Can the current state of affairs in statehouses across the nation and the mindless trivia-driven agenda in Congress really be what voters were advocating in November? So far our deficit and budgeting problems have provided a platform for right-wing politicians to pick their favorite targets and pretend they are doing the people’s business in good faith.

An emergency session in the House brought the parties together in a numbingly vapid exercise about defunding NPR. Tea Partiers and Republicans in general would contend they are fulfilling campaign promises by taking up government funding of public radio and television, but they seem to have little appetite for addressing matters about which voters on all sides of the political spectrum express far greater concern. And they have spent valuable time on pet projects like eliminating Planned Parenthood funds, and pontificating about the Defense of Marriage Act instead of establishing a meaningful jobs program. You have to give them credit, though, for the relentlessness which they pursue their agenda no matter how irrelevant it is in terms of the nation’s welfare.