The Morning Briefing: Republicans Had a Goofy, Feisty Day on Capitol Hill

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Happy Wednesday, dear Kruiser Morning Briefing friends. Basyengo felt that sponge bathing in pickle juice helped him see the shuttlecock in ways that mere mortals couldn’t. 


Well, ladies and gentlemen, the news cycle gods have once again given us a diversion from the global conflagration/mentally compromised president/border crisis loop that we’ve been in seemingly forever. 

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This year has provided plenty of opportunities to see Republicans in Congress being plenty cranky and combative, usually with each other. We would all like to see them show some more spark when it comes to battling the Democrats, but that’s probably a big ask right now. 

There were a couple of interesting, if not earth-shattering stories from the nation’s capital that really did make things seem like a Grand Old Party for an hour or two. One of them happened with the rambunctious Republicans on the House side of Capitol Hill, which Milt Harris wrote about for us

A pulse has been detected in the Congressional Republican party. It may not have been the most professional way to demonstrate it, but at this point, any sign of life is promising. 

Following a closed-door meeting of the GOP’s House caucus, Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.) was being interviewed by Claudia Grisales, a National Public Radio (NPR) correspondent. Grisales later stated that as Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) passed behind Burchett, she witnessed him forcefully elbow Burchett, causing him to lurch forward toward her. 

In case you’ve forgotten, Burchett was one of the eight Republicans who successfully voted to vacate McCarthy from the speaker’s office last month. An embarrassment for sure, since McCarthy had the misfortune of being the first Speaker of the House to be removed from office in American history, and his 269-day tenure was the shortest in 140 years.


As the kids are fond of saying, “Whoa, if true.” 

The most surprising thing about this is that it was McCarthy who allegedly fired off the elbow. One of the big raps on him has always been that he lacks fortitude when it’s needed. While it’s true that throwing a cheap shot doesn’t exactly mean he’s an alpha male over in the People’s House, I’ll admit that I enjoyed seeing that everything isn’t all gooey and happy after the Speaker drama. I may occasionally get frustrated when the GOP can’t get together for simple things like impeaching loathsome Democrats, but I never want to see the party go all hivemind like the Dems. 

I think it’s safe to say that there is no danger of that as long as Matt Gaetz remains in Congress. This is from my colleague Jeff Charles over at RedState:

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) announced on Tuesday that he is filing an ethics complaint against Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) for allegedly elbowing or shoving Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) on Capitol Hill. The announcement comes after it was reported that the two lawmakers got into a physical altercation earlier in the day.

In the complaint, which Gaetz published on his website and on X, formerly Twitter, the lawmaker insisted that “this incident deserves immediate and swift investigation by the Ethics Committee.”

Gaetz should probably just stick to his “fly in the ointment” routine and not do too much to remind the Ethics Committee that he’s still around. 


The real popcorn moment of the day yesterday happened in the Senate, where Sen. Markwayne Mullin of Oklahoma threatened to open a can of you-know-what on a Teamsters Twitter/X “tough guy,” which Spencer Brown covered at Townhall. Here’s some video from Spencer’s post:

That’s entertainment right there. Who knew the Senate could be so much fun?

Here are some of Spencer’s comments on the almost brawl:

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. 

Teamster Dude didn’t seem at all convinced that he would do well in an altercation if Mullin made it down to his seat. He probably won’t be frequenting any bars in close proximity to the Capitol anytime in the near future. Spencer’s right, Mullin’s baller cred is through the roof, and he probably isn’t going to have to buy a beer for a while. 

It’s especially hilarious that Bernie Sanders was trying to be the paragon of Senate decorum. The Vermont commie generally doesn’t display any respect for his colleagues, the institution, or the United States of America. 


The big takeaway from Tuesday is something that I’ve been saying forever: Republicans are always more fun than Democrats.

Even when it’s not intentional. 

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