Fight Season On Capitol Hill
Fight Season On Capitol Hill
Get yer popcorn and place yer bets. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s Fight Season on Capitol Hill. In just one day, we had possible dustups between Congressweenies Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and Tim Burchett (R-TN) and Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) and Teamsters Union President Sean O’Brien with Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) acting as homeroom teacher. Quite frankly, I prefer this over them calling each other, “My good friend”. That is just barfworthy. Fight away, me Laddies, and ignore Mika Brzezinski over there clutching her pearls.
I much prefer an old-fashion invitation to fisticuffs than the phony “Hale fellow, well met” camaraderie. With Burchett and McCarthy there was no invitation. There was only a sneak attack.
Burchett v. McCarthy
I am a Tim Burchett fan. He was Mayor of Knox County, Tennessee before he was elected to represent the 2nd Congressional District. As Mayor, he was everywhere all day. Barn jacket over his shirt and tie, always listening. He never raised taxes. He governed in the best interest of the county and the people. When he became our Congressweenie, I was disappointed that he was quiet. Not on the national radar at all. Then the Kevin McCarthy mutiny happened. I saw Burchett on Fox and Newsmax and he wasn’t saying sorry for the McCarthy Mutiny. Since Tim was one of the eight Representatives that worked to oust McCarthy, Kevin might have a bit of a chip on his shoulder. Which might have led him to sneak an elbow to Burchette’s kidney. Which led to Mika clutching her pearls on Morning Joke. Actually, Joe clutched his pearls too.
Give me a freaking break. This is Trump’s fault? No one anywhere ever had a fight before Donald Trump. Any McCarthy v. Burchette fight would be evenly matched. I think they can both fight dirty. But Kevin would be more worried about his purdy face.
Mullins v. O’Brien
This one was a surprise that seemed to come out of nowhere. Senator Mullins just suddenly jumped ugly with Teamsters Union President Sean O’Brien apropos of nothing. At first it sounded like Mullins was giving full-throated approval of non-union shops. The fight threat seemed to come out of nowhere.
These two have had beef for a while. But, when O’Brien finished one of his tweets with the word “Cowboy”, you just knew they were going to be throwing fists. “You’re a thug.” “No, you’re a thug.” And, Bernie Sanders trying to calm things down. That’s the best. Senator Mullins has had some Mixed Martial Arts fights. Kevin McCarthy has no chance.
From The Tennessean:
I’m shaking my head. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
If McCarthy hit Burchett, that’s wrong. That he’s making light of it is also wrong.
We the American people deserve some basic decorum and respect from our elected officials. What kind of example are they setting?
Sure, this is far less egregious than some of the nasty altercations of history, such as, when South Carolina Rep. Preston Brooks beat Sen. Charles Sumner of Massachusetts unconscious with a cane in 1856 on the Senate floor.
But we almost had a replay of the Brooks-Sumner affair on Tuesday in the Upper House when U.S. Sen. Markwayne Mullin, R-Oklahoma, challenged the Teamsters President Sean O’Brien to a fist fight during a hearing only to be stopped by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, the panel chair. Bernie saved the day by shaming Mullin into remembering that he is a U.S. senator.
There seems to be something in the Potomac River water.
There may have been high tension pre-Civil War that led to a fight or 40:
April 17, 1850
In early 1850, the Senate was involved in bitter debates about the future of the western territories that had been acquired as a result of the U.S. victory in the Mexican–American War. The issues included the boundaries of Texas, the admission of California to the union, and which territories would permit slavery. Henry S. Foote was a pro-slavery senator, and Thomas Hart Benton, the longest-serving senator, had previously supported slavery but had later repudiated it. The two men despised each other and had frequently exchanged insults. During debate on April 17, 1850, about negotiating a compromise, Foote offered a motion to refer the matter to a special committee of 13 senators. Benton offered an amendment that undercut Foote’s motion, and Vice President Millard Fillmore acting as presiding officer, ruled Benton’s motion in order. Senator Henry Clay angrily objected to Fillmore’s ruling, saying that it exceeded his authority, and a bitter debate among senators followed, with Foote and Benton shouting insults. Benton, a much larger man, left his seat and advanced toward Foote, who stood up, pulled out a pistol, and cocked it. Benton shouted, “I have no pistols! Let him fire! Stand out of the way and let the assassin fire!” Foote allowed another Senator to take his pistol while Benton demanded to be searched to prove that he was unarmed. The Senate quickly adjourned for the day. The Compromise of 1850 was finally enacted in September of that year.
February 6, 1858
On the evening of February 5, 1858 and into the early morning hours of February 6, the House of Representatives was debating the Lecompton Constitution, which was the second of four proposed constitutions for what became the new free state of Kansas three years later. This was an overtly pro-slavery draft with several provisions that also would have denied basic human rights to free people of color. At 2:00 a.m., antislavery Republican member Galusha Grow and pro-slavery Democrat Laurence M. Keitt insulted each other and then entered into a fistfight. About 30 other members joined in the brawl. Abolitionist Republicans Cadwallader Washburn and John F. Potter tore a wig off the head of Democrat William Barksdale, a slave owner who later became a Confederate general. Speaker of the House James Lawrence Orr ordered the sergeant-at-arms to arrest any members who continued fighting and the brawl died down. Two days later, the Lecompton Constitution was defeated.
I would love to see a wig or two pulled off. Especially if Bernie Sanders was the referee.
Truth be told, I would much rather an honest fight than the faux camaraderie. Faux collegiality doesn’t solve any problems. Real fights do.