The Impeachment Show Must Go On

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WASHINGTON: The House's older, wiser brother is finally living up to its deliberative billing. Senators on both sides of the aisle agreed Sunday that the apparent shortage of votes to convict Bill Clinton wouldn't -- and shouldn't -- stop the Senate from holding a trial. Censure, which Orrin Hatch on Sunday couldn't help qualifying as "the next best thing," now looks like the only thing left. For the bored majority of Americans, of course, the question is the same as it is for the White House: How much longer?

Special Report On Sunday, Christian-values stalwart John Ashcroft was promising that Clinton would get "a speedy trial just like any other citizen" deserves. If the votes to convict still aren't there by March, when the Senate normally begins its legislative year, then the escape hatch pops up. Hatch vowed to craft "the strongest censure resolution there is," and even Minority Leader Tom Daschle wasn't promising the White House any say in the deal. But if censure does come to pass, the Republicans who have hunted this President all year will have to face up to the political truth that this was what Bill Clinton said he wanted.