Censure Is the Answer

Dissent

The staff is mistaken in not calling for a censure of President Clinton.

After failing to respect his office and resign after the details of his lies emerged in August, Clinton will not be impeached, by the looks of last week's circus of a House Judiciary Committee. At this point, we can either let the President get away with lying to a grand jury or shame him publicly.

Yes, the hype surrounding this presidential fiasco could constitute "shame" enough--for most people. But Clinton needs constant reminders--and one final Congressional slap across the face--to understand the magnitude of his failings. We as a nation, through Congress, need to rebuke the president officially for his wrongdoing. With censure, we will be telling the President, for the record, that we are repulsed by his acts. We are ashamed of him. Further, he must apologize to us, fully and without legalistic maneuvering.

Former Vice President Dan Quayle raised questions of the constitutionality of censure last week in The New York Times, but Tyler Professor of Constitutional Law Laurence H. Tribe '62 responded two days later that "provided that Congress avoids enacting a bill of attainder, its affirmative powers support this compromise." If the President will not leave, Congress can and should use this opportunity to end Clinton's position as a unconditionally trusted leader with a stamp marked "rejected."

End the futile and infantile impeachment proceedings; let Congress get back to more important legislative business. Quayle says censure is a "cop out." Is it not more of a cop out simply to move on?