What does Washington do in between pointless votes to end Obamacare?
A year or two ago, the answer would have been: more pointless votes in the House meant to wound the president and virtually no votes at all in the Senate. There's still plenty of that nonsense.
Yet all of a sudden, the country's politicians have begun accomplishing things, too, on a diverse set of issues that haven't quite piqued partisan appetites for ideological red meat but that do really matter.
"The last two and a half years were like watching paint dry," Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told me on Wednesday. Now, however, it's "like night and day."
Last month, Congress agreed on an ambitious reform of student loan interest rates.
In the past, lawmakers and President Obama had used interest-rate-setting policy as a political weapon, each party attacking the other for not caring enough about students and the families - always middle-class ones, naturally - they come from.
It would have been easy enough to keep that up.
Instead, the president rationally proposed linking student rates to the government's cost of borrowing on a permanent basis.
The House agreed, and the Senate worked out the fine details. Now the issue is politically neutralized, and the policy is stable for the foreseeable future.
Last week, Obama argued for restructuring the government's outsized role in the housing market, a signal of support for a bipartisan plan that Corker and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., have been working on.
Though a substantially different proposal is making its way through the House, it seems everyone agrees that the "government-sponsored agencies" Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should cease to exist.
Given that Republicans are on board with the Senate plan, compromise among all the players seems very possible, especially now that the president will push on it, too.
While they're at it, lawmakers might also reform the struggling U.S. Postal Service. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., has moved toward Democrats in his latest proposal to right the semi-independent organization's disastrous finances.