February 11, 2010

Demand Question Time

By now I'm sure you've heard about President Obama's meeting with House Republicans in Baltimore a few weeks ago. The meeting was one of the most interesting in recent political memory, a refreshing change of pace from the "Washington as usual" game of sound bites and grandstanding.

In the wake of the meeting, a group of "activists, writers, bloggers, journalists, technologists, philanthropists and politicos" got together with a simple petition:

America could use more of this — an unfettered and public airing of political differences by our elected representatives. So we call on President Barack Obama and House Minority Leader John Boehner to hold these sessions regularly — and allow them to be broadcast and webcast live and without commercial interruption, sponsorship or intermediaries. We also urge the President and the Republican Senate caucus to follow suit. And we ask the President and the House and Senate caucuses of his own party to consider mounting similar direct question-and-answer sessions. We will ask future Presidents and Congresses to do the same.

Demand Question Time is based on the idea that our political discourse is bettered by the free and open debate of ideas. If you agree, you may want to consider signing their pledge.

Gathering over 15,000 signatures, it has gained wide bipartisan support. Both Grover Norquist and the president of MoveOn.org have signed on, along with countless others.

Here is the video from the event. The Q&A portion begins about 19 minutes in.