This year a handful of legislators from opposing parties will be sitting together, including some pretty big names like Sen. Chuckie Schumer (D) and Sen. John McCain (R) (though those two won't be sitting together). A big Thank You to Sen. Mark Udall from Colorado who came up with this idea.
Do I think that this will end partisanship in Washington D.C.? No, but I actually agree with something that Schumer said (Never thought I'd ever say that!), "It's true it's symbolic, but let's not forget (that) oftentimes in history, symbols influence reality."
I think that I have to thank the Rally to Restore Sanity for this turn of events (and the mid-term elections). Though the motivation for the rally was for Jon Stewart to thumb his nose at Glenn Beck's Restoring Honor rally, a couple of months before, the result demonstrated how sick people are of the contentiousness in Washington.
When you couple that with the dismal mid-term elections for the Democrats, they realized that they're going to have to work with the Republicans if a) they want to keep the Republicans from working to dismantle everything they did in the past two years, b) they want to accomplish anything on their agenda in the next two years.
I realize that we're not in fairy-land. I know that we have some contentious times ahead, but this is a very encouraging start. And even if it happens this one time, and the next day they're back at each others' throats, I will be thankful for the one day. It's better than nothing.