Congress can and should #CensureThePresident

Donald Trump’s behavior is, as Sen. Ben Sasse tweeted, “beneath and dignity” of his office.

There’s really no other excuse or twisted reasoning and fig leaves to explain President Trump’s latest disgusting tweets.

Nobody in the White House has the courage to stand up to Trump, who can (and has demonstrated his willingness to) fire people for insufficient loyalty.

But Congress does have a weapon of shame in its arsenal, one that falls short of actual impeachment, but has some moral force behind it. Congress can vote to reprimand–censure–the president.

resident JOHN TYLER was reprimanded in 1842 by the House of Representatives, which accused him of abusing his powers. Apparently Tyler had promised representatives on several occasions that he would support certain bills, only to VETO them when they arrived at his desk. In 1848, President JAMES K. POLK was reprimanded by the House for starting the Mexican War without first obtaining Congressional approval. In 1864, President ABRAHAM LINCOLN and his secretary of war, EDWIN STANTON, were condemned by the Senate for allowing an elected member of the House to hold commissions in the Army. The Senate voted for the reprimand 24 to 12, but it was referred to a special committee and no further action was taken.

Failing to issue a formal reprimand only encourages and enables future (and worse?) descents into depravity. Honestly, there’s probably nothing more important on Congress’ desks before July 4 than dealing with this.

Both Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should get their staffs to write it up and issue a joint resolution to formally reprimand Trump. He’ll spin out of control and have a tantrum, but the act will have been done.

Maybe he will be more careful in the future after receiving censure from Congress, or maybe he’ll be more reckless. But then they can censure him again (and again) until he complies, or finds himself hopelessly cut off from everyone who cares about this country.

I strongly urge Congress to use the best weapon they have, even if it’s symbolic. Otherwise, we have to assume that, as a group, Congress is just fine with an adolescent in the White House.

Steve Berman

Editor

Editor of The New Americana. God, family, and country, in that order. With the exception of God, the other two cannot prosper without a firm belief in all three.

5 Comments
  1. What exactly are they reprimanding him for? Calling out fake news? Calling out unfair media bias? I’ve never seen a president have continuing pep rallies before, but it’s not wrong just because Trump is doing it. Do I wish he’d lay off the tweets? Sure, but a reprimand?

    1. Very specifically: they should reprimand the president for directly and insultingly tweeting ignorant and hateful personal comments about members of the media and others that demean the office. All Bill Clinton did was commit a sexual act in the Oval Office, and they were all over him for lying about it. They could have censured him instead of impeaching. It appears to be the “sense of Congress” based on their own responses that this is beneath the office. If they’re serious about him stopping then they should censure him. Otherwise, why respond at all?

      1. “All Bill Clinton did was commit a sexual act in the Oval Office, and they were all over him for lying about it.”

        Can’t believe you say that. Clinton was impeached for committing perjury before a federal grand jury. The Legislative Branch of the US Gov’t should do what regarding the Executive Branch? for tweeting “ignorant and hateful personal comments…”

        I was a never Trumper until 5 weeks before the election, and I marvel at the tactics that Trump employs against what? the Media you said? No, they are a propaganda arm for the Dem-Socialist confederacy. I’d say 8 years of Constitutional destruction by the previous POTUS was “beneath the office.”

        1. 1. I was being tongue-in-cheek about Clinton.
          2. A censure carries with it no penalty except it is the “sense of Congress” that the president was out of line.
          3. All the statements I’m hearing from Congress is that the president was out of line.
          4. There is no excusing Trump’s direct personal attacks, using revolting language and imagery, on individuals in the press, not relevant to their jobs, but to their appearance etc. It’s uncalled for and uncouth.
          5. Trump’s personal attacks will not end the MSM’s shilling for Democrats, it’s only for his personal enjoyment.
          6. The next president may be a Democrat doing this to you or me.

  2. Censure would be at the very least embarrassing to any elected official but Trump can not be embarrassed. To do so would require him to have some sense of honor and, he continues to act in an un-dignified because he lacks any dignity. Of course the alternative was Hillary and I don’t know what’s worse; a mindless boor or a treasonous criminal.

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