It’s certainly normal for lawmakers to go home in election years. What is striking about the coming session is that Reid has decided to devote as much as half of the Senate’s precious time in Washington to a measure that has no chance — absolutely zero chance — of passing.

Reid has decreed that the Senate’s first order of legislative business will be a proposed constitutional amendment that would give Congress the power to regulate every dollar raised and every dollar spent by every political campaign in America.

Put aside the merits — or lack of them — of this particular proposal. Amending the Constitution requires a two-thirds vote in both House and Senate, plus ratification by three-quarters of the states. This particular amendment, supported mostly by progressive Democrats, won’t even get past the first step. So why would Reid devote precious time to an entirely futile exercise?

Because the Senate’s brief two weeks in Washington are all about the campaign to come.