The House of Representatives is poised to impeach Donald Trump this week, and he deserves it.
But it’s still the wrong thing to do. A rushed impeachment twists the rule of law even as it seeks to uphold it. It reduces the chance of a real, bipartisan reckoning with the Trump catastrophe. And it hands over a mess to President Joe Biden when the country needs his leadership on the pandemic and many other more pressing matters.
The right answer is censure. It now stands little chance of happening, given Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s opposition. And it’s true that censure doesn’t have the public weight or consequences of impeachment. But Pelosi is wrong that it is an “abdication.” On the contrary, censure is the legally, constitutionally, and democratically appropriate response to these outrages, given that a new president will be sworn in within eight days in any case.