It’s been a while since lively fisticuffs broke out in the halls of Congress but Tuesday morning almost saw it happen before Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) calmed everybody down like a miserly grandfather mediating a spat between two grandchildren.
The scene: A Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing. The players: U.S. Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), Teamster boss Sean O’Brien, and eventually a gavel-slamming Sen. Sanders.
Sen. Mullin, a former MMA fighter and successful businessman, quoted from a post O’Brien made on X, formerly Twitter, in which the union boss attacked Mullin as pretending to be “self-made,” and being a “clown” and a “fraud.”
“Quit the tough-guy act in these Senate hearings. You know where to find me anywhere, anytime, cowboy,” Mullin read from O’Brien’s post challenging the senator to a fight. Then Mullin called O’Brien’s bluff:
Mullin: 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.
O’Brien: Okay that’s fine —perfect.
Mullin: You want to do it now?
O’Brien: I’d love to do it right now.
Mullin: Well, stand your butt up then.
O’Brien: You stand your butt up.
Mullin then indeed stood up and touched his wedding band as if to take it off before throwing down in the middle of a Senate hearing before Sen. Sanders jumped in and scrambled to calm everyone down.
Things just got VERY heated when Senator Markwayne Mullin calls out a labor leader who tweeted that he would fight the senator. pic.twitter.com/5vf9G81qLe
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) November 14, 2023
It’s must-watch congressional entertainment and Mullin just cemented his status as a legend of the United States Senate. O’Brien’s decision to challenge Mullin — an undefeated MMA fighter who was inducted into the Oklahoma Wrestling Hall of Fame — is absurdly foolish and the trademark of a cowardly keyboard warrior who talks tough but can’t back up what he says.
Mullin would have wiped the committee dais with O’Brien. It’s lucky for the Teamster boss that Bernie Sanders gaveled things back to order while still humiliating that he had to rely on an octogenarian socialist to save his hide.