Like your annoying pre-teen, it appears that Republican Senators too have the shortest attention spans known to man.
Have you ever sat in on a really long boring meeting wishing you could melt into a puddle right there so you wouldn't have to talk about something that should have just been an email? Well, we've probably all been there. And I get it. In those moments, it can feel like your brain is dissolving into some sort of goo. So you scroll through Facebook, count the number of tiles on the floor, or even try to name all 50 states in your head just to stay awake. But when it comes to matters of national importance, things probably shouldn't be taken so lightly or nonchalantly. However, the GOP never fails to come through. President Trump's impeachment trial recently passed to the Senate floor, which is currently controlled by a Republican majority. As fellow Democratic Senators made their case, it appears that the Republicans were seen playing with fidget spinners (among other ways to slack off), NBC News reports.
For those of us who don't have annoying children with short attention spans, a fidget spinner is a toy that consists of a ball bearing and a multi-lobed flat structure. Imagine holding a tiny fan in your hand. When you spin the "wings," the momentum keeps the wings going. They became a huge trend way back in 2017. Some experts suggested fidget spinners could even help with concentration, which is hopefully what the GOP Senators were trying to accomplish on Thursday when President Trump's impeachment trial was in process. Allegedly, Richard Burr, the Republican Senator from North Carolina, handed out a bunch of fidget spinners to his colleagues in the chamber right before the trial.
Could the fidget spinners be a symbol of the Republicans' disdain for the trial as a whole? Most probably. They were definitely a huge hit with the Republican Senators in the chamber. Senator Burr was seen playing with a blue one while listening to arguments by Democratic House Representative Jerry Nadler, one of the impeachment managers. And he wasn't alone. A purple fidget spinner was spotted on Republican Senator Tom Cotton's desk. He was seen playing with it as Democratic House Representative Zoe Lofgren presented arguments against Trump. Republican Senator Pat Toomey, though not seen playing with it, had a white one on his desk.
Meanwhile, other Senators from the GOP kept busy in different ways. Senator Rand Paul was caught drawing or tracing a sketch of the United States Capitol building and solving crossword and Sudoku puzzles. Senator Marsha Blackburn, similarly, was spotted reading a book and underlining a passage in it. All this could potentially be a violation of Senate rules. These regulations dictate that all Senators must sit silently and listen intently to the arguments being made during an impeachment trial. But following rules probably isn't the GOP's style or protocol. This also wouldn't be the first time that Senators - party no bar - have broken the rules. Nonetheless, it must be noted that several other Republican Senators actually were seen paying close attention and even taking detailed notes. Perhaps Senators really are a lot like most of us. But we aren't all entrusted to protect American democracy.