If you needed further proof that Congress is basically an only slightly more grown up version of high school, this should convince you: As if ordered by an exasperated guidance counselor (paging Tami Taylor), lawmakers from each party have agreed to sit next to members from across the aisle during Tuesday's State of the Union address in order to try to overcome the bitter hatred they have for one another. Sure they may seething at the start, but before long it's definitely going to be Democrats and Republicans sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G…
Yeah, except they already did this last year, and basically the only good that came of it was instead of half the room standing up to applaud various points in the President's speech and the other half sitting in stony silence, the applause was more randomly (and somewhat awkwardly) dispersed throughout the room. Then, as soon as Congress actually went back to work, all goodwill vanished, and the session devolved into a series of battles so partisan that they very nearly brought the country to its knees. But this year is different, they swear! Probably all kinds of odd political matches will be made in 2012—just like in the movies when the nerdy girl ends up at the keg party and realizes that the jock is really just a sensitive guy who needs to be loved, and he in turn realizes that she's actually super hot when she takes her glasses off. Only this movie will involve Tea Parties and pantsuits.
So far, more than 160 members of Congress have agreed to pair up and make nice. No Labels, a bipartisan group, is keeping track of who's sitting next to whom, if you want to gather near the lockers and tee-hee about the fact that Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) are sitting next to each other; Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), and Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) are doing a threesome; and poor Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has to listen to Sen. Joe Lierberman's whiny voice all night.
Naturally not everyone is on board with this plan for unity and love. Speaker of the House John Boehner, who has to sit next to Joe Biden no matter what, didn't do much in the way of bridge building when he took to "Fox News Sunday" to say that he thought Obama's State of the Union speech was going to be "pathetic." Whoa, way to play nice, Agent Orange! Whatever, people can talk smack all they want ahead of time. We'll just have to wait and see who the night's winners and losers are at the
dance speech—and, of course, who will be crowned State of the Union King and Queen.
Boehner Dismisses Obama's State Of The Union Talk [New York Post]
Rival parties to mix it up – nicely – at State of the Union [LA Times]