Impeachment Is a Refusal to Accept the Unacceptable
Taking action against Trump is a rejection of the idea that nothing matters.

MAY 23, 2019

Quinta Jurecic
Contributing writer at The Atlantic and managing editor of Lawfare

Here are the facts: The president is unsuited to his office. That should have been obvious well before the release of the special counsel’s report, but the text of the report, even with a smattering of redactions, makes his unfitness brutally clear. He shows no understanding of the responsibilities of the presidency. He delights in the abuse of his power. As Memorial Day approaches, he is reportedly planning to celebrate the holiday by pardoning, among other service members accused of war crimes, a Navy SEAL scheduled to stand trial for the murder of multiple unarmed Iraqi civilians.

To respond appropriately to Donald Trump’s behavior is to risk appearing absurd, because his own conduct is so extreme that any proportionate reaction could be deemed an overreaction. The industry of anti–anti-Trumpism is devoted to describing opposition to the president as hysterical—but an emotional excess of anger and sadness is exactly what this excessive presidency merits. What this means, in part, is that reaction to the president muted by circumstance or a desire to appear “reasonable” will always be insufficient. The only adequate response to Trump is the cry of protest. But every protest ends, even as the outrages that provoked it persist.