January 17, 2011


United We Sit (Ross Kaminsky, 1.17.11, American Spactator)

Colorado Democrat Senator Mark Udall has put forward the oh-so-Boulder idea that politicians of both parties should intermingle for their State of the Union address seating on January 25th. Udall, and his letter's cosigners suggest that "partisan seating arrangements at State of the Union addresses serve to symbolize division instead of the common challenges we face in securing a strong future for the United States" and further that "the choreographed standing and clapping of one side of the room -- while the other side sits -- is unbecoming of a serious institution."

Senate cosigners include touchy-feely and "red state" Democrats and the usual list of "bipartisan" RINOs (including notably John McCain): Mark Udall, Lisa Murkowski, Kelly Ayotte, Mark Begich, Barbara Boxer, Ben Cardin, Susan Collins, Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Mary Landrieu, Joseph Lieberman, Joe Manchin, John McCain, Claire McCaskill, Jeff Merkley, Ben Nelson, Jack Reed, Jeanne Shaheen, Olympia Snowe, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Ron Wyden. There is also a handful of House cosigners.

I have no doubt that Mark Udall is sincere. He is that sort of guy.

Indeed, there is something ridiculous (or at least unserious) about one side of the chamber cheering while the other side sits somberly, especially when the scene is repeated a dozen or more times, slowing down a speech that most of us watch only because we feel that we must. But we'd read the Cliff Notes if we could and certainly don't appreciate applauding senators keeping us from the latest episode of CSI: Des Moines, or whatever we'd prefer to numb our minds with that evening.

And a part of me likes the idea of less partisan-for-its-own-sake government. But only a part.

The whole spectacle is so asinine that, but for 9-11, Bush/Rove were going to resume the tradition of just submitting a written message.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 17, 2011 6:47 AM
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