2006-03-13

Censure

US Senator Russ Feingold has announced that he will introduce a resolution tomorrow to censure President Bush for authorizing an illegal warrantless domestic surveillance program. Feingold said President Bush’s actions were “right in the strike zone of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors." [link]

This is an interesting development - especially since it will probably fail.

Censuring the president is a step below impeachment and will not result in the President being removed from office. Nevertheless, it is a serious charge that will essentially label the president as a lawbreaker.

But with a congress controlled by the GOP, why even attempt to introduce it?

My gut feeling is that, by the time the mid-term elections get held at the end of this year, Bush and the Republican party will be even more unpopular with American voters. The Republicans have an unpleasant choice - to either continue to support a president who is obviously out of control, or to take a moral stand against him. Both choices are bad for the Republicans.

By introducing the bill now, and having it fail because of Republican opposition, Democrats could then have a handy political tool at their disposal. Assuming that Bush's unpopularity continues to afflict mainstream America, Democrats could easily use a refusal to censure in their political advertising. "Why vote for ____?" the TV ad would go, "He/she didn't think Bush's actions were wrong. Do you really want such a person in congress?"

Again, this is the big problem for the GOP - Mud that sticks. Republican Reps and Senators have the nasty choice of either alienating their own party by supporting a censure, or alienating the mainstream by sticking up for the president.

But, as Ray Patterson says to the residents of Springfield in the Simpsons episode Trash of the Titans:

Oh...oh, gosh...you know, I'm not much on speeches, but it's so gratifying to leave you wallowing in the mess you've made. You're screwed, thank you, bye.


From the One Salient Overlord Department

© 2006 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

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3 comments:

CraigS said...

Why vote for ____?" the TV ad would go, "He/she didn't think Bush's actions were wrong. Do you really want such a person in congress?"

Hmmm...not the snappiest TV slogan I've ever heard... ;-)

One Salient Oversight said...

How about this then Craig?

Dear Persons,

The elected executive of this geopolitical enitity has admitted that he has persued policies and actions that transgress the statutes set down by the constitutional body responsible for such statutes, and, as a result, should have been placed under censure for said actions but for the actions of a majority of members who have decided that loyalty to the executive was more important that loyalty to the nation's legal statutes, and should, forthwith, be dispensed with through the normative electoral process soon to occur within this particular state or province.

Derek W. said...

_The Republicans have an unpleasant choice - to either continue to support a president who is obviously out of control, or to take a moral stand against him. Both choices are bad for the Republicans._

Er, why would taking a moral stand against Bush be bad for the Republicans? It seems to me that is the best possible option for them right now. Plus, it would be the right thing to do. ; )