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Centrist group seeks to turn down the temperature, foster bipartisanship

In the wake of the shootings in Arizona, the head of the centrist group Third Way penned a letter to congressional leaders with suggestions of ways to turn down the temperature on political rhetoric and build more bipartisanship.

Among the suggestions:

1. Mixed (bipartisan) seating at the SOTU, to avoid the spectacle of one side jumping up to applaud and the other sitting glumly.
2. A bipartisan retreat for each house of Congress.
3. Regular visits to the district/state of a member of a different party.

The letter is addressed to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In it, Third Way President Jonathan Cowan writes:

"This is a moment of tragedy and reflection for the body you lead. We believe--as you all do--that perhaps a greater, more enduring sense of comity and common purpose can emerge from the senselessness in Tucson. We also share you belief that civility can fit comfortably with strong political views and that profound substantive disagreements about the governance of our nation can be deliberated without vitriol."

Here's the full letter.