Ah, if only the American Congress had the courage of its Brazilian counterparts.

The Brazil Senate on Wednesday voted to remove leftist President Dilma Rousseff from office. And the rule of law was affirmed in Latin America’s largest democracy.

Ms. Rousseff, succeeded by her hardly supportive vice president, Michel Temer, had been impeached by Brazil’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, in April for what so many U.S. elected leaders consider to be standard operating procedure — authorizing government spending without approval. She also cooked the books to mask illegal loans from state-owned banks. In Brazil, this is known as “breaking fiscal law.”

Such behavior in the United States, of course, is as common as breaking wind. Pity that it doesn’t rise to the level of high crimes and misdemeanors required under our Constitution to remove such reprobates from office.

There are a few more takeaways from Rousseff’s removal:

–On a continent awash in decidedly nondemocratic pressures, Brazil did democratic-republican governance proud.

–The impeachment/trial process was no kangaroo court; transparency reigned.

President Temer has much work to do. Brazil is entrenched in recession. Gross domestic product has shrunk by nearly 10 percent since 2014’s second quarter. And inflation is running at an annual rate of nearly 9 percent. But it’s nothing that replacing loosey-goosey economics with sound economic principles can’t solve.

Are you listening, Washington?


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