Do the impeachment hearings need to be entertaining? | The Tylt
Do the impeachment hearings need to be entertaining?
Things that are important do not need also need to be interesting. The past few years may have led us to expect any news coming out about Trump to be explosive and dramatic. It's like we've been living in a never-ending reality TV show.
But these hearings are important. The testimony is deliberately spelling out the context and details of what exactly Trump did and why it was inappropriate.
Here’s a thought: The next time we see a partisan or a politician or, worse, a reporter complain that the hearings are boring, we push back. We point out that our political process is one thing and professional wrestling is another, and shame on anyone who faults the first for not resembling the second. We remind people that just because something is shown on TV, that does not mean it’s a TV show.
Because if we keep insisting that impeachment has to entertain us, we’re going to channel-surf our way right out of our democracy.
Republicans say the impeachment hearings against President Trump are so boring because they lack the substance that those same kind of hearings against Presidents Clinton and Nixon had. Both Clinton and Nixon had a clear allegation against them. President Trump didn't even do anything. The impeachment hearings are just the latest in partisan drama.
This week, the country is so utterly polarized between Trump supporters and detractors that the hearings feel a bit like a scripted ritual. And that is amplified by the near-certainty that House Democrats will impeach the president on a party-line vote and Senate Republicans will save him.
At another level, public opinion won't change if the hearings are boring. Complaining that this shouldn't be how politics should work doesn't change the fact that Americans really do expect politics to be entertaining.
But it’s also true that those pushing impeachment are doomed to failure if they can’t mobilize public opinion in an environment in which Americans are accustomed to being constantly entertained.