For a vile online rant that included an implied threat against the president, state Rep. Scott Hamann has made a public apology on the House floor and been investigated by the Secret Service and kicked off two policy committees. But while all of these responses are justifiable, calls for his expulsion are not.

In the since-deleted Facebook post, Hamann criticizes President Trump at length and lashes out at congressional Republicans and the president’s supporters, wrapping things up by saying: “Trump is a half-term president at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet of that (vulgar term).”

Following Hamann’s vicious screed, we called on him to “apologize on the House floor, disavow his implied threat and seriously consider resigning if he can’t convince the public that he is able to work collaboratively alongside people with whom he disagrees.”

Hamann did apologize, telling his fellow representatives to their faces that “there is no excuse for using such vulgar and disrespectful language, and I deeply regret not only what I said but how I said it.” That’s a good start – and so was his pledge to bring a more civil and professional tone to his political work.

We urge lawmakers to hold Hamann to his promise, but they shouldn’t sign on to an effort by Rep. Larry Lockman, R-Amherst, to have the South Portland Democrat expelled.

While the name-calling and profanities in Hamann’s diatribe are deeply offensive, there’s no evidence – like a police record, for example, or a history of restraining orders – that the Democratic lawmaker was doing anything other than running his mouth on Facebook. (Hamann has been interviewed by the Secret Service and found not to be a threat.)

And if inflammatory statements were enough to justify kicking someone out of the Legislature, then a lot of lawmakers, including Lockman, would have to abandon the State House.

In his decades of railing against liberal causes, Lockman has expressed his admiration of a tax resister who killed two U.S. marshals, justified rape as less destructive than abortion, linked AIDS deaths to the acceptance “of sodomy (as) a legitimate alternative lifestyle” and referred to transgender men and women as “mentally ill.”

Hamann hasn’t evaded punishment for his indefensible behavior. He’s been excoriated worldwide, he’s been the focus of a federal inquiry and he’ll have no policymaking role or influence in the wake of his ouster from the Marijuana Legalization Implementation and Health and Human Services committees. His colleagues should hold him accountable for his actions, but until and unless he continues to get out of line, expulsion would be too much, too soon.

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