Lieberman and Collins Revise Committee Seating Chart
One Senate committee just got a little less partisan:
Sens. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Susan Collins of Maine are mixing it up at the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee. For future hearings, Democrats and Republicans won’t sit on opposite sides of the dais but rather, next to each other — alternating Democrat, Republican, Democrat, Republican etc.
In a joint statement , Chairman Lieberman, an independent, and ranking Republican Collins, said “In the last election, the voters said they were sick of the partisanship that produces gridlock… So, as a start, instead of sitting on opposite sides of the room like a house divided, we want the American people to see us sitting side by side as our committee members work together make our nation more secure and our government more efficient.”
They credited Sen. Claire McCaskill (D., Mo.) a new committee member, with hatching the idea.
For similar reasons, my second grade teacher, Mrs. Malmay, set us boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl. It worked, too, as most of the boys grew up to marry girls and vice-versa. Somehow, I don’t think the congressional variation will have the same level of success. There are just too many institutional pulls toward polarity.
On the other hand, even silly symbolic moves–and this is among the sillier I’ve seen–can make an important point. If any committee should put aside partisan gamesmanship (as opposed to honest differences in political philosophy) it’s this one.
And, if this happens to get Joe Lieberman more publicity, that’s a sacrifice he’s willing to make for the good of the Republic.
via Taegan Goddard