Thursday, March 23, 2006

Censure him

After first reacting with the media-induced "this is bad for Democrats" response to Feingold's call for censure, I have begun to change my opinion.

First of all, I don't think it's political dynamite for Democrats. A Newsweek poll found that 42% of Americans are in favor of censure. While that's not a majority, it's hardly a tiny, radical fraction of the political spectrum. A respectable portion of the political mainstream thinks it's appropriate. If Democrats are only going to speak out for ideas that receive clear majority support, they're never going to control the debate or make any real change in Washington. As Peter Beinart points out in the New Republic, sometimes you have to take bold positions to begin and redefine what's considered "mainstream." Supporting a position held by 42% of Americans is hardly a deadly risk. Even those Americans who don't favor censure will hardly punish Democrats for formally criticizing a president with a 36% approval rating.

But more importantly, censure is simply the right thing to do. President Bush overreached the bounds of the Constitution, flagrantly ignored statutory law, and then lied about it. If censure is considered too radical a response, then our entire system of checks and balances has fallen to the wayside.


At March 23, 2006 5:29 PM, Blogger Gilbert Martinez said...

I'm with Kevin:

It's not censure or impeachment that Republicans are really worried about if they lose control of Congress. It's subpoenas. If they lose the ability to block Democrats from conducting genuine investigations backed by the subpoena power of Congress, the jig is up. And they know it.

A Democratic Congress in '06 will result in the end of many GOP political careers. I'll be happy to have any criminals punished appropriately.

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