reid left behind. And that, not ideology, is what presently is holding up the national business.