While I do not agree with Tulsi Gabbard’s last minute proposal to censure Trump, rather than impeach him, one must admit that it does have a certain advantage: It offers hope for beginning to unite a dreadfully divided Congress and heal a bickering, angry and tired nation. The proposal demonstrates the mind of a true stateswoman—more than the stuff of a mere politician.
Given the words Tulsi has used to describe Trump on numerous occasions, including my favorite one—pimp, I sense that she probably believes Trump’s words and actions make him more than worthy of being impeached and removed from the Office of the Presidency. But Tulsi knows that the writing is on the wall. The House has the votes to indict (impeach) Trump tomorrow. But the Senate does not have the votes to convict and expel him.
So Trump is destined to serve out the rest of his term and he will stand for re-election next November. The partisanship in Congress will escalate as a result and the people’s business will continue to get shoved aside. Families, friends and strangers who meet on the street will continue to argue and fight, and the fabric of America will continue to fray at the seams.
How to stop the bleeding? Well, one reasonable way might be simply to censure Trump.
A censure would take the form of a resolution formally condemning Trump for what he said and did, specifically soliciting aid from a foreign government to interfere in the US election process on HIS behalf, for HIS personal benefit over the interests of our country. For seeking to manipulate and corrupt the heart of our democratic system—the way we elect those to represent us in government. Hard to imagine a more severe and despicable abuse of power, not to mention the attempted cover up of the abuse by obstructing Congress’s constitutional obligation to investigate it.
The upside of censure would be that this alternative to impeachment might be palatable to the majority of Democrats and Republicans on both the House side and the Senate. If a deal could be brokered guaranteeing passage of a censure resolution by large majorities in both the House and the Senate, then that could allow everyone to save some face, swallow some pride and begin to move on.
Privately, Trump might be open to this slap on the wrist. Democrats would still get their footnote for the Trump presidency in the books and records that will be written and they would still have accomplished the exposure of the seriousness of the scandal and this dark period in our history for future generations.
Censure would not provide justice for what has happened and may well continue to happen in the year that remains of Trump’s time, but a rational case can be made that it might be in the best interest of the nation. I don’t think the House Democrats will go for it, but it says a lot about the substance of Tulsi that she would even consider putting the idea on the table on the eve of Trump’s impeachment.