Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) reports that House Democrats are considering the lesser option of censuring the President as an alternative to impeachment. Khanna said, “The advantage of that is it can be done with the House. We can hold the president accountable and say that his actions are unethical, and he’s engaged in blatant misconduct and that there can be some accountability for future presidents. It’s a permanent mark on the president’s record.”
Khanna added that, “it would send a warning to future administrations that Congress won’t sit idle in the face of presidential malfeasance.”
The advantage of censuring the President is that the measure could easily be passed without a single Republican vote. In a minor way, the House Democrats could deliver a slap on the wrist to Trump and there would be few electoral repercussions.
The Hill’s Mike Lillis explains that, “A censure resolution — essentially a public reprimand — lacks the teeth of impeachment’s intrinsic threat to remove a sitting president. But supporters say it would send a clear and immediate message to voters that Democrats are taking seriously their constitutional responsibility to be a check on executive misconduct.”
Former Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) weighed in. He said, “The advantage is it perhaps becomes a strategic substitute to an impeachment process that could backfire electorally. The disadvantage is that it could negatively impair the investigations that House Democrats are conducting.”
Israel added, “If you pass a censure resolution, I suppose an argument could be made that you no longer need these investigations because you’ve already censured the guy.”
There are several very good reasons for House Democrats to consider censure instead of impeachment.
First, given the current Republican majority in the Senate, House Democrats are well aware that Trump will not be convicted, and a move to impeach him could hurt their chances in 2020.
Second, the Mueller investigation concluded that Trump did not collude with the Russians to win the election, a claim they’ve been making for over two years.
The majority of voters are opposed to impeachment. Most Americans believe the Mueller Report cleared the President.
Finally, not that any Democrats would be willing to admit it, but a censure resolution would offer them a graceful way out of their current situation. They have painted themselves into a corner with their dishonest rhetoric. As it becomes more apparent that Trump has done nothing wrong, and as investigators such as DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and Prosecutor John Durham get closer to the truth about Democratic wrongdoing, a simple censure vote (sooner rather than later) would allow them to end the farce while saving face (maybe).
Regardless of Khanna’s remarks, House Democrats appear to be all over the map on this issue. Pelosi is opposed because she knows it’s a losing issue for their party, yet Nadler seems hell bent on impeachment. But even true Trump-haters like Maxine Waters “admitsher crusade to impeach the President lacks voter support.”
Recently The Wall Street Journal’s Peggy Noonan wrote an op-ed calling for the House to censure President Trump. Her column was very condescending. She wrote:
Congressional censure would be a formal registering not of Congress’s political disapproval but its moral disapproval…Republicans, who control the Senate, wouldn’t vote to remove the president, but to morally disapprove of him? They would…There’s plenty of suppressed resentment there at how he’s mortified them and lowered things...
Trump would have liked to subvert the investigation but wasn’t good at it and was foiled by his staff…
There are seemingly dangled pardons and threatened firings. There’s a hapless small-timeness to it, a kind of brute dumbness, and towering over it all is a grubby business deal in Moscow.
Trump was not going to let that one go. He fired back:
Peggy Noonan, the simplistic writer for Trump Haters all, is stuck in the past glory of Reagan and has no idea what is happening with the Radical Left Democrats, or how vicious and desperate they are. Mueller had to correct his ridiculous statement, Peggy never understood it!
Here’s hoping that some damning revelations about the deep state coup come out before House Dems are able to sort this out.