Flawed evidence

In a recent letter, a writer began by noting that few members of Congress have been expelled or censured because Congressmen protect each other. The writer then summarized the number of expulsions and censures emphasizing that most have been imposed on Democrats. The writer noted that 15 Senators have been expelled, 14 of whom were Democrats, while 5 House Members have been expelled, all of whom were Democrats.

The writer also noted that censures mean “nothing” to members of Congress. The writer used this data to argue for the election of conservative Republicans like Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marsha Blackburn because they will vote for term limits, while no Democrats or “RINO’s like McCain and McConnell” would cast such ballots because those Democrats and RINO Republicans support the present system apparently since “it benefits no one but them.”

The evidence used to link expulsions, self-interest and the Democratic Party does not stand up to close scrutiny. The argument rests on the assumed corruption of those who were expelled. In fact, 14 of the 15 Democratic Senators and 3 of the 5 Democratic House members who were expelled were removed because they supported the Confederacy and not because of corruption. Those expelled would have argued they supported the same sort of small unintrusive government that Cruz, Paul and Blackburn favor. Indeed, Cruz, Paul and Blackburn are, ideologically speaking, quite close to those who were expelled, and those expelled were removed from office by Republican Congresses because the expelled harbored values akin to Cruz and company.

There are arguments to be made in behalf of term limits, but this letter seems primarily interested in identifying the Democrats and moderate Republicans as self-interested and extolling the virtues of Tea Party Republicans. Whatever the letter’s intent, the evidence on which it is based is ironically flawed.

Richard Morris


Submitted by Virtual Newsroom