The House has already headed home for its August break, but the Senate is still in session. Among other things, the Senate will hold a confirmation vote this week on Sonia Sotomayor to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court which she will be when the Court opens for business on the first Monday in October probably with 65 or so votes.
But, it's the House which is made the news on the first day of their "District Work Period." A number of Members held town hall meetings which in most cases are nothing more than opportunities for them to remind their constituents that they are back there in Washington trying beat back the crazy (choose one) Left or Right wingers from destroying this great nation of ours.
For most folks a sitting Member of Congress is the most senior public official with whom they will ever be in the same room - except if they live in Iowa or New Hampshire in which case, sooner or later, they will have beeen in the same room with every sitting Senator in their lifetime.
So, town halls meetings are generally pretty easy going things. Members of the House generally know enough of their constituents so they can call on friendly faces to ask public policy questions about which the Member knows way more than the constituent and so can sound very smart, concerned, and well-informed.
Except for yesterday when a number of Members had town hall meetings at which the Obama Health Care Plan (OHCP) came up followed by shouting and chanting, followed by at least one Member of Congress scooting out of his own town hall meeting only to be followed by those same shouting and chanting constituents.
The Member of Congress in question here is Lloyd Doggett of Texas. His district includes Austin which is so liberal that I was once quoted as saying there are more committed Communists in Travis County than there are left in the Kremlin.
CBS News pointed out that "although Texas went for Republican John McCain in last year's election, Doggett's district voted for Mr. Obama by almost a 20 point margin."
This liberal district in this liberal city is the place where his constituents shouted "Just Say No!" to Obama care and chased the Congressman out of the hall.
Meanwhile, up in Philadelphia Democratic Senator Arlen Specter held a town hall meeting with the Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius on Sunday. According to the Fox News website they were "booed and jeered" by audience members.