News & Politics

GOP Senators Criticized For Not Paying Rapt Attention, Enthralled by Impeachment Trial

(Senate TV via AP)

Some Republican Senators are being criticized for not sitting in rapt attention as Democrats make their case for impeachment. One Republican was seen chewing gum on the floor. Another was nodding off (just like half the viewers).

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton reports that “Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was spotted tracing the watermark of the Capitol on a legal pad while Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) appeared to read a magazine article and Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) gazed at a 2021 calendar.” All this while the most momentous moment in American history was being played out before their eyes?

In Communist China when Mao was speaking, anyone caught not paying enough attention was taken out and shot. No doubt some Democrats think that shooting would be too good for any Republican who isn’t enthralled by the impeachment proceedings.

Several Republican senators drew criticism Wednesday for appearing to pay only half-hearted attention to House impeachment managers’ arguments as the trial stretched into its fourth hour.

Several whispered among themselves, while others chewed gum, doodled or struggled to stay awake.

The Republicans started paying closer attention when House impeachment managers began airing footage from inside the Capitol after it was breached in Jan. 6, including some that showed Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s (D-Calif.) staff barricading themselves in an office minutes before a group of rioters walked down a hallway.

This may surprise GOP critics but life goes on even during impeachment. I pity senators sentenced to being forced to watch and listen to this clown show.

Can you blame them for desperately trying to keep themselves amused?

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) was described by one reporter in the chamber as appearing to struggle to stay awake while Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) didn’t seem to pay much attention to Rep. Joe Neguse’s (D-Colo.) presentation.

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) popped snacks into his mouth under his mask and at one point walked into the cloakroom, emerging moments later with a glass of milk. Milk and water are the only beverages allowed on the floor under Senate rules.

A pity. I bet most of those Republicans could have used a good belt to stay awake.

The main target of the attention-enforcers was Sen. Josh Hawley who refused to sit at his little desk in the chamber, instead sitting in the gallery apparently sprawled across a couple sets, lounging as if he was watching a ballgame.

That body language was criticized by the former senator he defeated, Claire McCaskill.

“He’s proud to pull himself apart from everyone else and be the only guy. This is all political for him. It’s all political theater. That’s why he’s up there with his feet over the chair,” she said on MSNBC.

“He’s probably working on his book manuscript,” she added. “It’s very disrespectful.”

It turns out that Hawley, the former attorney general of Missouri, was reading trial briefs and the notes he made on them. But his posture was poor and he wasn’t sitting up ramrod straight. How that improves listening skills is a mystery.

Do you notice how the Democrats are drifting closer and closer to authoritarianism? Not listening closely enough is a punishable offense. What’s next? Being forced to bend the knee when a Democrat enters the room?

The Coming Purge of All Things and People Trump