Freshman Rep. Jeff Landry (R-La.) refused to join House Republicans at the White House for a budget conference with President Obama on Wednesday, saying that that he didn't want to engage in “political grandstanding.” An opportunity he took to engage in some political grandstanding.

Landry said that he “respectfully” declined the invitation, but there was little respectful about it.

“I don’t intend to spend my morning being lectured to by a president whose failed policies have put our children and grandchildren in a huge burden of debt,” he insisted, making me wonder what he could possibly have done Wednesday morning that was more appealing than meeting with the president of the United States.

“Until the president produces a responsible deficit reduction plan, I’m not going to the White House to negotiate with myself,” he sneered. I thought Americans only put preconditions on talks with people such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad or Kim Jong Il.

How classless. Just a guess: If a Democratic lawmaker so rudely refused to meet with a Republican president about a matter of critical national importance, Landry would be among the first to condemn such arrogance.

Then again, perhaps this was all for the best. The absence of Landry's company was no doubt a case of addition by subtraction.