It was getting late in Washington, DC, and the House Judiciary Committee was still ostensibly working on the markup of articles of impeachment for President Donald Trump.
After some 12 hours of numbing parliamentary procedure, hollow grandstanding and a few empty amendments and roll-call votes, Democratic Representative Cedric Richmond was probably not the only elected official who needed a distraction. So, he got out one of his devices and turned on the Presidents Cup.
The Congressman from Louisiana's second district had Golf Channel streaming as the Americans took on the Internationals in the second day of four days of matches at Royal Melbourne in Australia. C-SPAN cameras located to Richmond's back and right of his position on the dais were filming, as always, as they caught footage of Richmond speaking with colleagues and with the golf on in the background.
Naturally, in this hyper-partisan environment, the Republicans responded on Twitter with sanctimonious cries of audaciousness.
What on earth is Democrat Rep. Cedric Richmond watching on his laptop during this impeachment markup?
To me, it looks like Rep. Richmond is watching the President’s Cup golf tournament.
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) December 13, 2019
Republican operatives and loud GOPers on Twitter were outspoken on the subject, suggesting Richmond wasn't taking the proceedings seriously or was wasting his taxpayer-funded salary by having golf on in the background. That rings hollow, of course, but we also have to remember that Twitter isn't real life.
Of course, markup sessions on particularly sensitive subjects -- much less the impeachment of a sitting president -- are long affairs.
In fact, committee chair Jerry Nadler forced the sessions to end for the evening and resume at 10 a.m. on Friday morning, infuriating Republicans who were likely hoping the Democrats would make a historic committee vote to advance articles of impeachment to the House floor in the dark of night. That would have been a huge political miscalculation had Nadler done so.
Also, during the course of the day, the committee had to take an extended recess so members could vote on a package related to lowering prescription drug prices. The Democratic-led House has passed somewhere in the area of 250 bills since taking over the gavel in early 2019. Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, has refused to take up the overwhelming majority of them.