The editorial board of The Wall Street Journal, owned by the Murdoch-controlled News Corp., has congratulated President-elect Joe Biden and concluded, “It is best for everyone, himself included, if [Trump] goes away quietly.”
The editorial, which appears in today’s print edition, called the armed MAGA attack on the Capitol this week a “disgrace” and Trump’s behavior “impeachable.”
This was an assault on the constitutional process of transferring power after an election. It was also an assault on the legislature from an executive sworn to uphold the laws of the United States. This goes beyond merely refusing to concede defeat. In our view it crosses a constitutional line that Mr. Trump hasn’t previously crossed. It is impeachable.
Don’t think for a minute, though, that the Murdoch machine is turning pro-Democrat. No, the reason the editorial calls for Trump to step down is because it claims the Democrats can’t be trusted with impeachment.
Democrats aren’t likely to behave responsibly or with restraint. They are already stumping for impeachment articles that include a litany of anti-Trump grievances over four years. Mrs. Pelosi’s ultimatum Thursday that Mr. Pence trigger the 25th Amendment or she’ll impeach also won’t attract GOP votes.
Democrats would have more impeachment credibility now if they hadn’t abused the process in 2019. A parade of impeachers that includes Russian-collusion promoters Reps. Adam Schiff and Jerrold Nadler would repel more Americans than it would persuade.
Putting that aside, the editorial is still remarkable for its condemnation of Trump:
If Mr. Trump wants to avoid a second impeachment, his best path would be to take personal responsibility and resign. This would be the cleanest solution since it would immediately turn presidential duties over to Mr. Pence. And it would give Mr. Trump agency, a la Richard Nixon, over his own fate.
We know an act of grace by Mr. Trump isn’t likely. In any case this week has probably finished him as a serious political figure. He has cost Republicans the House, the White House, and now the Senate. Worse, he has betrayed his loyal supporters by lying to them about the election and the ability of Congress and Mr. Pence to overturn it. He has refused to accept the basic bargain of democracy, which is to accept the result, win or lose.
It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away quietly.
In my view, the move to impeach Trump is really an effort to get Republicans to push him to resign. This is not a bad start.
(Trump image via screen grab)