Persistent Partisan Politics

News alert:  Congress may get a teeny bit less partisan during the President’s State of the Union address this week, as members of the rival gangs – sorry, political parties – are actually going to, get this: SIT TOGETHER in the House chamber!    The NY Times intro is cute:
Mary from Louisiana asked Olympia from Maine because they are BFFs, but had a backup in Bob from Tennessee in case she was rebuffed. Kirsten from New York went the Sadie Hawkins route and asked John from South Dakota, and thus the deal between two members of the Senate with seriously good hair was sealed.  
The talk in the West Wing may center on what President Obama plans to say on Tuesday in his State of the Union address to Congress about the still-ailing economy, or United States-China relations, or his education agenda. But here on Capitol Hill, the talk for the last few days has been all about the seating for the president’s speech and just who will be next to whom. 
Ever since Senator Mark Udall, Democrat of Colorado, pushed for lawmakers of both parties to mix it up rather than sit among their own in the House chamber as if the other side has cooties, there has been a mad scramble among lawmakers for just the right partner. 
 
Holy cow – amazing, right?  If you can’t detect the sarcasm here (and yes, I know it’s hard to detect online sometimes, I didn’t use my Sarcmark), I apologize, and I hate to be a cynic, but why is it such a great step forward that our elected officials are actually going to sit together and perhaps even attempt to lead our country together (sorry, I’m jumping to conclusions)???  Shouldn’t this have happened a long time ago?
Mind you, I’m not complaining – this is a good thing – well, unless you want to form it into a vast Liberal conspiracy.  Shocker: some people DO want to form it into a vast liberal conspiracy!  Back to the NYT article:
“I already believe very firmly that it is a trap and a ruse that Democrats are proposing,” Representative Paul Broun, a conservative Republican from Georgia, said in a radio interview. Other Republicans have also scoffed at the idea as childish and irrelevant, calling it an effort to muzzle Republicans and prevent them from expressing reservations about Mr. Obama’s speech. 
Ah – so Mr. Broun doesn’t like the fact that if he wants to sit out a standing ovation during the President’s speech, he will be visible as someone “sitting” amongst some “standing” (presumably) Democrats, rather than just another face in the vast crowd on one side of the aisle acting in unison.  Guess what – tough luck Mr. Broun – you should be held accountable for your decisions, and not rely on the ability to hide safely in numbers in a crowd.   It’s not a “trap” or a “ruse” when everyone can see what you stand for, Mr. Broun  – that’s how the system is supposed to work.   
Stand for what you believe in, sit for what you don’t. 
I. Hate. Partisan. Politics.
-KD

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