Just in time for the president’s State of the Union Address tonight, liberal U.S. Senator Mark Udall is reminding us that he hatched the idea of mixed seating in the House chamber for the event. Unfortunately for Udall, this fact also reminds us that he has not accomplished much else of legislative importance in approximately five years as a United States Senator.
On both the senator’s campaign site and official government webpage, Udall is pushing what he calls a “new tradition” of members sitting with a colleague from the other party. Udall believes that this will somehow smooth things in the rancorous halls of Congress. Maybe people seeing this rich tapestry of Democrats and Republicans side by side will help them forget that the Democrats rammed the farcically-named Affordable Care Act through both houses of Congress without a single Republican vote. Or, perhaps people will forget Obama’s recent threats that if he does not get his way – “I’ve got a pen and I’ve got a phone.”
Or maybe, in a speech that is expected to focus on inequality and anti-growth policies, Udall is just trying to avoid the manner in which a room seated by party that would lay bare the divisive agenda that Obama hopes to pursue heading into the midterm elections.
A gimmicky seating arrangement on the heels of Udall being so aggressively behind the most partisan legislation in a generation is not going to cut it. His staff pressuring the Colorado Division of Insurance to change a statistic that he felt cast Obamacare in an unfavorable light is not going to cut it. Accusing Republicans of politicizing the Benghazi attack when they simply objected to the outright lie that the murder of our ambassador was the result of an idiotic YouTube video is not going to cut it.
Simply put, Udall is in lockstep with a highly divisive president and a Congress that is wildly unpopular because of its almost unprecedented level of partisanship. The people of Colorado want a Senator who will provide a thoughtful and independent voice for Coloradans in Washington. That’s not Udall.