The current wonderful idea up on Capitol Hill — mainly among Democrats — is that during the upcoming State of the Union address. Congress should abandon the partisan division and the two parties should sit, intermingled, Democrats and Republicans, as a show of solidarity. It would be a way of getting past the petty, partisan divisions and present a united face to the nation and the world.
Like most ideas you get from Democrats these days, it sounds nice in theory. But the devil is in the details.
One person (I forget where I read it, sorry) noted that this would have a rather remarkable benefit for Obama and the Democrats. The State of the Union address is filled with moments where the president’s party will stand up and applaud. If the Democrats were relegated to one side of the chamber, then the show of support would be shown — rightly — to be partisan. But if the Democrats and Republicans are integrated, then all the demonstrations will seem greater.
And those will happen, rest assured. Because we must not forget what President Obama pulled at the last State of the Union address, when he brought up the Citizens United case. In case you’ve forgotten, Obama cited the case and his disagreement with it, while misstating the facts of the case.
And no, he doesn’t get to claim that he was mistaken. President Obama was a Constitutional scholar, so he’s not allowed to plead ignorance. Plus, he’s had almost a year to correct what he said.
And if you remember what he said, you’ll remember that the big story was not Obama’s lie, but Justice
Scalia’s Alito response. Stunned at the fraudulent attack on the Court in one venue where Obama could be assured he would not be immediately contradicted or challenged, in one venue where such naked partisanship had not been seen before, he muttered to himself “that’s not true.” And we were all treated to days of how Justice Scalia Alito had broken protocols and disgraced himself and the Court by his reaction.
That’s why Justice
Scalia Alito won’t be attending this year’s State Of The Union address. The presence of the Justices was to honor the Constitutional nature of the address, the union of the three branches of the government. With Obama choosing last year to take a shot at the Court, it’s simply not what it was — so he sees no reason to go. Would that the rest of the Court would stand with their colleague.
Were I advising the Republicans in Congress, I would tell the Democrats that they’d go along with the integrated seating, under one condition — Obama refrains from any more grossly inappropriate shots during the speech. If he agrees,then fine — but should he go ahead (and I’m fully confident he would), then the Republicans would stand and turn their backs on Obama for the remainder of his speech.
It’d never happen. The Republicans would never have the chutzpah to take that kind of stand, and would never actually carry it out.
But they should just refuse the Democrats’ scheme. It’s a a fraud, designed to make the Democrats look all nice and reasonable and friendly, while setting up a visual image to boost their own standing — at the Republicans’ expense.