After President Donald Trump’s disgraceful performance Wednesday, it’s no wonder so many legislators — including a few Republicans — want to oust him immediately.
But if the goal is practical — to get Trump out of office before he can do more damage — the outlook isn’t promising: None of the proposed remedies, including impeachment and invoking the 25th Amendment, is likely to work before Jan. 20. There is no easy way to remove a president from power.
Removing Trump from his job a few days early isn’t the only reason to act, though. A president, like any lawbreaker, shouldn’t be allowed to act with impunity. Trump has spent four years trashing democratic norms, and those norms still need to be repaired. On that front, there are plenty of actions available, and all of them should be tried.
The first possibility to be explored is resignation. A few prominent Republicans, including at least three governors and one U.S. senator, have urged Trump to quit. But he needs to hear from more, including from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who should present it as the most dignified option available for the president’s final days.
Appeals to principle are wasted on a man who has none. But the president’s friends can offer him practical reasons to quit: He is destroying his political future. He is making it more likely that he and his family will face prosecution. To quote Richard M. Nixon, he is giving his enemies a sword to use against him.