Scarlet letters not enough
Two scarlet letters for Donald Trump are meaningless. So what if the history books can note that he’s the only president in history to be impeached twice? Impeachment is little more than Congressional name-calling and Trump has been called names before. Often. Throughout his life. Impeachment is just an ugly brand, and it’s not even on his forehead where everyone will see it.
Impeachment must be followed by conviction if it’s to have any real meaning, any real teeth. Conviction declares that he is guilty. Guilty of the impeachment charges. And normally that conviction would remove him from office. Of course it’s too late now to do that, but it’s not too late for the Senate to convict him and, in a second vote, declare he can never again hold federal office.
Unfortunately, as appropriate that might be as an expression of condemnation, outrage, and the primacy of the US Constitution, it will likely make him a martyr to his followers. Or more of a martyr than he already is. But more importantly, it will ensure he cannot run again for president, something he has said he wants to do in 2024. The democratic nation we love simply cannot allow, much less endure, another four years of Donald Trump.