Censure for this Administration

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Male Bonding etc, Jul 22, 2007.

  1. Male Bonding etc

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    Just saw Senator Russ Feingold on Meet the Press and support his efforts to censure this president and this administration. Wisconsin is fortunate to have such an outspoken and determined senator. The rest of us need to encourage our senators and representatives to support censure (since so few are willing to pursue impeachment).
     
  2. mindseye

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    Sadly, I think censure is too little, too late, but I'm glad Feingold's at least standing up for something.
     
  3. B_big dirigible

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    This has the same relationship to politics that Sheryl Crow's plan to use only one square of toilet paper has to science. That is, not much. It's bloviation and grandstanding, intended only to impress the ignorant.

    There is no mechanism by which congress can censure a member of another branch of government. And properly so. If, say, the House really feels that it must censure someone to make the week complete, it could censure William Jefferson (D, La) for being clumsy enough to let himself be filmed putting sacks of bribery money in his car. That would be a proper use of censureship.

    Congress can censure congressmen. It can censure nobody else. The only hold congress has over the other branches of government is impeachment. Period. Talk to the contrary is, at best, mere whistling past the graveyard, and at worst, an attempted con of the electorate.

    And in this case, there isn't the slightest shred of a ghost of a chance of impeaching the president, and I doubt that even Barbara Boxer is so stupid as to think that there is. When they make noises to the contrary, they're just talking big for the cameras, and relying on the fact that so many Americans don't know any better.

    If you let a congressman fool you into thinking that his endless wheedling on TV is some great accomplishment, you have only yourself to blame.
     
  4. dong20

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    Well 'Congress' comprises both houses. But while Congress as in House of Represenatives can't as I understand it, the Senate has done so before. Admittedly it was a long while ago, only happened once and it was later reversed. That probably says a good deal about presidential accountability.

    Like BD I'm not convinced censure would be constitutional (or any other punishment that than impeachment), but then neither is executive privilege but that's none the less quite real, as recent events have demonstrated. Wasn't there a senate resolution 398 seeking to censure Bush last year or something...as well as one in 1999 against Clinton?

    Back in 1999, Ashcroft said:

    “The Constitution recognizes that if a President cannot be removed through impeachment, he should not be weakened by censure.”

    I have to agree with that, as I agree with BD - not a snowball's chance in hell.
     
  5. D_Cleon W Ballbreath IV

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    big dirigible said: ... there isn't the slightest shred of a ghost of a chance of impeaching the president ...

    Why not? Impeachment only takes a simple majority in the House. The following trial in the Senate requires a 2/3 majority for removal from office.

    If you mean they lack the will or desire then they should all be voted out next time around. If not this administration then who should be impeached / removed from office / criminally prosecuted / hung for treason?

    That so many members of Congress admit that impeachable offenses have been committed yet refuse to act is a violation of their oaths to defend the Constitution.
     
  6. dong20

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    What's simple about achieving that?
     
  7. whatireallywant

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    I think what he means that if half +1 of the people vote that way, then it's a "simple majority". As opposed to measures that require a 2/3 majority vote, in which of course 2/3 of the people have to vote that way for the measure to be passed.
     
  8. dong20

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    I understand the maths, that wasn't my question.:rolleyes:
     
  9. SteveHd

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    For my amusement I did a search for the words "impeach impeachment" ...

    Threads: 83
    Posts: 254

    Anyone tired of that?
     
  10. Male Bonding etc

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    I guess I've just been called ignorant and stupid. Fine, I don't know if the Senate can actually censure another branch or not, and that does indeed make me ignorant of something. At the risk of being called even stupider than origionally thought, let me suggest that sometimes one has to make a show even if it is known going in that it won't carry any legal weight.

    In this case there is still gridlock in Congress because there is still not enough of a majority on most substantial issues to override a presidential veto. So, make a show of something that lets the electorate in this country and those paying attention in the rest of the world know that we are NOT turning a blind eye to this administration's misbehavior. Furthermore, knock that much of a chink out of the oppostition to investigating this gang in office, and we may see them get away with less than they have been getting away with, even if they can't be removed from office in the next 17 months.

    Okay, I've stupidly insisted that we have to do something rather than stupidly sit and watch this crew abuse the Constitution and run rough-shod over all opposition. Tell me which is stupider... or better yet, tell me what the SMART thing to do is when you are stuck with a rougue administration like this one!
     
  11. dong20

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    I suspect the thought being that futile action is just that, futile. Also that the media circus such talk generates merely distracts from the abuses that will continue under the cover it provides.

    I'm generalising here of course, but it seems to me, from my remove that American politics and thus the American people are approaching a decision point; to actively re-assert proper checks over the actions of the Executive - to force it not just follow the 'letter' of the constitution but also its spirit (though I accept the latter is somewhat idealistic); or, to accept that the apparent trend toward political self interest at all costs and a conviction by the Executive that it is above the constitution rather than subservient to it is in fact acceptable.

    Surely, the longer this decision is deferred the more difficult and more painful change will become and the more likely the current (if I read things right) unaccptable situation will become a de facto state of normality. Making grandiose gestures about censure and impeachment, knowing they will almost certainly come to naught is more about creating an illusion of action, while conveniently positioning those voices as patriotic and virtuous - appealing to naive voter sentiments. It's assuredly not about trying to enforce real accountability, that's the last thing such people want.
     
  12. agnslz

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    I'm not.


    I'm curious, MBe, do you think either of our senators would support this if it ever came to a vote? Particularly 'St. Pete'?:rolleyes::tongue:
     
  13. submit452

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    I'd like to see the whole of bush/ Cheney and Rumsfeld/Rice to be prosecuted to the fullest extent, but that being said, I think no one will be made to atone for history's worst war. But the Bus Admin as a whole cries out for impeachment and Federal prison.
     
  14. dong20

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    You think Iraq (I assume?) meets that criteria...seriously.
     
  15. kalipygian

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    Any deliberative body can pass a resolution censuring someone, just as they could vote to commend someone.

    It would be funny to see him threaten to veto it.
     
  16. Male Bonding etc

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    Well, I was thrilled that St. Pete (Senator Domenici to those from elsewhere) brought himself to break as much as he has with the administration on the Iraq War. However, he'll probably still stick with the Republican majority unless things REALLY start to unravel for this administration. Senator Bingaman is well intentioned, and I tend to agree with his position on most things, but he is also less assertive than I wish he'd be (sorry, Jeff, but it's true!)
     
  17. Male Bonding etc

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    Very thoughtful post, Dong. I thank you for addressing the crux of the matter here.

    Of course, I'd prefer that something leading to REAL action be inititiated, and I know full well that most of our politicians are just as likely to abuse the Constitution as this administration is. Grandiose gestures in and of themselves are not what we need. Illusions of action are not what we need.

    However, we've been lulled, cajoled, tricked, frightened, and bullied into such a compromised position that we have to figure out a way to get the inertia moving back in the direction of having those proper checks you mention over the administration. If you know that the big actions are going to be futile, then perhaps you can start with the little actions.
     
  18. SteveHd

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    Dong, apparently the 55,000,000 dead in WW-II isn't relevant anymore.:rolleyes:
     
  19. dong20

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    Well of course, worst is not entirely neatly definable. Should we be charitable and assume he is just 18 and meant the worst war in his lifetime? Even then, Rwanda may have it beat, and even if not in numbers certainly in terms of sheer, mindless brutality.

    Oh yes, let's also assume he was off school the day they taught history.:rolleyes:
     
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