House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was mostly right last week when she told The Washington Post: “I’m not for impeachment … Unless there’s something so compelling and overwhelming and bipartisan, I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.”

We agree, with a large asterisk on the third adjective she used.

The impeachment of Bill Clinton showed the grave risk of plunging the nation into a struggle over ousting a president when his offenses aren’t obviously disqualifying to the public at large.

But here and now, every week, the nation absorbs alarming revelations about Donald Trump’s presidency. Any day now, either via Robert Mueller’s report or other means, those could go from alarming to downright terrifying.

Pelosi’s suggestion that impeachment is a nonstarter unless it’s bipartisan from the get-go fails to account for reflexive Republican allegiance to Trump – allegiance that may well hold even in the event of yet-to-be-determined compelling reasons to oust him for the good of the republic.

This process is political by design. The two impeachments in American history (of Clinton and Andrew Johnson) were initiated by the opposition party.

Democrats must ensure they have a strong case and a broad base of Americans behind them. But they can’t give a veto to the Republican Party.

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