Senate Republicans produced a five-part mini-documentary on the pandemic aimed at highlighting the party’s response to COVID-19. Produced by the Senate Republican Conference, “Invisible Enemy” is being rolled out over the course of five days starting on Wednesday, wrapping up just before voters head to the polls next week.
Asked by The Federalist on Wednesday why his team chose to package their message in the documentary format, SRC Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said, “A documentary gives us time to tell the story. We’ve been fighting the pandemic for over eight months. The CARES Act put in place the right programs and policies to save jobs. The size and scale of the pandemic, and the size and scale of the Republican response to meet it, needs to be told in depth.”
“In addition,” Barrasso added, “senators from across our Conference have played vital roles, from foreign relations to health care to our fiscal response. We realized that getting direct-to-camera insight from the people who were there was really valuable for people at home to understand what went on in the Capitol during the crisis.”
The first episode dropped on Wednesday afternoon, a slick, five-and-a-half minute trip down memory lane featuring GOP senators recalling their initial reactions to the emergence of COVID-19 in China. “I wonder what this is going to be, what the severity is going to be,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) remembers thinking when the news first broke. “Little did I know,” she says.
The episode makes the case that Democrats distracted the country from larger business at a crucial time by insisting on dragging the country through the impeachment process in December and January. “The Democrats were obsessed with impeachment and that absorbed an enormous amount of time,” argues Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas).
Barrasso himself contends the impeachment process necessarily left senators operating at “half speed,” with full days occupied by the trial. Cruz explains that Beijing further hampered our preparation efforts by deliberately concealing critical information.
It’s partisan, and doesn’t exactly deliver any big scoops, but amid the documentary boom “Invisible Enemy” is a very clever idea for a party with virtually no unfiltered platform in Hollywood or the corporate media—and a fairly well-executed one at that.