August 4, 2014

JOHN FUND: Don’t Impeach Obama, Censure Him.

The Congressional Research Service has identified a number of historical precedents in which the Senate or the House has adopted a resolution of censure or disapproval of a president or other executive or judicial officers. Indeed, in 1998, Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein and 37 co-sponsors introduced a joint resolution in the Senate that enumerated President Clinton’s various misdeeds, and “condemn[ed] his wrongful conduct in the strongest terms.” Likewise, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic members of the House proposed similar resolutions, declaring that President Clinton’s actions “fully deserve the censure and condemnation of the American people and the Congress.”

It is important for our overall political health that we focus our criticism on President Obama’s unconstitutional acts and omissions rather than on the president himself. Lawmakers can word a censure resolution carefully to do this. Impeachment, on the other hand, would inevitably be viewed by many as a personal attack on President Obama.

Which is, of course, what he wants.