I will not minimize the gravity of what happened today. I don’t need to. Terms like “Treason” and “Conspiracy” and “Impeachment” and “Blackmail” are now firmly in the mainstream parlance of even Beltway insiders. It’s about time. To all of them I ask: who is really surprised by the shameful spectacle we witnessed? President Trump has been nothing if not consistent about his willingness to obsequiously kowtow to a murderous autocrat who is actively attacking the United States. And at the same time, he is attacking our democratic institutions and undermining the very Constitution he has sworn to uphold.
The reasons for his display of fealty to Putin will, I believe, inevitably be revealed. In the meantime, amidst all these charred embers of American moral leadership, I remained convinced that this will not stand. This will not be who we become, as a country or a people. President Trump clearly does not represent where the vast majority of Americans want to be, the inflated huzzahs of his dead-end supporters notwithstanding.
This is a moment of clarity. There is no more denying who President Trump is. The question is who are each of us? And this will be the question going forward for anyone who has offered this administration support and excuses. I know many of you have seen this clarity for far too long and worry that another red line has been crossed with no repercussions. I understand the desperate frustration. But to all of you I say, pressure builds cumulatively. Republicans are now searching for bearings in a political tornado. Many more know what is really at stake than are letting on. They have a choice: their country or cowardice.
To those who see themselves in resistance, this is not a time for self-doubt. The moral imperative, the political imperative, the patriotic imperative is to organize a stinging judgement at the ballot box that will echo throughout history. The stakes are perilously high, but don’t underestimate the power of justice.