As for the chief instigator, the president of the United States, he should be removed from office by the 25th Amendment or impeachment, whichever is faster. This, with only a week and a half to go, would be a most extraordinary action, but this has been an extraordinary time. Mike Pence is a normal American political figure; he will not have to mount a new government; he appears to be sane; he will in this brief, strange interlude do fine.
The president should be removed for reasons of justice—he urged a crowd to march on Congress, and, when it turned violent, had to be dragged into telling them, equivocally, to go home—and prudence. Mitt Romney had it exactly right: “What happened here . . . was an insurrection, incited by the president of the United States.” As for prudence, Mr. Trump is a sick, bad man and therefore, as president, a dangerous one. He has grown casually bloody-minded, nattering on about force and denouncing even his own vice president as a coward for not supporting unconstitutional measures. No one seems to be certain how Mr. Trump spends his days. He doesn’t bother to do his job. The White House is in meltdown. The only thing that captures his interest is the fact that he lost, which fills him with thoughts of vengeance.
Removing him would go some distance to restoring our reputation, reinforcing our standards, and clarifying constitutional boundaries for future presidents who might need it.
As for his appointees and staff, the garbage they talk to rationalize their staying is no longer acceptable to anyone. “But my career.” Your career, in the great scheme of things, is nothing. “But my future in politics.” Your future, even if your wildest schemes are fulfilled, is a footnote to a footnote. There are ways to be a footnote honorably. “But my kids.” When they are 20 they will read the history. You want them proud of your role, not petitioning the court for a name change.