Date night at SOTU

The idea of bipartisan seating at tonight’s State of the Union address picked up steam over the weekend, AP’s Laurie Kellman reports, and now dozens of House and Senate members have paired up for the evening. The Courant’s Daniela Altimari says Connecticut’s two senators and Rep. Joe Courtney are among them; other members of the delegation have yet to weigh in.

The mixed seating proposal has serious origins–the idea is to display Congressional unity and civility following the shootings in Tucson that left six people dead and 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, injured. But that hasn’t stopped bloggers and journalists from weighing in with their tongue-in-cheek observations, including Annie Groer at Politics Daily.

Some members of Congress also have taken a lighthearted approach, like Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who took to Twitter Monday to bemoan his lack of a Democratic “date” and to muse, “If I sit with a RINO, does that count?”

And then there are those who are not with the program at all, like Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga. As noted by AOL’s David Knowles and many others, Broun said on a talk radio program he things the mixed-seating idea “is a trap and a ruse that the Democrats are proposing.”

“They don’t want civility, they want silence from the Republicans,” Broun said. “And sitting together being kissy kissy is just another way to silence Republicans and also to show, to keep the American people from seeing how few of them there are in the U.S. House now. And when people stand up to what the Democrats are doing when Barack Obama spews his venom, then if they’re scattered throughout the Republicans, it won’t be as noticeable if the Republicans sit apart.”