Somehow the citizens of these United States of America have managed to elect an entire congressional contingency with a combined IQ of 12! Perhaps they do not always behave in the manner which I observed during the four brain-draining hours I spent Thursday morning and into the afternoon listening to the “Mark Up” session of the House Impeachment Committee.
I admit that I had no idea what that even meant. Mark Up? I admit that I Googled it. After reading the explanation, I admit that I saw no evidence of editing or of any changes in the articles of impeachment. Finally, during the mind-boggling hours I spent numbed by political rhetoric, the Judicial House Committee decided against changes put forth by the minority party with a vote which was “along party lines” of 23 to 17. I believe there were changes made that I learned of later, but these were favorable to the party in control of the House; none proposed by the minority party.
I just could not believe they were all spouting the very same “talking points,” over and over and over. Every congressperson (yes, that IS correct) used their (and, yes, that is now correct, ugh) five minutes to reiterate lame testimony by the same two or three witnesses they believed proved the point either that the President was guilty of abuse of his office or obstruction of justice, or that he was completely innocent, blah, blah, blah, blah. As the ping pong ball bounced back and forth between opposing teams, some often asked permission of the moderator to “strike the last word.” This was yet another term that was not made obvious nor identifiable through the context of the proceedings.
I discovered through the wizardry of Wonkology (or that for each amendment, the representatives have 10 minutes of debate time allotted – five in favor and five against. When they say they want to strike a word from the text, a lawmaker is allowed to keep the debate going. Actually, the rule states that the debate (Ha! Mini-monologues) is to address the last “word” uttered before the congressperson yielded or used up their time. But as with many other rules of Congress, the lawmakers have ignored this “rule of law,” and simply take turns reading their prepared, rehearsed talking points! Over and over and over, ad nauseum.
I did hear at least two requests by Republicans to make a couple of small changes in wording…something to do with the Biden’s, but each was voted down and the wording on the impeachment articles stayed the same. Big Deal. All that after 14 1/2 hours on Thursday and some hours on Wednesday after the “show” began at 7 p.m. Darn it, I missed the whole opening, the parade of elephants and donkeys and a few clowns! The whole circus and almost all its players have behaved less like Lawmakers (this is the Judicial Committee!) and more like kids shooting marbles or playing Red Rover.
“Red Rover, Red Rover, send so and so over.” Now So-and-So begins an often drama-filled, teary rendition of his or her rehearsed statements. Can you truly believe anything these honor-bound, sworn representatives of our government say? Can you believe all these reports they cite? Each party obviously wears different lenses when reading, for example, the Inspector General’s Report.
The IG, for crying out loud, while finding that there is “no political bias in opening the investigation” against the President’s team, also have found that there are 17 errors or abuse in the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance application process!) which was used to open said report! How is that possible? So contradictory. Comey and the FBI cannot be trusted? Can we feel confident in either the Elephants or the Donkeys? Or are we, as author and pundit Mark Levin suggests, “Looking straight into the eyes of Tyranny”?
Chill bumps. I too often wish I had not spent so much time watching, reading, and listening to the news this year. I wish I knew where the truth lies, or where the lies begin and end. I do believe as citizens of this great Republic we should stay informed, but it is hard.
Right now I am sincerely grateful for Hallmark and Lifetime Channel’s Christmas Movies. Happy Endings. Happy Christmas Endings.

Lynn Horton is a freelance writer and editor who in another lifetime taught English and Creative Writing at McIntosh High School and later worked in the Starr’s Mill High School Media Center.