Congress has gone from being at least scene as a center of dignity and power to being a collection of politicians that handed over their power to the executive agencies long ago and now are far, far from being dignified. Such could be seen in the very halls of Congress on Tuesday, when Sen. Mullins of Oklahoma and Teamsters head Sean O’Brien nearly came to blows during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing.
The incident began when Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma, a Republican, grew extremely frustrated and angry during the contentious hearing an demanded that O’Brien “stand [his] butt up” and settle their longstanding differences with fisticuffs, right there in the Senate.
The cause of the near-fight was apparently a series of tweets O’Brien posted about Sen. Mullin, such as, “In reality, just a clown & fraud. Always has been, always will be. Quit the tough guy act in these senate hearings. You know where to find me. Anyplace, Anytime cowboy.”
Sen. Mullin, when throwing down the gauntlet, had stood up from his seat in the chamber and was taking his ring off for a fight. He said, “This is the time, this is the place. If you want to run your mouth, we can be two consenting adults. We can finish it here.”
O’Brien, to his credit, didn’t back down or call on the security to protect him. Instead he fired back, “I’d love to do it right now.” That’s when Sen. Mullin told him to stand up and get ready to fight, snapping, “Well, stand your butt up then.” O’Brien fired back, “You stand your butt up.”
That’s when Sen. Mullin got up and started taking off his ring, though the two never ended up fighting. Instead, they ended up just yelling insults at each other for nearly six minutes while Sen. Bernie Sanders, a staunch ally of unions, demanded they stop doing so and banged his gavel.
Conservative X personality Greg Price, commenting on and describing the issue in a post on X, said, “Oklahoma Sen. Markwayne Mullin @SenMullin just stood up and tried to fight labor leader Sean O’Brien
@TeamsterSOB at a Senate Help Committee hearing after reading his tweet where O’Brien says he’d take him ‘any time, any place.'”
Watch the incident here:
Sen. Sanders, after the hearing, which was meant to focus on unions and economic issues, said, “We were there to be talking about, and did talk about, the crisis facing working families in this country, the growing gap between the very rich and everybody else and the role that unions are playing in improving the standard of living of the American people. We’re not there to talk about cage fighting.”
Sen. Mitch McConnell demurred when asked about the behavior of Sen. Mullins and the situation generally, saying, “It’s very difficult to control the behavior of everybody who is in the building.” He added, “I don’t view that as my responsibility.”
"*" indicates required fields