January 24, 2020

Humor can be a great equalizer. We know it can heal, and woooo-doggie, does this impeachment trial reflect some festering, potentially fatal national wounds. I'm not delusional enough to think one moment of levity injected by the savvy, brilliant Hakeem Jeffries can accomplish that healing, but it sure was a moment, and a welcome one, at that.

REP. JEFFRIES: Mr. Chief Justice, to the distinguished members of the Senate, counsel to the president, all those who are assembled here today, earlier this morning I was on my way to the office and I ran into a fellow New Yorker who just happens to work here in Washington, DC. And he said to me, "Congressman, have you heard the latest outrage?"

And I wasn't really sure what he was talking about, so to be honest I thought to myself, "Well, the president is now back in town. What has Donald Trump done now?" And so I said to him, "What outrage are you talking about?" And he paused for a moment and then he said to me, "Someone voted against Derek Jeter on his Hall of Fame ballot."

Life is all about perspective. And I understand that as House Managers, certainly we hope we can subpoena John Bolton, subpoena Mick Mulvaney, but perhaps we can all agree tO subpoena the Baseball Hall of Fame, to try to figure out who out of 397 individuals, one person voted against Derek Jeter. I was thinking about that as I prepared to rise today because what's more American than baseball and apple pie? What's more American than baseball and apple pie? Or, perhaps, the one thing that falls into that category is the sanctity and continuity of the United States Constitution.

Now, because the cameras are all trained just on Rep. Jeffries, we can't see who was laughing, but there was a good deal of laughter at that unexpected plot twist. Something in the air just changes when a room erupts into laughter at an absurdity such as that one holdout over there at the Baseball HOF. Being a born and raised die-hard Mets fan, I'm not particularly invested in Jeter myself, but I AM invested in this trial, the toll Trump's actions are taking on the country, and the attitude of the GOP senators who might...just might...vote for hearing witnesses.

We should not forget the larger point — that it is beyond morally reprehensible and insultingly intellectually dishonest for the GOP to vote against hearing these witnesses or the admission of OMB documents like they did with every single NO vote on Tuesday. Every single one of them is treating the Constitution like toilet paper.

Rep. Jeffries' maneuver likely had the effect of snapping complacent, bored, cynical senators out of their stupor for just a moment to laugh and reset and begin to pay attention. Maybe that very enjoyable moment was just the tiny mind-cleanse three or four of them needed. Hope springs eternal.

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