This seems surreal. But it’s all too real.
I am shaken. And I don’t feel like I shake easily.
Our nation. The president. A set of facts — damning testimony — that would have been beyond most of our abilities to imagine. But here we are.
I have seen a lot over the course of my life, but I have never seen anything like this. I know I have said that a lot recently, but events keep escalating. And it continues, sadly, to be true.
This seems surreal. But it’s all too real. This happened. What we learned today in the committee hearing is that the president of the United States knowingly fomented, and was eager to lead, an armed mob to attack the U.S. Capitol.
The threat of violence was known far in advance. We now have eye and ear witness testimony plus other strong evidence of proof that the threat of bodily harm on a branch of government wasn’t an unfortunate byproduct — it was a driving force.
Sometimes fate shines a bright spotlight on people who have been far outside the public’s consciousness. Before reporters last night identified today’s star witness as Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, how many Americans had heard her name? Now she will forever occupy a place of import in American history.
There are some who are dismissing Hutchinson’s courage. They note that she was a loyal acolyte of the Trump White House. She kept these secrets until compelled under oath to testify. What choice did she have, the argument goes, but to speak?
There is some merit to all of this, but I would not dismiss what it means to stand up and tell these truths to a global audience when we have seen such vindictiveness and threats leveraged from the former president and his enablers and henchmen. Hutchinson's story is beginning. We will see where she goes. And let us not overlook how stark her example stands in contrast to the cowardice of all who have remained silent — mostly senior men of privilege and power.
There will be time for much more thoughtful analysis to put what we are learning now in real time into greater context. For now, however, we must remember how close we came to never learning the full story.
If the Republicans had a majority in the House, there would be no committee. The majority of elected officials in that party are not only eager to sweep this insurrection under the rug, they still pay fealty to the would-be dictator who fomented it. We have had far too much silence. Far too much complicity. Far too many lies.
And I have a sickening feeling that we will learn a lot more. I dearly hope we can purge this cancer from our body politic and that all who are responsible feel the full weight of justice.