Friday, November 15, 2019

Hearings in Congress are Essentially Stage Plays.


With the exception of the most mundane budget hearing, if the stakes are high most congressional hearings from dramatic confirmation battles to today's impeachment circus investigations, everything is scripted and planned exactly as in a play. The plot and conclusion (findings) are pre-determined.  The actors (witnesses) are selected to make the specific ‘case’ that the director (majority) decided in advance. Actors (witnesses) are often coached in what to say, and their script (testimony), especially in high-profile plays like impeachment or the Kavanaugh hearing, may be written, coached or edited by the committee staff, and the actors (witnesses) may be coached when to cry or make alarming statements.  Props (graphics, videos, media presence, audience, etc.) will be carefully engineered.  About the only difference between a Congressional ‘play” and a stage play is that the minority is allowed some speaking roles.

So when the curtain goes up on each day’s impeachment hearing, do not expect anything but an entertainment play designed for high ratings and with a pre-ordained conclusion.  A show trial, produced like a play, masquerading as an impartial investigation.

Adam Schiff was supposed to be in his element pretending to be a character from The West Wing.  The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee reminded us why he never made it as a screenwriter.  With a few exceptions — the miniature speech from counsel about "quid pro quo, bribery, extortion, abuse of power of the office of the presidency" — he allowed his members to get bogged down in the details of a narrative that almost no one in the room has mastered.  It is difficult to argue that the president is guilty of a hideous crime because he seems to have considered withholding aid that Barack Obama was never willing to offer in the first place.

[The Week] 
~ Thank You MJA@IOTWREPORT for the Linkage! ~

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