The Congressional Republican guide to presidential behavior

Love to see this snarky and oh-so-appropriate take from the NYT Editorial page:

It wasn’t so long ago that Republicans in Congress cared about how a president comported himself in office. They cared a lot! The president is, after all, commander in chief of the armed forces, steward of the most powerful nation on earth, role model for America’s children — and he should act at all times with the dignity his station demands. It’s not O.K. to behave in a manner that demeans the office and embarrasses the country. Shirt sleeves in the Oval Office? Disrespectful. Shoes on the Resolute desk? Even worse. Lying? Despicable, if not impeachable.

Now seems like a good moment to update the standards. What do Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and other Republican leaders think a president may say or do and still deserve their enthusiastic support? We offer this handy reference list in hopes of protecting them from charges of hypocrisy in the future. They can consult it should they ever feel tempted to insist on different standards for another president. So, herewith, the Congressional Republican’s Guide to Presidential Behavior.

If you are the president, you may freely:

• attack private citizens on Twitter

• delegitimize federal judges who rule against you

• refuse to take responsibility for military actions gone awry

• fire the F.B.I. chief in the middle of his expanding investigation into your campaign and your associates

[about 20 more things]

compare the U.S. intelligence community to Nazis

• display complete ignorance about international relations, your own administration’s policiesAmerican history and the basic structure of our system of government

• skip daily intelligence briefings

• repeat untruths

• lie

If you’re a Republican legislator, stick this list on the fridge and give it a quick read the next time you get upset at a president.

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About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State http://faculty.chass.ncsu.edu/shgreene

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