Rarely is an empty gesture so actually empty.

Early on into the second one day of the listening to portion of Amy Coney Barrett’s Ford v Ferrari-speed affirmation procedure, GOP Senator John Cornyn of Texas requested the nominee to boost up her notepad.

The revelation that adopted fell decidedly in need of what magicians name “the Prestige.”

It stays unclear how “glance ma, no notes!” is meant to put across awesome smarts slightly than a lack of preparation or seriousness, even if the Trump-era GOP obviously considers no theatrics too eye roll-y to place in entrance of other people’s eyeballs.

Fellow Republicans Lindsey Graham and Jim Jordan used the final Supreme Court justice affirmation listening to, as an example, to take turns screaming about how galled they had been over Democrats’ insistence on . . . investigating a reputable accusation of sexual misconduct in opposition to the nominee.

In much less heated settings, such as final November’s impeachment inquiry in opposition to Trump, Congress contributors generally tend to apply a much less emphatic type of stunt: signage. The GOP in that example filled the space with poster boards touting esoteric ephemera (“95 days since Schiff realized the identification of the whistleblower”) whilst insisting all of the procedure used to be a sham.

Democrats have boasted a an identical reliance on visual aids all over Barrett’s affirmation listening to. However, their utilization has been extra chic. Monday’s listening to concerned a parade of poster boards that includes pictures and testimonials of people that will likely be suffering from placing down Obamacare, which many concern Barrett will vote to do if showed. These pictures underscored the Dems’ laser center of attention at the subject of healthcare that day.

On Tuesday, Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island used a chain of miniature poster forums to stroll audience via an enticing, data-rich presentation at the behind-the-scenes machinations that seem to have performed a task in Barrett’s nomination.

In reaction, Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee omitted the true details of Whitehouse’s presentation and as a substitute implemented his center of attention on “darkish cash” to restore the anti-Semitism-tinged conspiracy concept that left-leaning billionaire George Soros finances each type of activism the GOP doesn’t maintain.

The distinction in approaches best additional highlights the GOP’s reliance at the pageantry of make-believe all over this affirmation listening to.

They are pretending that their Democrat colleagues are making the listening to a referendum on Barrett’s Catholicism, when this is demonstrably no longer the case.

They are pretending that Barrett’s place on Roe v Wade isn’t already recognized; that she could be impartial in this extraordinarily arguable and contentious factor.

And they’re pretending that Barrett’s meant eminent {qualifications} are the rationale they’re going complete velocity forward in her affirmation, even supposing COVID-19 reduction will have to obviously be a better precedence in Congress, and the brazen hypocrisy of dashing an election-year affirmation after everything Mitch McConnell has said about depriving President Obama of the similar alternative.

When Amy Coney Barrett held up that clean notepad, she would possibly as smartly were maintaining up a listing of compelling causes for this procedure’s legitimacy.

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