Censure is not a substitute for impeachment. It is not even mentioned in the Constitution. However, it would serve a greater purpose in this instance: It would allow both parties to speak as one in condemnation of the actions — and the omissions — of the president. It would be a unifying act that allows us to state our expectations of a president, a statement made all the more important with the approaching inauguration of a new president.
Indeed, this is where President-elect Biden can prove he is a unifying leader. He should call on his party to stand down and join in a bipartisan censure resolution. In doing so, he would pass the very test that Trump failed on Jan. 6. Rather than seek to use this moment for political advantage, Biden could use it to help heal these divisions by getting a majority to speak as one voice. It is an opportunity he should not allow to pass.
What happened on Jan. 6 was a crisis of faith. As a nation, we are losing faith not just in the Constitution but in each other. We need leadership — real leaders to step forward and say “enough” to the reckless rhetoric of the president, to the reckless response of his critics of rushing to impeach, and to the politics of division. It is time we speak with one voice. It is time to censure the president.