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Trouble on the left: Progressives tear into moderates for 'boneheaded idea' to censure President Trump instead of impeaching him

The AOC crowd is not happy

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

On Tuesday, news broke that several moderates within the Democratic Party were floating the idea of censuring President Donald Trump rather than impeaching him in effort to boost their chances on Election Day 2020 and perhaps gain some Republican support.

The group of about 10 Democrats were from districts that Trump won in 2016 and reportedly hoped a censure vote would allow them to voice disapproval of Trump without having to go through with the politically risky action of voting for impeachment.

When progressives in the Democratic Party caught wind of the censure vote idea, they were not happy.

Progressives lash out

When the Huffington Post tracked down some of the more progressive members of the Democratic Party to get a response to the news Tuesday night, the claws were already out.

Here's a portion of their report where progressives call the idea a "slap on the wrist," "boneheaded," and "one of the dumbest ideas."

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) was outraged at the idea that Democrats would give Trump "a slap on the wrist."

"I have 15-year-olds in my district that get sent to Rikers because they jump a turnstile and they can't afford $2.75," Ocasio-Cortez said.

Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) called censure a "boneheaded idea."

"That's just frankly one of the dumbest ideas I've heard in a long, long time," Huffman said. "If this were a president lying about a blow job, that's a censure issue. This is a president fundamentally misusing his office and obstructing Congress, involving our national security and the integrity of our democracy. If you can't move to impeachment on something like this, frankly, we just shouldn't take your ideas seriously."

Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) also criticized the idea of censure, saying Democrats had a duty to put the country and our democracy first.

"We're talking about somebody that's a sitting CEO in the White House that's violating the United States Constitution every single day," Tlaib said.

During an interview with CNN Wednesday, Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N.Y.) joined the backlash calling the idea "a terrible mistake."

"Why in God's name is any Democrat trying to lower the bar when the president himself says to this day, the call [between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy] was perfect?" Maloney added.

It's impeachment or nothing for the Democrats

The House unveiled articles of impeachment against President Trump on Tuesday for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. But after the announcement, several progressive Democrats — including Ocasio-Cortez and Rep. Al Green (D-Texas) — lamented that the two articles did not go far enough.

Ocasio-Cortez said she will settle for the two articles but is disappointed in the effort, the Washington Times reported.

"Of course, I am in the camp where I feel that there should have been more articles. I think obstruction of justice absolutely should have been an article. I'm also supportive of emoluments being included in the articles," Ocasio-Cortez said. "I understand that the caucus is where it's at and it took so long for us to get to this point that I'm glad that we have two."

Green, who recently claimed that Trump must be impeached "to deal with slavery," indicated he might introduce additional articles if the two introduced Tuesday were to fail.

"We can wait to see if the Senate will convict and remove. But if they don't, then there's still work to be done," he said.

On Wednesday, Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) vowed to impeach Trump again if he were to win re-election in 2020, suggesting he could be "owned 100 percent by the Russians."

With the mounting pressure from progressives in the party, it is becoming increasingly unlikely that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will back down from the impeachment push.

One last thing…
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