State of the Union Inspires Some Republicans to Reach Across the Aisle

congress listening to the state of the unionOne of the best moments during last night's State of the Union was when President Obama said, "I'm a Democrat, but I believe what Republican Abraham Lincoln believed that government should do for people only what they cannot do for themselves and no more." How could that not resonate with "limited-government" Republicans? And furthermore, how could it not resonate with anyone in Congress who has ever reached out across the aisle? The quote embodies the bipartisan spirit the Commander-in-Chief was going for.

And believe it or not, there were a few politicians on the right -- some who have in the past vehemently disagreed with the president -- who went so far as to make comments that would have you believe that although they're Republicans, they believe (at least some of) what Democrat President Obama had to say last night. Good for them!  

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Rep. James Lankford (Okla.) appreciated the president giving props to the greatest generation, while Darrell Issa (Calif.) praised Obama for setting the groundwork for dealing with intellectual property on the web. Many Republicans talked about how they appreciated how a theme of respect for our military and praise for our troops overseas permeated the speech.

One reaction that was particularly telling was when Rep. Jeff Landry (Louisiana) said, "If you close your eyes, a lot of the things [Obama] says sounds great." Interesting. Maybe he's implying there that sometimes his colleagues are quick to disagree with the President or other Democrats if only because they're on the other side of the aisle. But clearly, it's possible for all members of Congress to "close their eyes" and take one another's ideas at face value instead of getting swept up in partisan politics

After all, reaching across the aisle and working to understand one another better is pretty much the key to getting things done and fixing our broken Washington. I'm impressed with and proud of these Republicans who didn't give in to a knee-jerk partisan reaction, who were fair enough to give the President credit where credit's due. Simply put, they set an example of fairness, much like the "economic fairness" Obama spoke of in his speech last night. If we can strive for that more and more, while doing our best to see eye-to-eye, we'll be in much better shape. 

Don't you wish they could all just get along more often?

 

Image via Whitehouse.gov

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