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Call for Bipartisan Seating at the State of the Union

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By Doug Powers  •  January 15, 2011 02:32 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

If they’re not careful, the “We are the World” people are going to sue for copyright infringement:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaksa) has joined Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in spearheading Udall’s effort to have bipartisan seating at the State of the Union, Murkowski’s office announced Friday.

In a letter to members of Congress today Murkowski and Udall propose Republicans and Democrats sit together during the State of the Union address. Currently, the tradition is for Democrats and Republicans to sit only with members of their party during the presidential address. The proposal comes after an earlier one by Udall where the Democrat and Republican leadership would sit together during the presidential address.

This could be the first State of the Union to end with a loud reminder from the Sergeant at Arms: “Everybody’s invited to a pajama party at Olympia Snowe’s place!”

In addition to the bipartisan seating idea, other proposals on the table include all of Congress recording an eHarmony.com commercial together and Lisa Murkowski leading a recitation of the Pledge of Kum Ba Yah. However, sources tell me that John Boehner has soured the bipartisan mood by turning down an invitation to spend the duration of the State of the Union speech sitting on Joe Biden’s lap.

Here are those who have signed on, by way of Sister Toldjah:

Senate signers are as follows: Sen. Begich (D-Alaska), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Sen. Kristen Gilibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), and Udall for the Democrats and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska, and Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) for the Republicans. In the House, all nine signers are Democrats.

Craftsman doesn’t churn out as many tools as Congress.

In a Washington Post op-ed, John McCain wrote this:

The president appropriately disputed the injurious suggestion that some participants in our political debates were responsible for a depraved man’s inhumanity.

This is precisely the kind of thing that demonstrates why John McCain fared so poorly in the election and why I plugged my nose when I voted for him. McCain said political rhetoric wasn’t responsible for the Tucson murders. Then, he signed on to this ridiculous “bipartisan seating” idea which is a stunt to imply partisan politics had everything to do with Jared Loughner’s unhinged killing spree.

So far, no Republican in the House has signed on, so kudos to them for not snapping up the bait.

In the meantime, plans for a bipartisan SOTU are ongoing, and the Democrats have commissioned an artist to draw up exactly how they want the evening to look:

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**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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