Congressional Hearings Are Impotent, Taxpayer-Funded Community Theater

Congressional Hearings Are Impotent, Taxpayer-Funded Community Theater
Michael Reynolds/Pool via AP

Another day, another hearing on Capitol Hill.

Political junkies love these things, I know. People who traffic in politics love them even more. They provide great fodder for political media. No matter what the subject is or who the players are, it’s easy to find highlight clips that are useful to partisans on both sides of the aisle. Rhetorical fireworks abound and the masses rejoice.

And nothing ever comes of it.


Don’t get me wrong — I too am occasionally entertained by these hearings. Or I used to be, anyway. The entertainment value was greatly diminished once I realized that the hearings were merely stand-alone dramatic pieces staged by people who, for the most part, had no intention whatsoever of making sure that there was any substantive follow-up.

Let’s look at the most recent high-profile hearing on the Hill.

Attorney General Merrick Garland found himself in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. Republicans were grilling him over the DOJ’s “concern” about soccer moms and dads showing up to school board meetings to protest their children being taught radical commie Critical Race Theory.

Verbal blows were thrown and landed. Robert Spencer wrote about Sen. Tom Cotton’s (R-Ark.) zinging of Garland for us. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) connected with a couple of haymakers as well. I thoroughly enjoyed the way all of them went after Garland.

Does anyone really think that there will be consequences for this jack-booted AG though?

Unless they are concussed, no.

Related: ‘You Should Resign in Disgrace, Judge’: Tom Cotton Rips Attorney General Garland

It’s not just that the GOP is in the minority right now. Both Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey were hauled in front of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees last year when the Republicans still controlled the Senate. Last time I checked, everything conservatives were mad at them for doing last year is still being done this year. In fact, as I write this, the PJ Media Twitter account is suspended because we insist upon referring to biological males as “men.”

I’m not saying that no members of Congress ever try to make something of these hearings. The three Republicans mentioned in this column are doing great work.

Still, the hearings more often than not end up being just being taxpayer money flushed down the federal toilet to fund the most expensive community theater in history.

And we’re forced to keep buying tickets.