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.”
Congress can and should have rules for debate on the House floor. When a member of congress shouts out from the floor while they are being formally addressed by the President that is inappropriate and should be a violation of the rules.
What should never be banned are the use of certain words and phrases during debate. These rules are contrary to the principles of freedom of speech. The same arguments that protect Larry Flint also apply to people voicing political descent. This descent is actually the principle reason for it’s existence in the first place.
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Personally, I think a member of congress should be allowed to rattle off a string of F-bombs during his allotted time. Such action would be politically unwise, I just don’t think it should be banned. Should a member use inflammatory language it is then the prerogative of the citizens from that district to vote for or against that member during the next election.
These house rules go far beyond just proper respect and decorum. The phrase “intellectually dishonest” is actually banned. Think about that for a moment. The rules are actually designed it a way to prevent members from making arguments for or against legislation. That is not the type of government I wish to have.