In their first full day of arguing their impeachment case, Democrats’ compelling, much lauded narrative gave way to a stale and repetitive reel of the same clips, often heavily doctored or misleading, to etch the harrowing experience into the minds of senators.
Several of the House Democrat impeachment managers rehashed similar arguments and media footage hyping up what they claim was an imminent threat on the lives of those very members of Congress tasked with determining the verdict.
They punctuated the footage with indignant venting and over-hysterical, sensationalized narrations of the timeline, walking through dramatized play-by-plays of the month-old uprising several times throughout the session.
The Democrats received eight hours on Wednesday and would have another eight on Thursday to make their case before Trump’s lawyers are given the opportunity to defend him.
But already, with only a quarter of their allotted time spent, the case seemed belabored and redundant.
Whether the partisan effort will be effective in eliciting an emotional reaction from at least 17 GOP senators remains to be seen.
Already, six have signaled what seems to be an openness to the possibility of convicting Trump and barring him from seeking future federal office.
But at least one, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, dismissed the effort as “a week of political theater” during an appearance Tuesday on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show.
“We’re going to see this week a whole lot of Democrats pounding the table,” Cruz said.
“We’re going to see a lot of moralizing and a lot of [Democrats] really venting their hatred for Donald Trump,” he continued. “In case you haven’t been paying attention the last four years, the Democrats really, really, really hate Donald Trump.”
Cruz was less than complimentary of the performance by Trump’s impeachment lawyers during the opening arguments, but he remained confident that the absurdity of the case would prevail in the end.
“It’s not going to get 67 votes, it’s not going to get close to 67 votes. Every one of the 100 senators knows that. Every one of the House Managers knows that,” Cruz said.
“This is political theater, because rather than address the real problems, the real challenges we have in this country, rather than focus on getting kids back in school and getting tens-of-millions of Americans back to work, the Democrats want a week of just political theater raging at Donald Trump,” he said.
Cruz explained in an op-ed on Fox News that even though the Senate should have jurisdiction to impeach presidents after their term is up, the jurisdiction does not apply in this circumstance since it was predicated on a political ploy and not an actual act of incitement.