Sneering that “a bunch of crazies” in the House GOP have turned Washington into “la-la land,” the nation’s top Democratic governor said Congress has become so erratic that states have given up hope that the federal government will be a reliable partner in fixing the economy.

“We’re the only hope for America right now to lift up the middle class, grow economic opportunities, rebuild infrastructure and invest and improve in our kids,” said Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin, the head of the Democratic Governors Association.

Taking a huge slap at House Republicans while laying out his 2014 blueprint to elect more Democratic governors, Shumlin said the nation's chief executives are sweating over a potential second government shutdown next year.

“If a bunch of crazies take over the U.S. Congress and shut the place down, what do we do when we don’t get any federal money? This is crazy stuff. This is la-la land,” he said referring to the October shutdown. “There can’t be a governor in the country who believes that there has ever been a more dysfunctional Congress led by obstructionists in the House,” he added.

Shumlin’s harsh comments revealed more than the usual distrust of Washington. He said that Capitol Hill has become so partisan that now few governors want to run for higher office.

“Most governors would never come to Washington, D.C., for any reason, I mean as an elected official,” said Shumlin at a recent media breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. As an example, Shumlin said he tried with others to convince popular former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to run for an open Senate seat. “He goes, ‘Like why would I go down there and sit around while they can’t get anything done?’ ” recalled Shumlin.

As head of the Democratic Governors Association, Shumlin is focused on about six key 2014 gubernatorial races, especially those that feature incumbents elected during the big 2010 Tea Party wave.

The organization, which typically raises less than the Republican Governors Association, has an impressive track record in the recent races it has helped to fund. In eight out of nine key gubernatorial races since 2010, the DGA was outspent by the RGA but won.

Paul Bedard, The Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at