President Trump has characterized House rep. Adam Schiff's impeachment hearings as "theater." "Theater" is correct, and a very specific kind of theater it is.
All that is missing from it is a circus barker. But based on how it's unfolded, it's only a matter of time before one shows up.
First, Democratic California (of course) congresswoman Katie Porter showed up on Capitol Hill dressed as Batgirl for the impeachment hearings against President Donald J. Trump. More recently, a drag queen named "Pissi Myles" flounced through the halls of Congress on "her" way to cover this modern-day version of the Salem Witch Trials.
Then, on Wednesday, Nov. 13, deputy assistant secretary of state George Kent and ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor "testified" about conversations of which they had no direct knowledge. This led Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Illinois) to rise in support of their testimony and offer what he termed "a primer on hearsay." Quigley actually said: "Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct" and added, "It's certainly valid in this instance." Of course it is.
"Hearsay can be much better evidence than direct"? Really? That belief would shatter Western jurisprudence and destroy the American legal system and the precepts on which it is founded. Evidence, schmevidence! Give me hearsay, rumor, gossip, and innuendo! Then we can detain and incarcerate anyone for any reason — or no reason! Been accused of something by somebody? Off you go to the Gulags, pal! Evidence? No, but better yet, we had hearsay!
We've all heard the famous legal term "preponderance of the evidence." The Democrats want to amend that to "preponderance of the hearsay."
Courtrooms will be a very different place if Quigley's Primer is adopted. "Enough with the direct evidence, prosecutor! Do you have any indirect hearsay? Wild allegations? Preposterous accusations? Water-cooler gossip? Rank speculation? Salacious innuendo? Hmm?"
How did we let it get to this point? We dispensed with the Founders' wisdom and chose "tolerance" over virtue, truth, and sanity.