News reports today detail how House Republicans are secretly planning their takeover of the Capitol after November’s elections — right down to who gets the best views of the National Mall out the West Front of the building. They’re reading the polls, choosing color palettes and selecting office space, but as they plan to assume leadership positions they’re failing to demonstrate leadership on everything from the economy to jobs to foreign policy to Pastor Jones’s plan to fuel the fires of hatred with the pages of the Quran.

It’s been several days since Gen. David Petraeus outlined how the stunt will endanger American troops abroad. Yet no Republican anywhere stepped up to defend our troops — even when Pastor Jones summarily dismissed the general’s concerns. Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonSanders, Democrats introduce minimum wage bill Fox News: 'Foolish' to think Hannity won't return Billionaires posing as populists won’t support trade deals for working people MORE has directly rebuked the ill-advised idea on several occasions. The FBI had warned that the stunt and others like it could incite terrorist attacks. Even President Obama has taken the issue on. So where have the Republicans been?

I know, yesterday the Qwitterer (Sarah Palin), the founder of RomneyCare (Former Massachusetts governor and perennial presidential candidate Mitt Romney) and the TanMan (House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World Jordan won't run for Oversight gavel Oklahoma rep. launches long-shot bid for Oversight chair MORE, R-Ohio) expressed concern about Jones’s stunt. But those comments were measured and failed to demonstrate leadership.

The failed leadership of Republicans has become a constant theme for BoehnerJohn BoehnerLobbying World Jordan won't run for Oversight gavel Oklahoma rep. launches long-shot bid for Oversight chair MORE and Palin and other Republican leaders. Boehner has been touring the country giving empty speeches on the economy and outlining the Republican agenda if they take over — and so far he’s outlined a “two-point plan”: He pledges to focus on spending (which the Republicans failed to do when they had control of Congress previously) and “subpoenas.”

That’s right, as he says, he will focus on spending. He’s planning on spending millions of taxpayer dollars on fishing expeditions by using subpoenas to cripple the administration. You know what’s missing from his economic plan? An economic plan. His two-point plan won’t put anyone to work but lawyers.

When it comes to the economy, the Republicans are trying to sell Americans a used car they’ve already totaled. They are running on the same failed policies that exploded federal deficits and saddled us with crippling debt financed by China. They have offered no new ideas other than “subpoenas.”

President Obama and the Democrats have offered job-creating measures targeted at small businesses, they’ve proposed extending unemployment benefits (the single most effective government-sponsored economic incentive that returns more than it costs in real dollars), they’ve proposed creating millions of new jobs through investment in clean energy — all blocked by the GOP leaders in Congress.

The Gallup generic congressional ballot poll that showed a 10-point Republican lead just 10 days ago is now showing a dead heat between the two parties. What does that mean? Maybe Americans started paying attention while Republican leaders were matching their color palettes.