Wouldn’t a party that is serious about running Congress at least try to pass a budget? Wouldn’t a party that is serious about running Congress at least try to avert the chaos of a last-minute, across-the-board tax increase? And wouldn’t a party that is serious about running Congress think twice before going along with a high-profile mockery of Congress itself?…

“Rather than addressing the floundering economy or the looming tax hikes on the middle class and small businesses, all Democrats showed the American people with this stunt is how out of touch they are,” the Republican National Committee wrote in introducing a quickie video entitled “The Colbert Congress.”

From there, it’s not hard to make the case that when it comes to governing, a lack of seriousness can have serious effects. This year’s budget resolution, for example, “has never been reported out of committee, never been brought to the floor,” says a House GOP aide. “There have been multiple times when there was not a final agreement between the House and Senate on a budget, but never before, at least in the modern budgeting era, has the House not passed a budget.” Until now.