Senate Set to Conclude Trial

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WASHINGTON: The impeachment dramedy will not get its Hollywood ending. Oh, Clinton will get his --with three more moderate Republicans coming out Wednesday against both articles, a pair of majority acquittals looks certain. But censure, the long-expected, long-denied bipartisan solution that was supposed to make our government whole again in time for spring, is dead. "It's been dying slowly all week," says TIME congressional correspondent John Dickerson. "Every time the language is changed to accommodate some Republicans, it loses some Democrats." With 60 votes needed to override Texas GOPer Phil Gramm's promised filibuster, says Dickerson, "proponents just can't muster enough agreement. The Republican conservatives don't want the cover that badly -- they're ready to say 'We tried and we lost, and that's it.'"

Special Report So the Senate will agree to disagree on Bill Clinton, and members can live with that -- because after a few brushes with House-style madness over the past month, it has its self-esteem back. Democrat Max Baucus called the ongoing speeches a "rewarding" and "fulfilling" experience; House Judiciary survivor Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) called Wednesday's debate "one of the finer debates that I have heard in 18 years in the House." That's because he wasn't in the House anymore. When the Senate exits the impeachment tunnel on Friday (things are really creeping along), it will do so in two halves, roughly split along partisan lines. But its dignity is mostly intact, and who knows? For party leaders Trent Lott and Tom Daschle, who clearly bonded during those backroom sessions, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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