I am sure when you grew up your parents always told you to do your work first and then play. The reasoning for this was / is obvious. You may even have given that stern warning to your own children.
Even before Congress closed up shop early August for their 5 week recess, I thought it bad form. We all knew and know that the Congress has to figure out the funding of the government (the current CR that funds the government expires September 30) and the debt ceiling (current estimate is that we run out of borrowing power the middle of October and won’t be able to pay our bills.) While the recess is admittedly not all play (they do some constituent work), aren’t the CR and debt ceiling more important? Don’t you think constituents would prefer our elected officials get their nation’s critical work done first? And frankly, work they created for themselves by not doing earlier work? Why didn’t they handle those the CR and debt ceiling issues BEFORE taking off 5 weeks? Waiting until after recess just means that there is going to be huge pressure on the decision makers to beat the drop dead deadlines and that is never a good recipe for good judgment in making important decisions when you are forced and pressured. We need smart decisions that work — not pressured ones just to get by.
At the time (late July and early August) I was grumbling about Congress taking off without first handling the CR and debt ceiling, we had no idea that the Syria crisis would materialize (although our leaders were well aware that 100,000 had already been killed by conventional weapons.) The gas killings occurred August 21 — almost 3 weeks ago. It is a crisis. A crisis should be addressed immediately — not put off. Frankly, if it is put off that really says the elected official does not see it as a crisis. So now it is a really hard sell for those in Congress who support a military strike to convince the American people this is a big deal. If they didn’t come back, it can’t be that important, right? That is a lousy message.
Yes, I know….individual Members of Congress were not called back by their leadership but nothing stopped them from coming back and making a statement with their presence on Capitol Hill. They would have made a big point to their leadership (maybe embarrassed them into finally calling everyone back) and sent a message to fellow Americans about what is important and what is not. Vacations are not important when you have taken on responsibilities and are not fulfilling them.
Finally — if you wonder why many young Americans are uninspired to work, or don’t ‘get’ responsibility, you might want to look at their examples. What message are we sending to young people when a crisis arises and the message ‘ later…I am on holiday.’
Am I wrong?