Assigned Reading: House Guidelines for Presidential Put-Downs
In the wake of Joe Wilson’s outburst, absolutely correct but nonetheless a breach of decorum, House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from New York, has updated and disseminated an internal memorandum of sorts reminding her colleagues of what is and is not acceptable with regard to addressing or admonishing a president on the House floor.
Here are the parts excerpted by the folks at Politico:
“Disgrace” and “nitwits” — okay.
“Liar” or “sexual misconduct” — ixnay.
Under section 370 of the House Rules and Manual it has been held that a Member could:
- 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.”
- refer to unnamed officials as “our half-baked nitwits handling foreign affairs.”
Likewise, it has been held that a member could not:
- call the President a “liar.”
- call the President a “hypocrite.”
- describe the President’s veto of a bill as “cowardly.”
- charge that the President has been “intellectually dishonest.”
- refer to the President as “giving aid and comfort to the enemy.”
- refer to alleged “sexual misconduct on the President’s part.”
I don’t know about you, but to me it almost looks like a checklist covering the most recent two Democrat presidents.