Colorado Senator Mark Udall requested and subsequently caused the seating at President’s State of the Union Address to be side by side rather than as dictated by tradition divided by political parties.
This change in the seating chart is causing a bit of a stir. We find that Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) will be sitting with Tom Coburn (R-OK), Senator John McCain (R-AZ) with Senator Tom Udall D-NM), and Senator John Thune sitting with Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Its been reported that the President’s speech writers are altering their approach to applause lines since one side of the room won’t be standing and applauding while the other side sits, and perhaps visa versa.
This is all political posturing. The sequence of events goes something like this. As a consequence of the shootings in Tucson, it is alleged by a partisan Sherriff with unfounded opinions and repeated that the shootings are somehow the result of overheated political rhetoric. The President at the Service / Rally at the Tucson church echoes the call of the liberal establishment that there is too much screech in the political wind, i.e.a push back to last November’s election and the Tea Partiers.
Miraculously the tone of political debate has become a hot button political issue of its own. To address the tone issue the Senators and Representative will be sitting in the House Chamber holding hands.
Our politics has become about comity rather than any substance. Let’s sit together that will solve the problems. Certainly changing the tone and returning to civility is important and I would argue necessary. But it has nothing to do with what happened in Tucson and even in the short term bridge the political divide.
It was uncalled for when Representative Joe Wilson (GOP) yelled ‘You Lie” at President Obama during his health care speech, uncalled for when a Democrat member suggests that the Republican Health Care Plan is “Don’t Get Sick” and uncalled for when Senator Tim Johnson called some Republicans, members of the Taliban wing of the Republican Party.
Rather than play acting to get along, rather than all the calls, demonstrations, and Kumbaya State of the Union love ins, maybe our politicians should just act civilly. Rather than talk just talk about it.
Political differences are superior to indifference. Having differences is important as is settling them.
But all this play acting is just silly and as I stated last week when posting on the Tragedy in Tucson, this is just political rhetoric and self serving. Being mannerly will not stop a crazed gunman and sitting cheek to cheek will not bridge political differences.
Endbar – Senator Tim Johnson does not have a position on State of the Union seating while Senator Thune and Representative Noem support it. While I just see the non partisan or bi partisan seating as superficial I do agree with Senator Thune who said about the seating “the greater test” is if Republicans and Democrats work together on pressing issues with “substance and action for the common good.”