The stage is familiar. The hallowed halls of Congress, particularly the Senate chamber. The actors are names we mostly know, playing their parts. But the script is unlike anything we have ever witnessed.

As I watched the proceedings last night, and the days leading up to it, I felt as if I was witnessing a grotesque amalgamation of tragedy and farce. Is this really happening? Is the argument actually being put forth that a president can do anything in service to his own re-election? Are we going to have a process that more resembles the show trials of dictatorships? No witnesses? No documents? Even after all that we know?

The questions keep coming…

If we are honest with ourselves we knew the answers in the pits of our stomachs long before the pantomime began. Sure, we wait for the big twist. The Bolton book might still lead to a surprise in the third act. We ponder, and debate, and talk in the intermission. But what is the true likelihood?

The questions keep coming…

On the TV news channels, in the papers, and in the talks I have had with family and friends, I hear common refrains. There is the jaw-dropping precedent being established. There is the circular reasoning, the intimidation, the rewriting of rules we thought we lived by. There is a tendency, understandably, to argue that the damage will be irrevocable. It sure can seem that way. Here, however, I add some caution. I have seen plays like this before. I have seen moments when the country looked like it was on a path of hopelessness. I have lived through times of great pain and injustice.

But I have also seen that the curtain invariably falls and the run ends. How soon that will be is up to the audience. What do they think of what they are seeing? Are they letting the senators know? What will be the verdict on election day?

The questions keep coming… but there will be answers. The impeachment trial is not the final act. The end has yet to be written, and it will not be penned by a playwright but by the audience, the American voters.