Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that due to the backlog of business caused by the Democrats’ lockstep obstructionism, he’s decided to cancel the August recess and make all Senators stay in DC and work instead of going home.
As fully justified as this is (how many of uscould refuse to do our high-paying jobs, then take a month’s vacation?), there is a political component to it. This November, 24 Democrats and 9 Republicans are up for reelection. The Republicans are mostly from safe conservative states, but many of the Democrats are from states won heavily by Trump. Now, those Democrats won’t be able to spend August campaigning back home.
Democrats are trying to put the best spin on this, claiming they’re overjoyed to spend August in DC (does anyone actually believe that claim from anybody?) so they can focus on health care and demand that Trump stay and work with them instead of going to Mar-A-Lago to play golf. I think they might be sorry they did that: I was on the campaign trail with Trump and saw him put in long days that left aides half his age panting like tired plow horses.
Democrats have built their entire image on “resisting” everything Trump does. Will they really work with him if he shows up? If so, that would mean actually compromising with Trump to get some things done that they’ve been obstructing. That could be even worse for them than not campaigning, since their base wants no compromise and is convinced Trump is worse than Satan, Hitler and a diesel Humvee with fur upholstery all rolled into one.
Of course, this could all be political theater. McConnell might hold skeleton sessions with only a few people in the chamber, or work for a week or so to make a point, then let everyone go home. But I’d suggest that McConnell make a list of must-pass issues and let the itching-to-amscray Senators know up front that until every one of those items gets checked off, they will be suffering through August humidity that makes waterboarding feel like a cool, dry breeze.