InfoMullet: A Gift-Wrapped Censure Motion
TLDRUpFront: If the Democrats were waiting for a gift-wrapped, color-coded, easy-bake, pre-chewed, and incontrovertible kid-friendly portion of #Resistance to serve the President, filing Censure motions for his comment on accepting foreign intelligence on domestic candidates would be about as good as it gets.
FullContext in the Back:
The President’s comments broadcast last night on TV is a gift-wrapped opportunity for a Censure Motion for House Democrats. As the video shows,
“Asked by ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos in the Oval Office on Wednesday whether his campaign would accept such information from foreigners — such as China or Russia — or hand it over the FBI, Trump said, “I think maybe you do both…”I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening,” Trump continued. “If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it.”(1)
Censure motions can pass each Chamber independently, or jointly. The InfoMullet’s read a whole passel of GOP creating daylight between themselves and Trump on this issue – enough to pass this in the Senate if it happens quickly.
If the Democrats stay focused on his own statement, which is incontrovertibly illegal, allows sidestepping the imbroglio over Mueller and other complex “narratives” that have been distorted over time. Filing Censure keeps the powder dry to ratchet up escalation if necessary. It doesn’t preclude future Censure motions; indeed, this could be like a warm-up to future motions. Like Couch-to-5k programs. Ease into it.
Censure’s have no formal repercussions – it’s just an Congressional Letter of Counseling to the President. Which means the threshold for passing is much lower than Impeachment. And it gives the chance for Senate Republicans to go on record, in the least risky way possible. Again, giving them a chance to exercise their (atrophied) Constitutional muscles. And even if they balk in the Senate, the House can still pass it on its own.
File it tomorrow, stay 100% on-target focus on this exclusively over the Sunday talk-show circuit, and pass it before close of business Monday.
You can tell the President is worried because he’s shifted to defense rather than offense, and that’s an opportunity signal to anyone who watches him regularly. (2)
As a followup to the question of Censure’s being blocked:
Q: Can’t censures be blocked?
A: Censures can be passed unilaterally by either chamber of Congress. A joint resolution is nice, but not required. The House could pass a Censure of President Trump Monday regardless of what Senator McConnell desires. There’s also enough rankle on the Republicans side that there’d be pressure to bring this to a floor vote from within the GOP, and House action would keep the question front and center. But time is fading. This will disappear into the news cycle soon enough and we’ll be 48hours into a 96-120-hour window by this evening. If this isn’t acted on soon, it won’t be the primary topic of conversation on Sunday, which means any other topic may intrude, and worst case by Monday or Tuesday, the opportunity will be lost. Reverting back to some far more muddied, less clear, and far more partisan topic de jour.
Original Facebook https://www.facebook.com/tim.clancy.313/posts/10210476102939442