UK-Style Question Time Isn't What US Needs

Terror threat calls for unity, not more partisanship
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2010 8:34 AM CST
Conservative leader David Cameron questions Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons.    (AP Photo/AP)

(Newser) – Question Time—in which opposition British politicians grill the prime minister every week—is great political theater but probably wouldn't translate so well to the US, writes Peggy Noonan. The idea has its pluses, but American politicians don't seem able to insult each other with the skill and elegance of their British counterparts.They're conflicted about showing aggression, and tend to go under or over the line, Noonan writes in the Wall Street Journal.

What the country needs is not weekly showdowns but less bitter partisanship, Noonan writes. Security chiefs agree that it's certain that America will face another major attempt at a terrorist attack within the next 6 months, she notes. After such a calamity, Republicans and Democrats will stop trying to use national security to score political points and will work together, "for a while," she writes. "It would be better to do it now. It is their job to do it now."

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