14 November 2023

It Does Not Count Unless There Is a Caning*

So today, we had former Speaker Kevin McCarthy sucker punching a house MAGAt opponent, and Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) tried to throw down with UAW president Teamsters president Sean O'Brien.

Congress is getting crazy, but but not Preston Brooks crazy:

Historian Joanne Freeman's wonderful Fields Of Blood, an account of how the Congress became the Octagon in the years before the Civil War, may be ripe for a sequel. Things are getting unstrung in the national legislature again.

On Tuesday, at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), Oklahoma Senator Markwayne Mullin and Teamsters president Sean O'Brien were prepared to throw hands over comments O'Brien had made in the past about Mullin's contention that he is a self-made millionaire.
Mullin (Quoting an O'Brien tweet) : "Quit the tough guy act in these Senate hearings. You know where to find me. Any place, Anytime cowboy." This is a time, this is a place. We can be two consenting adults. We can finish it here.
O'Brien: “OK that’s fine, perfect.”
Mullin: “You wanna do it now?”
O'Brien: “Would love to do it right now,”
Mullin: “Well stand your butt up then,”
O'Brien: “You stand your butt up...”

This Lincolnesque colloquy went on for a few minutes more, with committee chairman Senator Bernie Sanders uncorking a very respectable imitation of Mills Lane. This even surpassed Robert Kennedy's legendary flex-off with Teamsters president Jimmy Hoffa back before the McClellan committee in 1957.

Meanwhile, over on the House side of things, there was some more excitement to be had. From ABC News:
Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett, one of the eight Republicans who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy from the speakership last month, claimed to ABC News that McCarthy elbowed him in the back after a House GOP meeting on Tuesday morning. Burchett said he was speaking to the NPR reporter when McCarthy walked behind him and allegedly put his elbow intentionally into Burchett's back. Burchett said he was pushed forward and then followed McCarthy down the hallway to confront him. According to the reporter, Burchett asked McCarthy: "Why'd you walk behind me and elbow me in the back?" The former speaker responded: "I didn't elbow you in the back." And Burchett replied: "You got no guts, you did so."

I'm hoping that the Republicans start killing each other each other.

That being said, the Dems should start packing some very sturdy metal headed canes. 

*The caning of Charles Sumner by Preston Brooks on 22 May 1856. Learn your history.


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