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Howard Gardner
Scholar

Howard Gardner

Howard Gardner is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and Senior Director of Harvard Project Zero.

The problem is Congress, not summer recess

Q: With the economy slowing again, scores of nominations awaiting confirmation and major issues such a climate change and immigration unresolved, Congress has left town for its traditional 6-week August recess. Is that smart leadership? At what point should leaders upset well-established routines to signal that business-as-usual is no longer acceptable?

It's hard to consider this question on its merits. When in session, this Congress has become increasingly dysfunctional. There is no reasonable prospect that, if called in in session, this Congress would act on climate change or immigration. As needed, President Obama can make recess appointments. The only reason for calling the Congress into session would be to demonstrate-- a la Harry Truman in 1948-- that it has become 99% politicized; and the risk is that it would become 100% politicized.

By Howard Gardner

 |  August 16, 2010; 3:49 PM ET
Category:  Congressional leadership Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Congressmen and women need rest too | Next: When to call all hands on deck

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