Impeaching President Barack Obama should not be on the political agenda, but the president should be formally censured by Congress for his abuse of power and refusal to faithfully execute the laws according to his oath of office, said John Fund.
In a column for National Review Online
, the national-affairs correspondent argues that the House should focus on developing and passing a unicameral resolution to identify and condemn Obama's conduct in office, instead of a lawsuit which could take years to resolve.
"Impeachment is akin to detonating a nuclear weapon on the field of politics," Fund wrote, noting that public opinion polls show that roughly two-thirds of Americans are not in favor of impeachment, despite a full 45 percent believing he has abused his powers as president— behavior which, by definition, is sufficient for impeachment.
"I've always felt that we need a middle path between routine political pummeling and ejection from office when we are dealing with a rogue executive," he said.
Fund said a formal censure by Congress would strike the right balance, "a sort of constitutional yellow card," that would serve to drive home to the president that his unconstitutional governance will not be tolerated.
"It is important for our overall political health that we focus our criticism on President Obama's unconstitutional acts and omissions rather than on the president himself. Lawmakers can word a censure resolution carefully to do this. Impeachment, on the other hand, would inevitably be viewed by many as a personal attack on President Obama."
Fund also said that censure would serve as a serious warning to the president but fall short of making the "permanent blot" on his record that an impeachment would.
"President Obama should not be removed from office, but we will need more than mere criticism or even a lawsuit to remind him that his first duty is to uphold the laws, and that he is falling short."
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