I’m old school. I like my beer cold, my music loud, and my politics bitterly partisan. I have to be honest though, I honestly don’t know which is sillier: assigned seating at the State of the Union, the outrage over the assigned seating at the State of the Union, or the speech itself.
We’re talking aboot a speech where the President is going to say a lot of nice things, and a half an hour after it’s done no one will remember it. Yes, a Democrat suggested in the wake of the Tuscon Shooting the two parties sit together instead of on opposing sides. The media went into overdrive doing what they do, focusing on the most vapid aspect of an already vapid event.
And our side is…upset because we’re sitting next to Democrats? Seriously? Thankfully, there’s Tom Coburn (who no, I don’t actually think is a RINO) to make sense of it all…
A strange commentary on our society is that in the days leading up to the President’s 2011 State of the Union address, the biggest story may not have been the speech itself but the seating of individual members of Congress. A mature democracy that spends this much time analyzing such a basic principle has regressed. The question for conservatives is how to direct our national conversation where it belongs — to the very real problems facing the nation, such as the fact that we’re going bankrupt.
Of course, we are having this discussion not because of the Tucson shootings, but because of the media’s coverage of the shootings. Conservatives had every right to be offended by the Left’s initial knee-jerk narrative blaming conservative rhetoric. Yet, as I mentioned on Meet the Press and discussed with Hugh Hewitt last week, the tendency of conservatives to spend their time overcorrecting this ludicrous narrative contributes to the problem. We should spend 10 percent of our time discussing how to discuss the problem and the other 90 percent discussing the problem. The more time we spend defending ourselves the less time we have to make our case about issues that matter.
Thankfully, the American people have already made up their mind that the problem in the country is our debt, not incivility as defined narrowly by liberals in Congress and the media. The public is upset because our national leaders have been ignoring the real problem and, instead, have been attacking the people for being concerned. In the past two years, we’ve had national leaders, who represent the institutions of government, essentially tossing rhetorical tear gas into a crowd of peaceful protestors, demanding that they disperse and go home. Calling dissenting citizens “un-American” “evil-doers” who are part of an “angry mob” tells those citizens their views are illegitimate. This rhetoric has been vastly more corrosive to our civil discourse than talk radio and cable chatter. The good news is that the American people responded peacefully and fired many of the politicians who were making this ridiculous charge.
Like I said, this whole seating arrangement thing is silly, but outside of anyone with a talk radio show, Republicans and/or conservatives “taking a stand” by not sitting next to Democrats would be even more childish and petty. Who cares where people sit?
After the speech, we’re going to go back to our corners and come out fighting anyways.