Here’s what Mick Mulvaney had to say about the laudable decision of Joe Wilson and others to sit with members of the opposite party during the State of the State:
“If you’re looking for empty symbolism, where one sits at the State of the Union (address) might be at the top of the list.”
If you’re looking for obvious examples of giving the people of this country the finger, the refusal to do such a simple thing as sit without regard to party might be at the top of the list.
Of course it’s a small thing. Just like, say, taking down the Confederate Flag from the Statehouse grounds — which you will also hear state lawmakers dismissed because they have so many more important things to do and think about.
And of course, they DO have many more important (or at least, less embarrassing) things to deal with. The problem is that they’ll never make progress on the things that really matter when they have such a powerful mental block against doing something so small as taking the flag down. Or, in the case of Congress, ending the egregious practice of sitting by party during the presidential address.
Simple, yes. But there is no one thing lawmakers could do that would be as easy, but say so much, as taking this action.
I’ll get back to the flag, but about this seating arrangements thing: The problem is that these guys are to entirely stuck in the rut of this abominable practice of sitting by party that it doesn’t occur to them, ever, that it is an abomination. You and I may think they were elected to represent us and to serve the nation. But THEY obviously think that they are there to serve their respective parties. They say this in the most obvious of ways — by only sitting with members of their party, by only caring what their party wants them to do or say, by thinking party first, last and always. Serving the party is SO automatic with them, that it doesn’t even occur to them that it’s a problem. They are even offended by the suggestion that it might be. Which tells you an awful lot about these guys.
This is, as I say, an abomination, and inexcusable. And so easy to address.
Which brings me back to the flag. What do these two issues have in common? The fact that they would be so easy to accomplish. Yes, I know state lawmakers think it would be really hard. But all that is needed to accomplish it is the same, simple thing it would take to end the execrable practice of sitting by party in Congress (and not only on the night of the State of the Union, but every day): All that have to do is GROW UP, and gain a sense of perspective. And then it’s easy.