For the past year, I’ve watched untold hours of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, Showtime, HBO Max, Sundance Now, Acorn, Apple Plus … oh my. And there are several plus-or-minus others that I can’t even remember, though I’m pretty sure we’re still paying for them.
The coronavirus has made me a streaming maniac. I make no apologies.
But this week, in what surely is a harmonic convergence unique in the history of the cosmic entertainment universe, we’ll have real-life heroes and villains, arrayed on opposite sides of computer-generated goal lines, attempting to destroy each other while cheering, jeering fans sit glued to TVs, eating fatty foods and waiting to get vaccinated.
Welcome to the 2021 Super Brawl, when football and the impeachment trial merge into a weeklong festival of pandemic binge-watching, heavy drinking and overdosing on annoying grammatically challenged instant analysis.
Here in Colorado, we don’t have much skin in the football game. I mean, even John Elway distanced himself from the Broncos after the most recent dismal season.
Still, a matchup between middle-aged Trump fan Tom Brady (aka The Cheater) and wunderkind Black Lives Matter activist Patrick Mahomes is appealing enough for most of us to turn away from “The Queen’s Gambit” for an evening.
But in the impeachment drama, our hometown favorites have won starring roles. How can we resist.
Democrats Diana DeGette of Denver and Joe Neguse of Lafayette are among the nine members of the House of Representatives impeachment squad who will take the floor starting Tuesday to argue the case that a U.S. president who weaponizes lies and mobilizes gangs of armed domestic terrorists to storm the Capitol and disrupt a constitutional process in an attempt to overturn a free and fair election should be held accountable.
As DeGette says, “We’re punching way above our weight in little Colorado.”
So, what should we expect from the team in this made-for-TV extravaganza?
Emotional appeals? Dispassionate dispositions of lofty jurisprudence? Swashbuckling displays of argumentative derring-do? Tedious legalistic blather?
Oh, and there will be blood.
And possibly poop.
Expect to see some truly disturbing videos of the insurrectionists storming the building, smashing windows, beating law enforcement officers with flag poles, stealing office equipment and calling for violence toward congressional leaders.
We’ll surely hear about the rioters who, now facing criminal charges, are formally citing Trump’s entreaties to “fight like hell” and “not take it anymore” in their own defense, suggesting they were “acting under cover of official authority.”
As Neguse said in a statement, “It is profoundly clear this violent attack would not have happened without President Trump’s incitement.
“For weeks,” Neguse said, “he has perpetuated harmful misinformation about the integrity of election results, he summoned these insurrectionists to the Capitol grounds, he addressed them and directed them to march on the Capitol.”
The prosecution will give us yet another look at the photo of U.S. Rep. Jason Crow of Aurora comforting a terrified Rep. Susan Wild of Pennsylvania as they took cover from the violent mob in the House gallery.
We may even get to see images of the evidence of the Shameless Boys trashing the Rotunda and defecating on the floors.
And then there will be the response to the argument from Trump’s defenders who say: so what if he did incite an insurrection, he’s out of office. Stop your political grandstanding and get over it.
For guys like Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs, all this impeachment hoohah is just so much piffle.
Trump is above the law.
Lamborn is calling for Congress to demonstrate a commitment to “unity” by letting Trump get away with calling his murderous thugs to Washington to overthrow the election.
“I hope we can move forward together in unity,” Lamborn said, “but the Democrats’ impeachment is an obstacle to that effort. I will not vote to impeach the President.”
Never mind lapdog Lamborn’s futile vote in the House, a Trump conviction is definitely an uphill battle in a 50-50 Senate. But the impeachment squad stands coiled and ready to pounce.
DeGette told Colorado Public Radio that to let Trump walk on this charge would set an egregious and dangerous precedent.
Would the message to Trump and his successors be that “You can just run amok in your last month as president? You can commit as many high crimes and misdemeanors if you want, but because you’ve left office Congress can’t do anything about it?” she said.
Remember, candidate Trump bragged about his lawlessness years ago. “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters,” he said, while campaigning in Iowa in 2016.
He’s taunting us. He thinks we’re all a bunch of hapless suckers and losers.
Alas, if the goose-stepping Republicans in the Senate continue to shield him from the law, he might prove to be right.
So, let’s sit back, turn on the TV and see who’s gonna win.
As for me, I’ll be rooting for Mahomes.
But you already knew that.
Diane Carman is a Denver communications consultant.