Donald Trump’s behavior is, as Sen. Ben Sasse tweeted, “beneath and dignity” of his office.
Please just stop. This isn't normal and it's beneath the dignity of your office.
— Ben Sasse (@BenSasse) June 29, 2017
There’s really no other excuse or twisted reasoning and fig leaves to explain President Trump’s latest disgusting tweets.
Nobody in the White House has the courage to stand up to Trump, who can (and has demonstrated his willingness to) fire people for insufficient loyalty.
But Congress does have a weapon of shame in its arsenal, one that falls short of actual impeachment, but has some moral force behind it. Congress can vote to reprimand–censure–the president.
resident JOHN TYLER was reprimanded in 1842 by the House of Representatives, which accused him of abusing his powers. Apparently Tyler had promised representatives on several occasions that he would support certain bills, only to VETO them when they arrived at his desk. In 1848, President JAMES K. POLK was reprimanded by the House for starting the Mexican War without first obtaining Congressional approval. In 1864, President ABRAHAM LINCOLN and his secretary of war, EDWIN STANTON, were condemned by the Senate for allowing an elected member of the House to hold commissions in the Army. The Senate voted for the reprimand 24 to 12, but it was referred to a special committee and no further action was taken.
Failing to issue a formal reprimand only encourages and enables future (and worse?) descents into depravity. Honestly, there’s probably nothing more important on Congress’ desks before July 4 than dealing with this.
Both Speaker Paul Ryan and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell should get their staffs to write it up and issue a joint resolution to formally reprimand Trump. He’ll spin out of control and have a tantrum, but the act will have been done.
Maybe he will be more careful in the future after receiving censure from Congress, or maybe he’ll be more reckless. But then they can censure him again (and again) until he complies, or finds himself hopelessly cut off from everyone who cares about this country.
I strongly urge Congress to use the best weapon they have, even if it’s symbolic. Otherwise, we have to assume that, as a group, Congress is just fine with an adolescent in the White House.