Remember last year’s State of the Union Address?
I'm not asking about the speech itself. I’m referring to the fact that members of Congress abandoned their usual, and frankly juvenile, practice of sitting with their own precious cliques – Republicans on one side, Democrats on the other.
They crossed the aisle to demonstrate unified support for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) who had been shot just a few days previously. It was a wonderful gesture. But the next day, things were back to hyper-partisan business as usual.
This year, No Labels is pressing every member of Congress to stop acting like middle school kids at their first dance… and start acting like the grown-ups we elected them to be. You can help by giving your senators and representative a kick in the seat of their pants and demanding they sit next to someone from the other party.
As you know, bipartisan seating is reform #10 of our Make Congress Work! action plan. It’s the reform that gets a “Duh” response from anyone who hears about it. As in, “Of course, they should sit together. It makes perfect sense.” Unfortunately, the fact that an idea makes sense doesn’t make it any more likely for Congress to act on it.
And to get the word out, we'll running a full-page ad in The New York Times (PDF). No Labels is being joined in its call for bipartisan seating by Third Way and the Ripon Society and is asking for other organizations to support the effort. Read our press release announcing this campaign here.
Last year, our leaders sat together at the State of the Union for the first time ever. Now it’s time to tell them to sit together again.