Monday, July 23, 2007

To censure or not to censure

By Edward Copeland

Sen. Russ Feingold has resurrected his censure idea against Dubya and various co-conspirators within his administration and once again I'm torn. Do they deserve censure? Yes. Do the deserve impeachment? Absolutely. Should it be pursued? I'm not so sure. I actually found myself agreeing with David Brooks on Meet the Press yesterday when he said that there are as many as 30 Republicans in the Senate on the verge of breaking on Iraq for good and to turn the debate into one on censure or impeachment would only serve to have them running back toward party unity instead of away from it.

Feingold proposes two measures:


The first would seek to reprimand Bush for, as Feingold described it, getting the nation into war without adequate military preparation and for issuing misleading public statements. The resolution also would cite Vice President Dick Cheney and perhaps other administration officials.

The second measure would seek to censure Bush for what the Democrat called a continuous assault against the rule of law through such efforts as the warrantless surveillance program against suspected terrorists, Feingold said. It would also ask for a reprimand of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and maybe others.

While Dubya, Darth Cheney and the gang certainly deserve punishment, I think our priority must be ending this war and not allowing distractions to further delay this more than it will already be delayed just because of the massive logistics involved in such a redeployment. Certainly, I question whether the wavering Republicans will ever put their votes where their mouths are, but I have to believe it's more likely if it's seen as both parties and the country uniting against an intransigent presidency than if it becomes a blatantly partisan fight over punishing his misdeeds.

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