President Donald Trump leaves office in less than a week. What we need in those days, and beyond, is not more drama.
We don't need more drama from the president.
And we don't need more drama from House Democrats and their leader.
That's all a second impeachment accomplishes — more drama centering around Trump.
The House has the right to impeach, and has exercised it. But now a trial must take place in the Senate. It can obviously not be organized and conducted, with due process of law, by Jan. 20. And no matter what evidence is presented, it seems highly unlikely that 17 Republicans — the number needed — would vote with the Democrats to convict. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., has said, "The votes are not there."
A trial, if done properly, would consume the Senate and effectively delay the start of the Biden administration, when what we really need, and need desperately, is to turn the page — to move on.
President-elect Joe Biden needs to be able to organize his government and focus on fighting the coronavirus.
And Trump needs to leave the stage.
To achieve this end, we need adult supervision. Some grown-up in Washington — maybe our new president, maybe Sen. Mitch McConnell, maybe Vice President Mike Pence — needs to broker a deal. And here it is: The president resigns and leaves early and the Democrats drop impeachment.
Neither party would be giving up much at all.
And we could begin again, with a modicum of peace.
Obsessive Trump haters would not be happy. They will never be satisfied. Impeachment alone would not be enough for the man many of them literally believe to be evil personified.
Trump lovers will never see the tragic flaws of their leader, or acknowledge the damage he has done, not least of all to himself, but most of all, to the country.
Trump haters will likely get their red meat, however. And Trump lovers will, too. Many legal pitfalls await Trump. He, meanwhile, will have the bully pulpit he has made.
So why not set aside the great divide and all the hollow gestures that go with it, for now, and focus on our real problems and needs?
We need a functioning government. We need to restore civic peace and begin to rebuild civility and respect in the public square.
FROM AN EDITORIAL IN THE PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE