March 17, 2004

Why censure?

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at March 17, 2004 10:36 PM

MoveOn is mounting a campaign to urge Congress to censure Bush over the deceptions leading up to the Iraq war. I think it's a noble effort, and Bush certainly deserves censure, but I question whether this is the best use of MoveOn's resources.

For one thing, it looks to me like a lost cause. House Republicans are too disciplined to let a censure motion go through -- it'll never happen. Odds are better in the Senate, where there is less party unity and one could imagine the more independent-minded Republicans defecting (and you'd need several to offset Bush supporter Zell Miller and possibly other pro-war Dems). But even in the Senate it looks very, very unlikely.

Is even a failed censure motion valuable as a symbolic gesture? I doubt it. The vote will be almost completely along party lines, and consequently the public will just see it as more partisan bickering. MoveOn should concentrate on getting the message out about the administration's deceptions (and this ad is a good start) without the Congressional censure angle.

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