Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Playing Hardball

Major League Baseball has returned for another season. In honor of this great American tradition, our leaders in Washington should take a break from all the partisan gridlock and take to the field for a game.

Members of Congress live in a world full of single-caucus lunches and partisan rhetoric with little opportunity to get to know their peers. They spend less time in Washington than in years past. And when they are in the Capitol Building they spend less time socializing with their fellow members and more time fundraising for political action committees.

During recent State of the Union addresses, members of Congress have chosen to break the tradition of sitting by party in order to sit with their colleagues across the aisle. Most members picked their dates by connecting with members from their home states or those who share committee assignments. Many argue that one day a year is not enough. There are others who have advocated that members spend more time in D.C. and share apartments to build relationships. But there is a simpler solution: baseball.

The game has already begun to help bring fellow Members of Congress together. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said of his experience playing that “In many cases, it’s the only interaction we’ll have with some of the Democrats we don’t serve on committees with, so you really get to build relationships with people you’d otherwise not run into.”

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