how must it feel to be him? The left leaning main-stream media say he is “clearly” frantic now. They catalog his personal swipes, his grimy tweets — like “never Trumpers” are “human scum.” Then they stand back and point out that these are the public utterances of the President of the United States. Next they point out the void that should be his burgeoning shelf of countervailing evidence. They quote and re-quote the prosecutor’s maxim – “if you can’t argue the facts, argue the law — and if you can’t argue the law then bang your shoe on the table.”

having no facts is no impediment to Trump’s campaign for the hearts and minds of an inattentive public whose antennae are keen for narrative but only dimly attuned to facts.

Yesterday, a couple dozen Republicans (including “weirdos” like King, but also “leadership” like Scalise) flash-mobbed the SCIF (“sensitive compartmented information facility”) where depositions are taken in the various House impeachment investigations. Busted through three doors, with their verboten electronics, demanding access to “the Democrats”” “closed” hearings.

Four points of fact:

First, these proceedings have always been open to members of both parties who are participating in any of the several investigations underway — so they are hardly “closed” to Republicans. Greg Pence, the Vice President’s brother, is a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and attends regularly.

Second: A goodly number of the demonstrators are themselves members of these committees and entitled to attend, but do not and have not.

Third: these proceedings, held behind closed doors because they are preliminary, like Grand Jury proceedings in “normal” investigations, wouldn’t even be necessary if Attorney General Barr would authorize the Department of Justice to carry out its obligations when any credible allegations of such magnitude arise.

Fourth: The President himself personally endorsed — some say encouraged — this action when it was proposed at a two hour White House meeting he called with House Republicans the day before.

Facts vs. Narrative:

Tell me about your day. No, really! Tell me. About your day. I’m listening.

How long do you think it will take for you to get your basic point across? I’m guessing it will be packaged in your very first word, in the expression on your face as you utter that word, the expression on your face even before you utter it — while you are still choosing it, in fact. I’d lay bank on the gist of your day based on how you reacted just to hearing the question.

My point is that suggesting a narrative is extremely simple to do, and its plausibility is perhaps strongest in the first moments, before a lot of facts are presented. This is why having no facts is not a significant impediment to Trump’s campaign for the hearts and minds of an inattentive public whose antennae are keen for suggested narrative, but only dimly attuned to “facts.”

The Republicans’ SCIF stunt moved the deponent, an Assistant Secretary of Defense with a bean-counter’s perspective on the progress through channels of pledged military aid to Ukraine, to get up from her chair and walk out of the hearing room. Her deposition hadn’t begun yet. Her deposition was postponed for five and a half hours.

Because (and here is the heartening bit:) the deponent did not go home. She merely left the room while the stunt played itself out. Five and a half hours later, when order had been restored, she returned to her witness chair. She told her story. Anyway.

That’s a fact.

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