Congress packed up and left town Thursday, starting a five-week recess that comes after a year of few accomplishments and lots of partisan gridlock.
Oops. Our mistake. The inhabitants of Capitol Hill call the annual August break “district work periods,” a piece of spin designed to give the impression that lawmakers are back home taking care of business.
The only real business on either Democratic or Republican agendas for this August is the job of attending the every-four-year excess called the party nomination conventions. Both will be tightly-scripted public anointments of the candidates: incumbent President Barack Obama on the left and Mitt Romney on the right.
In September, the House and Senate return to a long agenda of unfinished business, with little hope seen for resolution of the bitter, partisan infighting that has brought the legislative process to a half.
Even with a drought-produced crisis threatening the agricultural regions of the nations, the opposing sides could not put aside their bickering long enough to reach agreement on aid to livestock producers. Another critical bill to protect the nation’s infrastructure from cyber-terrorists also remains unresolved.
Which reminds us of an old saying: If pro is the opposite of con, then Congress must be the opposite of progress.