1. Nothing would get done.
Great message there. If there's one thing the American public is pretty adept at these days, it's flexing its public opinion muscles. (See 2012 election; Newtown aftermath and now, the Westboro Church). And with great certainty—statistical certainty, in fact—the public spent its collective holiday disapproving upon Congress' behavior as a legislating body. Now facing time-sensitive decisions of joint responsibility, you stay home in the district rather than Washington, DC, while those grumbling constituents trudge back to work. All you say you want to talk about is jobs and yet you're not doing yours.
2. It's their move.
Right. The President returns from his Hawaii vacation wanting Boehner to play his card; Boehner puts it on Senate Democrats, who are now in session and putting it right back on House Republicans. Anybody paying attention knows the general play chart. And if you are waiting for the last moment to lock something up, then not showing up (80% of success, according to Woody Allen) to give Americans the slightest sense of urgency rather than an extended vacation doesn't cut it as action.
3. Calls are being made.
Well, we should hope so! Let's face it, if Speaker Boehner's staff and his fellow members weren't working their BlackBerries and iPhones in between their district Christmas parties, constituent events and family time, than we truly would have lost our political way. They know how much is at the stake—but is that enough? The statements from Boehner are increasingly curt and if calls are being made—like the one between the President and Speaker Wednesday— they don't seem to be breaking through.
4. Our approval rating can't get any worse.
Let's hope this excuse, if dared uttered by a member of this House—of either party—is made only in the quietest of quiet rooms over a whiff of Bourbon or a wintry Sauvignon blanc—far, far away from that 47%—which, it turned out, Mitt Romney and the Republican party found out was a significant underestimation.
5. We're on our way.
As of this writing—the House is not on its way and Speaker Boehner remains in Ohio, one week after his Plan-B vote went down to an unruly caucus. Unless Boehner heeds to the increasing calls from the President, Senators and most everyday Americans to come up with a deal, this is an excuse we have yet to hear.
Of course, we will be waiting with our entire team in DC and New York, a team which notably has not had a 0-day work week. See you at 4 pm.