A letter to congressional leaders signed by proponents of this exercise in musical chairs claims...Musical chairs? Clearly, the Washington Times has never played musical chairs. Musical chairs would be quite funny: Make the Congresspeople scramble for what are too few chairs, and kick out everyone who can't find a seat. Where's your
... "the choreographed standing and clapping of one side of the room - while the other side sits - is unbecoming of a serious institution. And the message that it sends is that even on a night when the president is addressing the entire nation, we in Congress cannot sit as one, but must be divided as two." [Senator Mark] Udall is clearly focused on the wrong problem. Presumably orgiastic clapping, not sitting stonefaced, is what offends the seriousness of the august institution.I don't know much about the Washington Times's sex life, but I think it's got orgasms wrong too. I'll bet, if you did a scientific study, you'd find that, during orgasm, remaining stonefaced is much more common than applause. But I do agree that it would offend the seriousness of the august institution if the President's admirers really acted like they were having orgasms.
Shifting the seats around will not alter the president's applause lines. Democrats, wherever placed in the chamber, will still faithfully rise and clap at the appointed times. If such demonstrations are what Mr. Udall believes are "unbecoming" to the Congress, then Democrats should instruct their members to refrain from such demonstrations, similar to how the NFL has tried to promote civility by cracking down on post-touchdown celebrations.I think the Democrats should instruct their members to show a little more NFL-style enthusiasm:
If clapping isn't banned, the primary effect of the seating change would be to distribute standing ovations across the chamber, making it appear that the president enjoys more congressional support than he does in fact.That's the theory that's going around, but I'd like to see how it really would look. When the cameras can't zero in on a clump of idolators and must show the President's friends next to his
I say mix it up!