Biden's Dilemma: Unity or Impeachment?

Congressional Democrats’ rush toward impeachment has put Joe Biden in a difficult position before he’s even taken the oath of office. Does he follow the desires of his fellow Democratic Party leaders to punish Donald Trump for stirring up an angry mob that ran amok at the U.S. Capitol? Or does Biden heed his own oft-repeated campaign promise to weigh the desires of those Americans who voted against him as well as the historic numbers who voted for him?

The nation is struggling to pick up the pieces and come to terms with last week’s insurrection at the Capitol building by Trump-supporting extremists. At least five people, including one police officer, died. Hundreds more were threatened and terrorized. Another Capitol Police officer on duty that day died by suicide over the weekend, his family announced Monday.

Democrats are putting the blame squarely on President Trump’s shoulders – but not only Democrats. White House and administration staffers have resigned in droves, including three members of Trump’s Cabinet. Many prominent Republicans — including several onetime supporters — have denounced Trump for instigating the Capitol attack. But the rank-and-file are not yet convinced. A new Frank Luntz poll released Monday found that only 25% of Trump voters agree he is mostly responsible for the assault on the Capitol, while 62% said he was only “somewhat” or “only a little” to blame.

So, the question for the incoming president is pretty basic: In such a hyper-partisan political environment, is compromise even possible?

After the cataclysmic events of Jan. 6, lawmakers and pundits have frequently invoked the words of Ben Franklin — that the Founding Fathers rejected a monarchy in favor of “a republic, if you can keep it” — along with President Lincoln’s prophetic declaration that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Two months after winning the presidency, Biden’s post-election words intended to lower the temperature in Washington and across the country already seem dated as he declines to clearly state whether he backs his party’s pursuit of the 25th Amendment or a second impeachment. [ … ]

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