On May 22, 1856, Democratic Representative Preston Brooks used his cane to brutally and repeatedly strike Republican Senator Charles Sumner in the chamber over a speech the Senator made criticizing slaveholders.
Sumner almost died from the beating.
The attack was widely regarded as the “breakdown of reasoned discourse” in the Nation’s Capitol, which eventually led to the Civil War.
Yesterday Republican Tennesee Representative Tim Burchett claimed that former House Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, threw his elbow from behind into his kidney, allegedly for voting to oust him from the speakership.
Then if that weren’t enough, Republican Senator Markwayne Mullin from Oklahoma stood up and challenged Teamsters President Sean O’Brien to a fistfight in a Senate hearing room for tweeting shit about him.
Bernie Sanders, the chairman of the Committee scolded Mullin and told him to sit down.
Mullin later posted a picture of himself alongside a pile of guns with the caption, “Let’s do it. Anyplace, anytime” and then said he was just representing Oklahoma values.
With tensions running as high as they are these days, it may not be long before we see a knock down, drag out brawl on the House or Senate floor.