Sen. Markwayne Mullin’s attempt to turn the U.S. Senate into The Jerry Springer show with an almost-slugfest got him a primetime spot and accolades on Fox News.
The almost fist fight in the Senate between Sen. Mullin and Sean O’Brien
Judging from The Washington Post’s description of events and watching the video, it sure seems like Mullin went into the hearing looking for a fight. He read a June social media post by Teamster head Sean O’Brien calling Mullin a “Greedy CEO who pretends like he’s self-made … What a clown, always has been, always will be. Quit the tough guy act in these Senate hearings. You know where to find me. Anyplace, Anytime cowboy.”
Then Mullin challenged O’Brien to a fight. “Sir, this is a time, this is a place. You want to run your mouth? We can be two consenting adults, we can finish it here.”
In other words, this was not a heat of the moment loss of temper, but a planned hijacking of a Senate hearing.
O’Brien said he’d “love to” fight then and there. Mullin stood up and Chairman Bernie Sanders told him to sit down. “You’re a United States senator,” Sanders chided.
But clearly, Mullin cared nothing about any sanctity of the Senate. He didn't show any respect for the substance of the hearing, either. But we know what he did care about...
Mullin got the Fox primetime hit he surely hoped for
It was no surprise to see Mullin on the Hannity show tonight. I’ve written before about Sean Hannity’s bloodlust so it was also no surprise to see Hannity so enthused about the prospect of violence during a Senate hearing. He opened the discussion, saying, “I gotta be honest, I don't think this is gonna hurt you with the people in Oklahoma. I think [your] popularity probably will go up tenfold as a result of that.”
“You should have seen the fear of [O’Brien’s] eyes when I stood up,” Mullin boasted. “I used to get paid to fight professionally.”
It seemed like the only thing Hannity would have liked better would have been if Mullin had actually punched O’Brien or some other liberal. Hannity sneered about “keyboard warriors” on social media, “usually in their basement bunkers, you know, in their underwear” but are “not so tough” when “you call them out.”
Which is funny because “tough guy” Hannity never spent a single second putting his fanny on the line in the military.
“TV warrior” Hannity went on to complain that “the left today” will “absolutely lose it” if you use the wrong pronoun in school. Then Hannity reminisced about the “little bit of a different time” when “I don't think there was a single day that we were playing sports where we didn't drop the gloves or you know, have a brief interlude of you know, throwing fists and it’d all be over and you pick up and you start playing again.”
“When, all of a sudden, did we become that woke” that this doesn’t happen any more? Hannity asked. Of course, playing sports as a kid is hardly the same thing as being on the job as a U.S. senator.
Not that Mullin saw the difference or wanted to. He called the lack of enthusiasm for physical violence “political correctness. It’s all of a sudden you got to worry about somebody’s feelings.”
The most depressing thing about all this: Hannity and Mullin want the Senate to be more like The Jerry Springer Show
To say that Mullin was not contrite would be an understatement. Neither he nor Hannity indicated any concern about Senate decorum or propriety. If anything they seemed to think the Senate would be a better place if there were actual violence.
“It’s political correctness,” Mullin continued. “It's all of a sudden you got to worry about somebody's feelings, but oh, by the way, the left can say whatever they want. And it's not personal to me. I'm not mad at this guy. I mean, he said it I'm just answering the call. That's it. If he wants to go out afterwards and have a cup of coffee, let's go have a cup of coffee. I'm friends with a lot of guys that I used to fight.”
Hannity chuckled appreciatively.
“We need more of this, to be quite frank,” Mullin added. “I’m not saying more violence, but we need more people to be taught a lesson and to be called out on what they say.”
Well, except for Donald Trump. These folks never think he should be held to account for anything.
You can watch the complete lack of respect for the U.S. Senate or grownup behavior by people who are supposed to be role models below, from the November 14, 2023 Hannity.
But wait, there’s more. Mullin was back on Fox today. Brian wrote his appearance on Your World, which you can see as the next post after this one.