Pioneer Editorial: Time to heal both sides with SOTU
President Barack Obama will have the opportunity Tuesday evening to prove to the American public that the unusual bipartisanship of the recent lame duck session of Congress was no fluke.
In giving the annual State of the Union Address, President Obama can lay out a course that first and foremost puts the economy first, and secondly on laying out an agenda that a bipartisan Congress can accomplish.
The signs are good.
An effort by some members of Congress, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar among them, to have the membes sit mngled among themselves is a good start. It has grown and we should see it take effect Tuesday. It's almost embarrassing to see one side of he aisle hoot and holler, standing up at every break by the president between sentences while the other side of the aisle frowns and sits on their hands.
And the president's speech should not be a scoldy speech but rather an optimistic one, outlining hat a compromising Congress can accomplish. Sure, he should not ask either side to give up their principles, but then he should seek areas of accomplishment where neither side needs give up their principles.
Moving the economy ahead has to be an issue where compromise can be found, and without again increasing the federal deficit. An accord must be found between Republicans and Democrats that begins to get a handle on the growing federal deficit.
The 2010 elections have shown that the nation is not yet ready for the kind of change candidate Obama was talking about. But it also does not want to see the middle class stagnate while the wealthy continue to get richer and richer. There must be middle ground, and it is up to President Obama to find that middle ground.
Left alone to their own volition, we fear the Republican House and Democrat Senate will settle for gridlock for the next two years. It is up to President Obama to knit the fabric of compromise together to get the people's work done.
That stars with the State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.