Never have GOP votes against impeachment seemed more shortsighted

It was impossible to elect Trump without mentally shrinking the presidency to fit him. A president, we were told, didn’t really need to have governing experience. He didn’t need to care about the truth. He didn’t need to be civil or unifying. He didn’t need to be a diplomat. He didn’t need to be a pastor.

But suddenly, governing skill is the antidote to panic. Trust in the truthfulness of public officials is essential to public health. Unified action is central to the safety of the vulnerable. Global cooperation is necessary for any national strategy to work. And leadership will increasingly require the ability to express empathy and to comfort those dealing with inexplicable loss.

It has recently been common in our politics to assert that the establishment has failed, that our institutions and systems are corrupt, and that we need political disrupters to shake things up or burn things down. This is now revealed as the political philosophy of spoiled children. We no longer have the luxury of apocalyptic petulance or the language of faux revolution. We need trusted experts to carry hard truths. We need our systems and institutions to bear enormous weight. We need public officials to encourage an orderly urgency, to repair what is broken and to calm irrational fears.