We knew with near certainty that when he appeared yesterday before Congress, FBI Director James Comey would dismiss Donald Trump’s claim to have been wiretapped by Barack Obama. What we did not know was that Comey would state so confidently, so baldly, that the FBI was investigating possible collusion during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump’s team and Putin’s minions. Additionally, we sure as hell did not know that this investigation has been ongoing since last July.
Flabbergasting! Mind-blowing! Dumbfounding!
We must never, ever lose the capacity to be morally outraged by a leader clearly guilty of egregious wrongdoing. Even if nothing material ultimately comes of the FBI’s investigation – an outcome more unlikely than likely – the fact that the president of the United States blithely, falsely accused his predecessor of a felony is, of itself, sufficient to dismiss the nation’s chief executive as sane and serious.
Which brings us to this question: what to do now? Let’s be clear here. Any sort of collusion with the Russians would make Watergate look like child’s play. So, how to respond in real time to the story unfolding before us? Break the cast of characters into groups and the magnitude of our collective task becomes clear. Ten to start:
• President’s cabinet
• President’s advisers
• President’s spokespersons
• Intelligence community
• Business community
• Political activists
• The rest – the American people
Last I looked America was still a democracy. This means that no group of followers will ultimately matter more than the last – the American people. So… take heart! The percent of Americans who approve of Trump’s performance as president has dropped to an historically low 37 percent – this from a poll taken before Comey dropped his bombshell.