If politics and sports are closely intertwined — and in the analytical sense, both at the end are about numbers — then coach and GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is sending in his top players to the eventual Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
The lineup of GOP House committee hearings all-stars Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) may be ready to be called to the field of play by McCarthy as the House side of the defense of the president.
“These are individuals I would actually pull in at the White House,” McCarthy said on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures with Maria Bartiromo.”
“You want people that have been through this, understand it, [and] been in the hearings even when they were in the basement.”
The “basement” refers to the SCIF, the secure facility where House members hear sensitive and classified data.
Dems are rumored to be considering Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) for their effort in the Senate.
But for the Dems, the specter of facing Jordan, Collins, and Ratcliffe again cannot be a pleasant thought; the Democrats were rhetorically butchered at their hands in the House.
Jordan brings a logical yet indignant quality to his debate style and questioning method. He makes his argument step by step — then closes by springing the trap after almost getting the witness to admit to Jordan’s own points.
By this analyst’s estimation, he was the most effective member — the series MVP — of the House GOP caucus in defense of the president.
Collins brings a fiery delivery and southern populist manner to his questioning. He sets up witnesses with his own points, and then every time they try to respond he knocks them back down again by his own passion for his side in the debate.
The last day of House hearings saw him emerge as a standout and star player.
Ratcliffe isn’t as strong as the other two in debate or style, but he brings a dogged persistence and a laser focus on the question at hand. He’s a superb utility player who can be used in a number of slots and will make a fine clean-up hitter after Jordan and Collins lay the groundwork of debate and questioning.
McCarthy knows the Dems’ strategy already because they haven’t been exactly covert about it. They will stick to their “big lie” message of repeating hearsay and innuendo over and over again against the president — and hope it will somehow stick.
This, and the street agitation they hope will cause on-the-fence GOP senators — they only need four to change the nature of the trial — to break ranks and cave to the Dems.
However, unlike the House, this is the GOP’s ballfield — and that comes with a home-town advantage that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) will leverage with every trick and move at his disposal.
And there are an awful lot of them.