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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

A perfect case for no labels

Monday, January 16, 2012

Most Americans, no matter which party they're in, want Congress to work together. They understand that extreme partisanship has led to gridlock and an inability to solve our problems.

A perfect time to put aside partisan differences is during the President's State of the Union address. Instead of sitting by party on different sides of the aisle, we should sit together with no division showing political affiliation.

No Political Labels

I've joined with about a dozen other members of Congress from both sides of the aisle in a movement by a group known as No Labels to call for bipartisan seating at this year's State of the Union address on Jan. 24.

Last year many of us voluntarily sat together at the State of the Union. People had fun with it calling it, "Date Night Under the Dome." My "date" started out with my Republican colleague Mike Johanns. Eventually the entire Nebraska delegation sat together as Nebraskans and as Americans, rather than separated by party affiliation.

It may seem like a small thing, but it's not because of the message it sends to America and because when you sit together as friends it makes it easier to work together to find common ground on the problems facing our nation.

Tear Down This Aisle

I felt so strongly about it last year I suggested sitting together all the time either by state or alphabetical order but not by party. My thought was to not just bridge the aisle but to get rid of the aisle paraphrasing the words of a Republican President, Ronald Reagan, "Mr. President, get rid of this aisle."

In my calls for more bipartisanship in Congress I have often quoted the words of a former Nebraska Senator, the late Ed Zorinsky, who said, "there are too many Republican Senators and too many Democratic Senators and not enough United States Senators."

In the true spirit of bipartisanship I should also quote an Independent, Senator Joe Lieberman, who says of the No Labels night, "When we sit together as Americans rather than as partisans we can begin sending the message that we are willing to stand up for the powerful principle of putting progress before partisanship."

Speaking With One Voice

Americans are at our best when we speak with one voice and it begins with a display of unity showing the nation that Congress can put aside differences and compromise in order to move forward and solve problems. There is more that unites us than divides us. A visual showing at the State of the Union Address is only the beginning, but it's an important step toward working together for the good of all.

No Labels seating may be a symbolic gesture, yet it's a welcome gesture by the public which has expressed growing dissatisfaction with the partisan divide in Congress and the inability to work together for the good of the country. As the No Labels group states, "No left -- no right -- forward!"

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Isn't funny how nobody was calling for "No Labels" when Bush was president. We need to get ride of the labels when a far left Liberal is sitting in the oval office. We'll see if they are calling for no labels when a Republican is president.

When this country was most unified after Sept 2001, Jay Rockefeller (D, New York) circulated a memo about how if the country was allowed to unite behind Bush that would spell trouble for the Democrat Party majorities and detailed how the Democrat's could prevent it. Interesting isn't it Senator Nelson how is is fine for the Democrats to divide this country when a Republican is in office after one of the most trying time this country ever faced.

No Labels means that conservatives roll over and give liberals whatever they want.

-- Posted by Todd Cappel on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 4:07 PM

Todd - you obviously haven't looked into No Labels. It is a group of REPUBLICANS, democrats and independents. The group was not formed to favor one political tribe over another - it was formed to encourage the partisanship divide to be put aside to move this country forward ("not left, not right, but forward). If this volley/back-forth divide continues, it will not matter who is in office since neither party will be able to accomplish anything unless a single party holds control of all factions of government (which we know is not good). The finger pointing needs to stop and the parties need to work together to straighten out the mess that we call "government" (whether cutting programs, funding, or tax issues).

-- Posted by Perry Fender on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 1:02 AM

When exactly was No Labels formed? I appears that it was formed after the historic 2010 elections of the house of representatives. I am fully aware there are Republicans a part of this group. The Republicans allow liberals in their party. How many conservative, Reagan Democrats are left in the Democrat party? They ran Zell Miller out of the party and any other Democrat that worked in a bi-partisan fashion with conservatives. I actually think that gridlock in government is a good thing. It teaches people how to solve there problems without the government.

-- Posted by Todd Cappel on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 10:51 AM

How about forgetting about the parties for awhile and work as Americans to get the country back in order.THEN CLEAN HOUSE

-- Posted by rifleman on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 2:58 PM

Those who throw dirt are sure to lose ground.

-- Posted by Kid Kokamo on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 10:34 AM

"I actually think that gridlock in government is a good thing. It teaches people how to solve there problems without the government."

Yeah, letting tax cuts expire is great.....

-- Posted by bberry on Thu, Jan 19, 2012, at 6:16 PM

The tax cuts are only temporary. The government only extends them just during election years. Do you honestly believe that a liberal leaning government intends on making them permanent? Let them expire and this country will see real and lasting tax reform where everyone can participate equally. Which political party wants to make them permanent? I really don't see the problem with identifying the different ideas of how this country should exist. If you can't attached a label to it or identify it properly, how does one know how to vote?

-- Posted by Todd Cappel on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 5:51 AM

Labeling decisions with a R and L is just dumb. It leaves no room for a sound decision. In every part of govt there has to be room to work. Take taxes for example in some areas they probably should be risen and others lowered. Now you have a Rep that sees the need for the tax but won't vote for it because it will go on their voting record as a broad number saying they voted for tax increases. Same with about any issue.

Heck with the way people view things now and the way they are voting in Washington we might as well just have machines vote or not even worry about a vote. Just have people vote for a R or D at elections and that will be the tally for each piece of legislation put forth until the next cycle of election for each branch.

Labels have created this monster, because no one is willing to put them down for the good of the country.

-- Posted by carlsonl on Fri, Jan 20, 2012, at 3:04 PM

I'm pretty sure there will never been a time where everyone participates in taxes equally.

-- Posted by bberry on Sat, Jan 21, 2012, at 11:19 AM

There will never be real reform in the taxcode as long as there are million/billionaires running the country.

That includes most of the congressmen/women, that if not in that group, will be after a short time in D.C.

This also includes the shadow companies behind the lobbyists.Time to put restrictions on lobbyists, stop the super PACS. Way too many people have blinders on one side of their eyeglasses, be it right or left.

Time for the people elected to represent "the people" actually represent them, not the big money outfits that "buy" influence. Stop the crap of blaming the "liberals" or the "conservatives" for everything, compromise for the good of the country.

-- Posted by goarmy67 on Tue, Jan 24, 2012, at 11:41 AM


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