- Whether or not it was illegal, Donald Trump’s volunteering of top secret intelligence to the spymaster of a hostile government was a clear violation of his oath of office. For a top government official to act directly counter to the interests of the American people is an impeachable offense, in the opinion of respected, politically neutral legal experts.
- Whether or not he did it with malicious intent, the important fact is that he did it. Elections, we have often been reminded, have consequences. So do the actions of the president. Incompetence, even in the absence of malice, is not an excuse for all things. The idea that Trump lacks the baseline maturity judgment necessary to caretake the nuclear codes (let alone the nation) was once a pithy political quip. It is now clear it is deadly serious.
- Whether or not they have the votes to pass it, Democrats and principled Republicans in Congress need to start impeachment proceedings now. At some point it will become clear to even the most partisan Trump supporter that every minute Trump is in office endangers the safety of every American, not to mention the stability of the world, at a time when international tensions and the nuclear threat are at a high not seen since the end of the Cold War. We cannot afford to wait until Trump’s recklessness creates a deadly disaster.
To Republicans and conservatives: Trading in Trump for Pence is all upside, and no downside. Pence has far more solid conservative ideologies and credentials than Trump, and a commitment to stocking the Supreme Court with conservative justices. He’s also a bland, largely inoffensive personality who won’t plunge your party into a never-ending series of crises. You can get rid of the increasingly heavy millstone around your party’s neck and start the process of cleaning up the mess. True, you’ll own the entire Trump debacle, but at this point you’ve already bought and paid for (or rather, begun to pay for) that pig-in-a-poke. There is no way to escape that now.
To Democrats and liberals: I’m sure you’re enjoying the spectacle of the damage Trump is doing to the Republican party, but we’re all passengers in the runaway train Trump is doing his best to run off the track. Even with Pence –a more competent conservative –at the helm of the Republican party, they are going to be consumed in the Trump fallout between now and the next election. This is a chance to show some courage and principle. If all you’re going to do is sit around and loudly deplore what’s happening, then we don’t need you.