It’s time for more random and discursive comments about the third day of Dipshit Insurrection hearings. It was Mike Pence day and the quote used in the title is one of the few memorable things he’s said during a long and dull career.
This post may even lean in the direction of stream of consciousness or is that unconsciousness? The coup attempt, however, was unconscionable.
Shorter Adrastos: This is the moral equivalent of live blogging or MEOLB. At least it’s not MEOW like Jimmy Carter’s calling the energy crisis the “moral equivalent of war” That’s an acronym only a cat could love.
I watched the hearing on MSNBC. The pre-game show drove me crazy. The anchors insist on calling the likes of John Eastman “conservatives.” There’s nothing conservative about planning a coup.
Repeat after me: Don’t call them conservatives.
Enough with the Pence praise. He did his job but tried to get out of it. You don’t need to consult with a former Veep and federal judge to do your job. I don’t recall Veeps who lost close elections consulting with experts on their duty to certify a close election. Come on down Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and Al Gore.
Overall, the first half of the hearing was the least effective of the first wave of sessions. It reminded me of a dull but important law school class. Judge Luttig is a vivid writer but he’s not the most stirring speaker. The substance was good, presentation dry. He did get off a good line to describe the Dipshit Insurrection, “A revolution within a constitutional crisis.”
The questioning of former Pence counsel Greg Jacob was repetitive in the first half of the hearing. That’s unfortunate because he’s an important fact witness. Again, the substance was good, presentation dry.
The Eastman plan made the Veep dictator for the day. The least powerful man in the executive branch would have the power to decide a presidential election. As a result, John Eastman is neck deep in shit and sinking fast. That’s why he took the Fifth 100 times in his deposition. And that’s why former Trump mouthpiece Eric Herschmann told Eastman to get a “fucking good criminal lawyer.”
It’s possible that the hearing was duller than previous episodes because Mike Pence is so boring. I’m glad he did the right thing. I’m sorry that he was threatened but one decent act does not erase four years of abject sycophancy.
Another problem was Congressman Pete Aguilar. He’s a dull and dry speaker and I wound up wishing that Adam Schiff or Jamie Raskin were in the saddle. I eagerly await their days in the proverbial sun.
The second half of the hearing picked up as there was less Judge Luttig and more Greg Jacob whose energy level was higher during the second act. Jacob was a fact witness who lived through the prelude and aftermath of the failed coup plot. He corresponded with John Eastman who would not take no for an answer. My ears pricked up when he quoted his former boss as calling the Eastman plot “rubber room stuff.”
I feel for the 1/6 committee. They made some serious substantive points, but their star witness flopped. Judge Luttig is a fine man and a genuine conservative but he’s one of those lawyers who drones on and gets lost in the weeds.
The good news for the committee is that the Watergate hearings had many dull patches. They’re remembered for John Dean’s truth-telling, John Ehrlichman’s combative lies, and Alexander Butterfield’s revelation of the Nixon recording system. But there were many dull and dry days.
A dull but substantive hearing does not damage the committee. To put it in episodic television terms: not every episode can be as exciting as the pilot.
I had no idea there’s a song called The Rubber Room but there is. Porte Wagoner wrote it and that’s why he gets the last word followed by Alex Chilton: