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.....
There was none of this nonsense in the last 2 years either. The democrats ran roughshod over the republicans. They’re desperate.
>>now we want to hold hands and sing kum bay yah, mlord
And their lord isn’t my Lord!
They screwed the pooch on this one.
As Rush said, the Democrats want to dilute the Republican House majority. That’s what its all about! In the name of civility and all that liberal rotgut, Republicans are supposed to hold hands with the Democrats during Obama’s SOTU address and sing “kumbaya” - and if they know what’s good for them, forget about their agenda!
Its phony... we’re supposed to set aside OUR differences so the Democrats can feel good about themselves? I’m not gonna watch that dog n pony show next month!
Why did they not do this last year or the year before or the year before or the year before? I hope the Republicans do not fall for this BS.
How often do *you* applaud Obama for his “ideas?”
I don’t care where anybody sits. I just care how they vote.
Symbolic silliness. Might be worth it if it holds down some of the annoying applause.
Ya, all we had back then were a lawless free for all at the borders, which appeared like a Boston Marathon of millions, during war time, while Bush served tacos up in the White House for his Cinco De Mayo celebrations....
Somebody who doesn't want the viewers to see just how few in the chamber will be cheering Obama this year.
Michaud is a RAT from Maine. Udall is a RAT from Colorado.
Anybody know if any pubbies signed on to this POS?
The GOP are true fools if they go along with this.
“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.”
That’s exactly what I thought when I heard they were doing this.
Straighten up! Close that line! Watch the flanks!
Yep, we know their tricks.
The Republicans better nip this crap in the bud
or their azzes will be long gone next round.
I would agree to it, if the Republican response were given from the chamber and the Dems had to stick around for it.
I think they should all sit alphabetically, and they should use the usual rules of house decorum; no standing, no interruptions while a speaker has the floor. They should all be required to sit quietly, and listen with respect, while the President delivers the state of the union.
When he is done, they may stand and clap if they believe the state of our country today is something to clap about. and when the democrats do so, we should point out that we don’t think things are all that good now, and don’t understand why the democrats would be clapping for the results of the last 4 years of democrat rule.
Guess what? I don’t want to be associated with any kind of liberal policy. if lawmakers had any smarts they would say and do the same thing....
First, you will see wild cheering from Socialists every time The Messiah speaks one of the Party Lines, with associated video of the scattering throughout the audience to make it look like EVERYONE is on his bandwagon. Second, you will NOT see the Partisan lock-step Communist Left seated together where their reactions can be seen easily on the videos. This is a MAJOR victory for hiding the divisions in the country where the Have's vs. Have-Nots is rooted. The Obama-Lovers will be all over the airwaves bragging about The Messiah's coup, and "bringing both sides together....", etc., etc.
The Talking Points have already been written for the SOU, AND, they will be slobbering and fawning over every soundbite in the State Run Media, from now until November 2012.
If the Republicans agree, you are assured that the RINO Establishment is still in full control, and the Elections of 2010 will not deter their voting/acting/proposing the same old bullshit spread-the-wealth Legislation as their Democrat Majority predecessors.
The Repubs shouldn’t do this. The hell with the “tone”. Beat down the DIMs (by the vote, of course) because they hate America and hate you.
Elections have consequences. I'm looking forward to the visual impact of a reduced president at this State of the Union.
And the left knows it.
I refuse to watch the Cretin. I will read his speeches, but I never watch him. I saw him speak in 2004 at the DNC convention and decided then he was one I REALLY didn’t like. For good reason, his speech is full of subliminals. They are pretty darned obvious when you read what he is repeating off TOTUS. When you read what the cretin is saying.... yea... losts of fluff and little substance. What substance there is, is invariable disturbing.
That’s a good idea. I like it. Sit quietly and listen politely until the POTUS is finished.
Don’t do it!! They are trying to play Republicans like a fiddle. They just want to pretend. DON’T DO IT!!
How about Patriots in the hall where the speech is given, and politicians in the basement across the street. That ought to
throw a scare into the teleprompter.
I think Boehner should say something like - “Wow, what a great idea! But we wouldn’t feel right taking credit for such a novel idea. Tell you what, next time you guys are in the majority, we’ll be happy to consider non-partisan seating.
Looks to me like Boehner didn’t even make it past the State of the Union Show before bending over and grabbing his ankles.
Mikes a homo, probably wants to sit next to some Republican he has taken a liking to.
I called my local representative and told the gal
who answered the phone to pass a message on to Vern...
DO NOT AGREE TO BE A PART OF THIS TOUCHY FEELY CRAP
WE WON, THEY LOST... if they don’t want to have the
viewers see just how many more (R)’s there are compared to (D)’s
then it’s just too bad... keep the left on the left, right on the right.