Skip to comments.State of the Union Address Bipartisan Seating
Posted on 01/14/2011 5:28:09 PM PST by BuckeyeTexan
Michaud Calls for Bipartisan Seating at State of the Union Address - Says it's a small, but important and symbolic step
WASHINGTON, DC - Today Congressman Mike Michaud added his name to a letter led by Senator Mark Udall (D-CO) that will be sent to House and Senate leaders next week asking for a show of bipartisanship through a change in the seating at the upcoming State of the Union Address.
"Partisan seating arrangements at the 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," state Michaud and his colleagues in the letter. "But now the opportunity before us is to bring civility back to politics. It is important to show the nation that the most powerful deliberative bodies in the world can debate our differences with respect, honor and civility. We believe that it is not only possible, but that it is something that nearly all members of Congress truly desire. To that end, we suggest setting a small, but important, new tradition in American politics."
During the annual address, Democrats and Republicans traditionally sit in blocs on opposite sides on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Michaud and his colleagues continue in the letter: "Beyond custom, there is no rule or reason that on this night we should emphasize divided government, separated by party, instead of being seen united as a country. The choreographed standing and clapping of one side of the room - while the other side sits - is unbecoming of a serious institution."
The full text of the letter:
Dear Majority Leader Reid, Speaker Boehner, Minority Leaders McConnell and Pelosi:
We, the undersigned members of Congress, believe that partisan seating arrangements at the 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.
As we all know, the tenor and debate surrounding our politics has grown ever more corrosive - ignoring the fact that while we may take different positions, we all have the same interests. This departure from statesmanship and collegiality is fueled, in part, by contentious campaigns and divisive rhetoric. Political differences will always generate a healthy debate, but over time the dialogue has become more hateful and at times violent. But now the opportunity before us is to bring civility back to politics. It is important to show the nation that the most powerful deliberative bodies in the world can debate our differences with respect, honor and civility. We believe that it is not only possible, but that it is something that nearly all members of Congress truly desire. To that end, we suggest setting a small, but important, new tradition in American politics.
At the State of the Union address, on January 25th, instead of sitting in our usual partisan divide, let us agree to have Democrats and Republicans sitting side by side throughout the chamber. Beyond custom, there is no rule or reason that on this night we should emphasize divided government, separated by party, instead of being seen united as a country. The choreographed standing and clapping of one side of the room - while the other side sits - is unbecoming of a serious institution. And the message that it sends is that even on a night when the President is addressing the entire nation, we in Congress cannot sit as one, but must be divided as two.
On the night of the State of the Union address, we are asking others to join us - House and Senate members from both parties - to cross the aisle and sit together. We hope that as the nation watches, Democrats and Republicans will reflect the interspersed character of America itself. Perhaps by sitting with each other for one night we will begin to rekindle that common spark that brought us here from 50 different states and widely diverging backgrounds to serve the public good.
With respect and admiration,
© Copyright 2002-2010 by Magic City Morning Star
Just say no. There was none of this nonsense for Bush.
I’m all for it if it starts with whoever is president after the 2012 election.
Yeah, you’d of thought they could do that for
President Bush too, but Nooooooooooooo.
Was this done after Sept 11th, after the fort Hood shooting, The Virgian tech shooting?
I'll give $100 to the first Republican that says "You lie!"
Then they can sit together.
Can you just tell them to kiss our arse?
Republicans should just Boycott the State of the Union Address - that is - if they had any balls...
I won’t be watching. The GOP newly elected sellouts can sit in the parking lot for all I care.
And so, if Democrats rise, with Republicans, Tea Partiers and Independents remaining seated in between, will not the Democrats be seens as the positive ‘civil’ members being polite to the POTUS by definition?
If you were at a concert, and people started rising around you in a standing ovation, but you were not so convinced or even disagreed, would you, too, rise out of a sense of politeness? What VISUAL message does that send?
You watch. The Dems will all wear the same color. White, or, gold. Or purple. Some red and blue combination that, when seen as a group on tv, has a scent of the American flag’s stars and stripes.
In short, the Dems will create a picture book, with the Republicans not rising in applause appearing rude, uncivil or otherwise simply NOT SEEN AT ALL.
This is ridiculous. When are these dumb__s Republicans going to learn that damocrats aren’t interested in bipartisianship and that anything they do has a hidden motive for their benefit. I swear, Republicians are really dumb. Why didn’t Udall suggest this when the damocrats had majorities? He was in the Senate the last two to four years. All this will do is hide the huge loss the damocrats took at the polls in 2010 and may even get some stupid Repubs to stand with the damocrats in support to Obama. What idiots. Bipartisianship to damocrats means doing what we want.
I wonder if any of the Supremes will attend, other than Kagan and Sotomeyer?
I have read that most of the SCOTUS will NOT attend ... but I wait for the reality ...
A nut shoots up a place, and now we want to hold hands and sing kum bay yah, m’lord. Horseshit.
They’re on the run, boys.
And the dems just continue to run rings around these idiots. When will the repubs finally get it? Or will they ever understand the dems are not their friends. It is war and they continue to lose.
I LIKE IT!!!
Since the GOP has a big majority in the House, when they all stand and applaud interspersed, it will give the impress that the entire Congress SUPPORTS whatever is being applauded.
This is just stupid. Who came up with this nonsense!!
JUST SAY NO!
If the democrats propose something, anything, you know it is good for them, bad for Republicans.
I’m sure glad these guys have finally decided to attack the real problems.....
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