To watch the impeachment hearings on Thursday was to feel the choice between two realities, slowly fracturing apart before your eyes. Here is how they went in the one where I was watching.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.): Well, we are on the last day of these hearings. In the world where I’m conducting the hearings, Donald Trump was pressuring the president of Ukraine to investigate his political rival by withholding aid and canceling meetings, and people witnessed this happening. You will hear from some of them. This should be clear cut, I think. The best-case scenario is that he wanted to investigate a made-up theory of Ukrainian election interference everyone who knows anything about it says is wrong and actively delightful to Vladimir Putin whenever we embrace.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.): Ah, but everyone who knows nothing about it says that it is probably a valid theory. So who are we to say is right? Boy, these phony hearings have sure gone on long enough, and we remain on a carousel of accusations. Or maybe it is a merry-go-round? I guess there is nothing there. Once my doctor told me that I had a malignant growth that might be a tumor or might be a cyst, and I said, “GET YOUR STORY STRAIGHT, DOC” and am now suing him for malpractice. This is why whenever anyone says, “I have two children. Would you like to meet my son?” I hiss at them in rage and alarm, then sue them. I don’t like words. I have burned every thesaurus than was ever brought near me, and I would burn it again. What about Alexandra Chalupa? What about the Steele Dossier? Black ledgers. Hunter Biden. The president has said that he did not do a quid pro quo, which (a) there is nothing suspicious about saying that specific sequence of words and (b) is all the proof we need. We live in a world where malicious Democrats are constantly trying to get the better of us, with their cows and their video recordings of Mick Mulvaney and their testimony from apolitical civil servants. This is a kangaroo court, and I respect the authority of no marsupial! Find one in the Constitution! You can’t! I would view these proceedings as legitimate if they were bipartisan, and the fact that they aren’t is the Democrats’ fault. Any attempt to impeach the president for any reason is illegitimate on its face because the Democrats did not want him to be president. I would believe this if I heard from the whistleblower. The thing the whistleblower was describing is exactly what we are hearing about right now. Hiss.

State Department official David Holmes: I had a very strange lunch once with Gordon Sondland. We had wine. In the course of lunch on a busy terrace he held his phone away from his ear and we could hear the president yelling about getting favors from Ukraine. He said the word “President Zelensky loves your ass,” a phrase which I will now repeat with zero affect. He also said that President Trump did not give a [noun] about Ukraine, but only cared about important things, like getting Ukraine to investigate his political rival. It wasn’t a fun lunch at the time, and it’s not fun to describe it to you now. But look, I will mime how he held the phone!

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio): Huh, and if this so-called call “happened” then why didn’t Ambassador Taylor, the so-called star so-called witness mention it?

Holmes: Because he wasn’t there? Gordon Sondland was?

Jordan: You have described the call as “interesting” and thus are not a True Patriot.

Former National Security Council official Fiona Hill: I love America, a country that welcomed me with open arms while England inexplicably shunned me for my accent. England’s loss! I once had to extinguish a pigtail that someone had lit on fire while I took a test, so I might describe myself as “unflappable.” I would just like to say, among many things, that I did not enjoy having our foreign policy become a pawn of this domestic political operation.

GOP counsel Stephen R. Castor: Now, might I awkwardly badger you into saying more things that would actually bolster the case against the president? I’m getting the sense that I should have prepared differently for these hearings than what I did: immerse myself in an enormous vat where no information could penetrate other than the words “Alexandra Chalupa.”

Nunes: Hold up! Wasn’t the president within his rights to ask you to investigate Ukrainian corruption?

Hill: Ah, but the president never asked me to investigate Ukrainian corruption. That seemed to be more of a personal passion project of his and not one that he was interested in sending through official channels.

Nunes: Official Channels, eh? Sounds like something an ENGLISHWOMAN would say!

Schiff: In conclusion, there are two worlds you can live in. In the America where I live, the president is not supposed to do any of this. The testimony of these brave individuals, who did not come here in a partisan way but because they were subpoenaed, will be taken in the appropriate spirit. The Senate will hold the president accountable. The process will work, and the people whom we have seen showcased this week will continue to feel happy and safe in a country that is based on a great idea.

Nunes: Now who’s living in a fantasy world?

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