Editorial other views

The following editorial published on July 16 in the Wall Street Journal:

If you’re going to condemn someone else in politics, or any other walk of life, you should have your own house in order. Nancy Pelosi learned that the hard way on Tuesday as the speaker violated House rules by accusing President Trump of sending “racist” tweets.

“Every single member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us in condemning the President’s racist tweets,” Mrs. Pelosi said in teeing up a House resolution to denounce Mr. Trump that passed Tuesday evening largely along party lines. “To do anything less would be a shocking rejection of our values and a shameful abdication of our oath of office to protect the American people.”

Speaking of values, House rules say that members may not call a president racist. Rep. Doug Collins (R., Ga.) rose to ask the Speaker to “rephrase” her comments. She refused, saying the House parliamentarian had approved them in advance. A flurry of conversation followed, with a Democrat even abandoning the chair presiding over the House lest he have to strike the Speaker’s words from the record. No one can remember that ever happening.

Democratic Majority Leader Steny Hoyer eventually took the chair to say the speaker’s words were “out of order.” But the Democratic majority then voted 232-190 not to strike Mrs. Pelosi’s words from the record, and it voted again by a similar margin to override House rules so she wouldn’t be banned from speaking on the House floor for the rest of the day as she should have been when a member’s words are “taken down.”

What a farce. In her zeal to play to the media chorus that Mr. Trump is a “racist,” Mrs. Pelosi violates her own House rules on appropriate speech. But rather than apologize, she and her party override the rules to spare her embarrassment. All of which proves again that Donald Trump, for all of his excesses, has no monopoly on violating political norms.

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(4) comments

Michael Gomez

“The rule Republicans tried enforcing to silence Pelosi is actually centuries old, written by a slave-owning founder and distilled from centuries of British parliamentary procedure. It’s part of the Jefferson Manual of Parliamentary Practice, a book of decorum and procedure for legislative proceedings crafted by Thomas Jefferson back when he oversaw the Senate as vice president. The House uses an updated, annotated version of that manual, and it includes this rule that Jefferson took from English parliamentary rules: “In Parliament, to speak irreverently or seditiously against the King is against order.” The idea is that you can’t disparage the president on the House floor—it would violate decorum and slow things down. “It is very material that order, decency, and regularity be preserved in a dignified public body,” Jefferson wrote in his manual. The U.S. Congress has, over time, interpreted that rule to mean that “personal abuse, innuendo, or ridicule” of the president is prohibited. Precedential rulings in the House have long held calling the president a “liar,” “amoral,” or a “crook” are also against House rules.”......Slate 2019

Michael Gomez

Really? How many letters to the editors have you written protesting Trump’s excesses? Thought so...President Trump is a racist ,so she told the truth. You might read up on that rule and how it originated.

Martin Strarup

"President Trump is a racist ,so she told the truth. " No, she lied just as you are doing. It is "your" opinion, not a fact so it isn't the truth.

Michael Gomez

Martin,I agree it’s my opinion but it’s an informed opinion. Like the threshold for pornography in a landmark Supreme court case,Justice Porter Stewart said” but I know it when I see it. “ Just the other day The Charlotte Observer ran a headline “ Are you OK with a racist president, Republicans.” I don’t expect you to read this but after you called me a liar, I wanted to post this for other readers to see. You have a good day. https://amp.charlotteobserver.com/opinion/article232675982.html I usually choose my words Carefully and I am always ready to back it up with a credible source https://www.vox.com/platform/amp/2016/7/25/12270880/donald-trump-racist-racism-history

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