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Sorry Joe Biden, but we can’t move forward without punishing Donald Trump for his crimes against democracy

When Emperor Hirohito took to the radio in August 1945 to inform his subjects of their nation’s surrender, it shocked them more than one. It was the first time that the Japanese people had heard the Emperor-God’s mortal voice. We’re not quite at this point, but here we are sitting, not subjects of an emperor but citizens in a democracy, and for three or four consecutive days we have no idea what our employee the president thinks or does. I mean, we have a pretty good estimate; he’s furious. But what is he thinking and planning? Remember, nuclear football is never more than a few feet away.

It is now clear that he will not resign and that he will not be removed from his post. The House will remove him this week. On Sunday evening, Nancy Pelosi sent a letter explaining how things are going to go. I note that on Sunday the impeachment resolution had only 180 cosponsors, but Pelosi is supposed to know how to count noses better than anyone, so I doubt she would have sent that letter if she hadn’t had the votes. I am delighted with the impeachment, as I wrote. But over the weekend, a few fair questions have arisen that need to be thought about.

For starters, let’s look at this from Joe Biden’s perspective. He said publicly last week that it was the call of the House, but you can hardly blame him if he is not very enthusiastic. He doesn’t want Trump to fly over the early days of his administration like this. Plus, he wants the Senate to work to confirm his candidates and pass a big COVID relief bill. The headlines about the impeachment during the first weeks of his administration would be a legitimate disaster from his perspective.

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