Today politico.com printed a list of how the members of congress can (and cannot) insult the President. First the can-list (from section 370 of the House Rules and Manual):
- refer to the government as "something hated, something oppressive"
- refer to the President as "using legislative or judicial pork"
- refer to a Presidential message as a "disgrace to the country"
And so on. On the thou-shalt-not list?:
- call the President a "liar"
- call the President a "hypocrite"
- describe the President's veto of a bill as "cowardly"
And so on. What do we think of this? Isn't "liar" a relatively clearly defined term, that may or may not apply at a given moment to any human being? Even partisans will admit that Presidents lie sometimes (think of Clinton initially denying the Lewinsky, or Bush & Iraq). What is a member of Congress to do in such cases? Refrain from speaking?
I guess I can get behind people who would like to see a little common decency return to this country, even if it means some inconveniences to me (like, maybe I need to stop dropping F-bombs so as to not offend women born before 1955). But does America really benefit from banning its own representatives from using certain kinds of political speech?