I’m not sure how many of you were watching last week when the President visited the House Republicans retreat and engaged in an hour long, substantive question and answer session. I wasn’t and I’m sorely upset by this. Luckily, like most everything else the President does, it’s online for us to watch!
Now I know I haven’t done a “why I love politics” entry in a while (a loooong while), and I thought about mentioning Sen. Vitter’s letter to the NFL where he dares them to sue him; the world’s most awesome cease and desist letter from musician Joe Walsh to Congressional candidate Joe Walsh; or the slow jams version of a campaign song. But then I watched the State of the Union, the last section of which seriously moved me, and I heard reports from the President’s Q&A with Republicans and the snark seemed wrong.
You see, as John Stewart so aptly put it, in engaging directly with Republicans, Pres. Obama stepped out of the theatre political debate has become and gave real answers to hard questions. He seemed to acknowledge that there are no right or wrong answers or, rather, that there are different versions of right and wrong answers based on our differing beliefs. That’s something that’s been lost, I think. People get so caught up in their ideology that they fail to see that the other side feels just as strongly about what they believe. The real answers are to be found in the in between space that has become political suicide for people to inhabit. The new third-rail of politics is admitting the other side may have a point – and that’s a dangerous place for us to be.
For that reason, I’m joining the Demand Question Time movement. Aside from the funny name, which reminds me of something straight out of elementary school, it’s a smart idea. This bipartisan group of journalists, politicos, and bloggers were also moved by what they saw last Friday and think that more exchanges like that would be a good thing for our democracy, and I agree. So sign the petition, follow them on Twitter, find them on Facebook, and, most importantly, tell your friends.