Can you blame them?

CAN YOU BLAME THEM?…. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) complained yesterday that House Republicans are willing to discuss health care reform with the House Democratic majority, but Dems aren’t really trying.

Ryan, the ranking member of the House Budget Committee, said Democrats have told Republicans that the bill will pass, regardless of objections.

“That is what Charlie Rangel and other Democrats are telling us is the way it’s going to go,” Ryan said on CNBC [yesterday] morning, referencing the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

“We’re putting our proposals out there, but … they don’t need our votes, they’re not asking for our votes, they’re not trying to get our votes,” Ryan said.

Yes, I’m sure that’s very frustrating. Dems currently hold a 257 to 178 majority in the House, and at this point, they don’t see much point in working with the chamber’s Republicans since their votes aren’t at all necessary (or likely) for passage.

But the amusing thing about Ryan’s complaints is the underlying assumption: it’s unfair to treat House Republicans like they have nothing of substance to offer. That’s the realization that Ryan seems to resent. Why won’t the Democratic majority take the House GOP’s ideas seriously?

Perhaps I can clear things up for Ryan. During the debate over an economic stimulus, House Republicans not only rejected a reasonable plan, they offered more tax cuts and a five-year spending freeze. During the budget debate, House Republicans not only rejected a good budget, but offered two ridiculous alternative budgets, one of which didn’t include any numbers.

The House Republican energy plan rejects the idea of global warming. The House Republican plan to cut spending by $375 billion actually cuts spending by $23 billion.

And now House Republicans don’t understand why their input on health care reform isn’t sought out? Given his caucus’ recent track record, can Ryan really blame the majority for thinking the GOP has nothing constructive to offer?