Sen. Mark Udall (D., Colo.) has proposed abolishing partisan seating at the State of the Union, and a cynic can’t help wondering if this isn’t a clever ploy to keep the public from seeing where (literally) our elected representatives stand. Do Democrats still stand for the vastly unpopular health-care legislation they rammed through the 111th Congress? I want to know, and one way to tell is by seeing if they are still willing to stand up and clap for it when the president mentions it (and he almost has to do so). I’d like to see how they respond when the president lays out his plans for the future. This is arguably more important than the actual SOTU.
But thanks to Senator Udall, Democrats may be able to blend into the crowd. They could be spared the choice of sitting on their hands or standing and applauding unpopular policies that the American people rejected in the midterm elections. Senator Udall may be a nice guy, but what he is offering amounts to a witness protection program. Of course, this plan, if embraced, could backfire: The spectacle of Democrats hiding in plain sight would speak volumes.