Dem 51
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GOP 49
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No Censure-Schiff

We've made mention of this story twice already, so we better also mention its conclusion. Yesterday, House Democrats moved to kill the resolution introduced by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-FL) that would have censured Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for, in effect, saying mean things about Donald Trump. All of the Democrats, plus 20 Republicans, voted to table the resolution. That is a majority with a half-dozen votes to spare, and so the resolution is dead.

What those 20 Republicans recognize is that censuring a member is supposed to be a very serious matter, limited to very egregious conduct. Do you know how many members have been censured since 1900? The answer is: eight. Once, way back in 1921, the reason for the censuring was "unparliamentary language." In addition, four members have been censured in that time for committing actual crimes, and two others for inappropriate sexual conduct with House pages. The eighth person on the list is Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), who was censured for a social media post that encouraged violence against Joe Biden and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Even if you believe that Schiff was wrong to declare that Donald Trump cooperated with the Russians, even if you believe he was lying through his teeth and knew it (and there's no evidence for any of these suppositions), this simply does not rise to the level that justifies being censured.

We are inclined to think that there are more Republicans, beyond those 20, who know full well that censure was not called for here, but who were unwilling to buck the party line. In any case, the fissures in the Republican conference continue to be on public display. Meanwhile, the more moderate members of the conference are surely getting very weary of all these red-meat show votes. Those are great for members in districts that are, say, R+15. They are not so great for members in districts that are, say, R+1. (Z)

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