It’s Time to Compromise with the Sith

My Fellow Rebel Alliance Members,

This past week has been a joyous one indeed. After years of fighting and thousands of casualties suffered, we have done it: We have defeated the Galactic Empire. The Death Star has been destroyed. Across the galaxy, Humans, Wookies and Jawas alike have erupted into spontaneous dance. It is a momentous accomplishment, and nobody is more excited than I am. However, despite our happiness, it is critical to remember that there are millions of Storm Troopers and Sith who are just as sad now as you were when Emperor Palpatine murdered your family. Today, we must chart a path to compromise with the Sith Lords to guarantee a new era of peaceful cohabitation.

I understand that many people do not agree with the Sith platform. Their policies, like blowing up planets that don’t submit to their will and force choking anyone who criticizes them, can certainly ruffle some feathers. And yes, I concede that their enslavement of Wookiees, Mon Calamari, and other races was less than kind. However, we must admit we are much more alike than we are different. Who among us hasn’t drank a few too many at Mos Eisley cantina and then killed a few innocent bystanders? Or turned a blind eye to a genocide or two so you could spend the weekend enjoying pod racing? If you can look past all of the “We want to murder them all” rhetoric, you’ll see they are just like you and me.

Now, I will address the Hutt in the room: I am a former member of the Imperial Ruling Council. However, I only joined to protect all of you from his worst impulses, and I am a firm never-Palpatine Sith. That’s why I joined #TheResistance — not because the Emperor killed my children and exiled me from his Star Destroyer. My colleagues and I at The Anakin Project have been critical to your success, whether the results show it or not. 

While this is a grand accomplishment, now is not the time to get carried away. We must be very careful about listening to advice from young radicals like Luke Skywalker. The way forward is through compromise. So open your arms to the Sith — they promise not to cut them off. 

70 Days in Impeachment Purgatory

The impeachment hearings have been nothing if not dramatic. Marie Yovanovitch quietly admitting she was intimidated when the president attacked her mid-hearing. Alexander Vindman assuring his father that he would be ok, no matter who he testified against. Gordon Sondland going on record to say that there was a quid quo pro, that the president ordered it, and that everyone knew about it.

But a dramatic buildup doesn’t preclude an anticlimax. And isn’t that where we’re heading? Hasn’t that been where we’ve been heading the whole time?

Look, there’s value in impeaching this president. And there is (however small) a possibility that this process could remove him from office. The Senate could vote by secret ballot, Republicans could choose not to run for reelection en masse, the public could swing hard against him even in deep red states. Sure. Why not.

But mainly, it’s symbolic value. This entire process—from the whistleblower report to the secret depositions to the public melodrama playing out on national TV—has been a statement. That there are some sort of consequences for misbehavior, even if you’re rich, white, and the commander-in-chief. That you have to pay some price when you sell out the national interest.

And it may be as little as forcing the president to send his lieutenants in to defend him. It may just be the knowledge that he’s stressed about this, or that he might hesitate (for even half a moment) the next time he’s pleading for a foreign nation to save his election chances. But it is something, and that matters.

But where does that symbolic value leave us? We all know what happens next. Witnesses lay out the case, Republicans claim Ukraine was behind the Kennedy assassination, the House votes to impeach and 53 Senators acquit. There’s no point in stopping the proceedings, but there’s no real, practical purpose in keeping them going.

We are, in other words, in impeachment purgatory.

It’s this strange no-man’s land where every day the evidence gets stronger, and the odds of removal stay the same. The two are unrelated, completely separate entities operating in different planes of existence.

In the first plane, there is a parade of career diplomats coming forward under oath to declare time and again that the president directed an extortion scheme at a U.S. ally for his political gain. In the second plane, there is a parade of senators coming forward to declare that no one knows what happened and it’s impossible to find out—for their own political gain.

To watch the nightly news has become surreal. Each evening some somber news anchor reads out the litany of charges that Executive Branch officials leveled publicly against their boss that day. It feels compelling and compounding, with evidence mounting from every direction. But there is always the unspoken element—that none of it matters—looming off screen.

I guess that’s really what our time in Impeachment Purgatory comes down to: Does any of this matter? Is it worth fighting the good fight, even if you know how it ends? And if not, where do we go from here?