By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV
It so Jr. High — debating over who sits next to whom. Making sure that cliques are broken up so that no one group can become too unruly. Sitting next to someone you have never sat next to before because you might make a friend and everyone will get to know each other better. And as a result, everyone will be nicer to each other.
But it’s a debate not taking place in Jr. High. It’s a debate taking place in Congress. Sen. Amy Klobuchar is one of those championing the integrated seating plan for the State of the Union speech.
Some Republicans and Democrats plan to sit together instead of sitting separately in two massive partisan blocks. Maybe the new seating arrangement will reduce Rep. Joe Wilson’s impulse to once again shout “You lie!” to the President. It was a catcall that made Wilson famous and a hero to some. I’m told that since Wilson’s outburst in 2009, people in the visitors gallery are regularly yelling slurs down to members of Congress.
Sitting next to someone you have never sat with before, being nice to your neighbor. Jr. High can be as nice a place as the kids want it to be. And so can the U.S. Congress.