Presidents can walk, chew gum, and fill out brackets at the same time

PRESIDENTS CAN WALK, CHEW GUM, AND FILL OUT BRACKETS AT THE SAME TIME…. President Obama made his NCAA tournament picks yesterday. Apparently, it’s given the right something new to complain about.

…Obama may have given opponents another talking point by following through, despite the alarming news from overseas, on a promise to appear in a nine-minute ESPN segment to share his NCAA basketball tournament picks.

“Most people when it comes to Obama, you know what they’re anticipating? His NCAA brackets,” Rush Limbaugh fumed on his syndicated radio show Tuesday. “Every year at this time people wonder what the president’s brackets are going to be, who he’s gonna pick?

“We got the world on fire. We got Libya and the Middle East on fire and the guy’s out playing golf,” he added, referring to the round Obama played Sunday.

Last night on Twitter, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus was just as silly, whining, “How can @BarackObama say he is leading when puts his NCAA bracket over the budget & other pressing issues?”

First, the notion that the president is putting March Madness “over” pressing issues is ridiculous, even by RNC standards. Obama took nine minutes to fill out a bracket. Presidents are busy, but the Sports Fan in Chief investing nine minutes on this probably won’t interfere with his duties. (I don’t recall anyone at the DNC asking, “How can George W. Bush say he is leading when he puts brush-clearing and bike-riding over pressing issues?”)

Second, have Limbaugh and Priebus seen what congressional Republicans are up to? While the president was making a brief appearance on ESPN, the House GOP was organizing an emergency meeting to discuss … NPR funding.

Indeed, for months, the new House Republican majority has wasted time on health care bills they know they can’t pass, abortion bills they know they can’t pass, climate bills they know they can’t pass, and budget bills they know they can’t pass. They’re also investing considerable energy in efforts ranging from recklessly accusing Muslim Americans of disloyalty to making English the “official” language to a proposal to better promote “In God We Trust” as the national motto (which will be getting committee attention tomorrow).

To quote Limbaugh, “We got the world on fire.” I’m less worried about the president taking nine minutes with ESPN and more worried about congressional Republicans taking three months and going to lengths to avoid meaningful policymaking.

Or to paraphrase Priebus, how can the GOP say it’s leading when it puts NPR funding over the budget and other pressing issues?