Say what you will about the lackadaisical way that many in this land treat democracy, but let it also be said that when given an opportunity to understand the crisis of our time the citizenry became engaged. This week the ratings for the televised impeachment hearings against Donald Trump were simply amazing. The Republican denial of the ratings, well, that is just one more example of the relevancy of a quote from Winston Churchill.
“It is not the slightest use defending governments or parties unless you defend the very worst things about which they are attacked.”
Churchill made the remark in 1899 after he knew a position he had held, and action then taken, was a mistake.
The GOP has used every trick and tactic in denying facts and reason so to double, and triple down, in their awkward and embarrassing defense of Donald Trump. Once proud conservatives who stood for the message and tone of President Reagan now are bowing and scraping for approval from Trump, so to avoid becoming a part of a nasty tweet. It is stunning to see how Republicans now will fall for anything after refusing to stand for truth and honor over the past four years.
One can only imagine how Republicans will try to explain the Trump years away and attempt to construct an alternate narrative to the events that we all are witnessing play out over the Ukraine matter. This week we saw some of that play out on live television when Congressman Devin Nunes stated that “TV ratings are way down, way down”.
Facts, however, clearly show that he was totally wrong. Data shows that the impeachment proceedings are drawing Monday Night Football level viewership. Consider that mid-afternoon viewing rivaled viewers of major nighttime dramas.
News reports show that after five full days of hearings across two weeks, the average live TV viewership for impeachment has been roughly 12 million people, according to Nielsen. Ratings have dipped slightly from a peak on Day 1, Nov. 13, which drew an audience of 13.1 million, but the drop-off is less than what many sitcoms see after a season premiere.
Our constitutional crisis is far from over. Being the optimist that I am, means having faith the high level of interest in these proceedings is evidence of the concern many have for the events now playing out, and the regard they have for the process of impeaching Trump.
Our nation has never known a time like this one. History will long record that as a fact. We are showing our continued vigilance for truth and a working set of checks and balances set forth by the Founders. The high ratings for the televised proceedings are proof that we, as a nation, care deeply.