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REFEREE: How Bernie Sanders prevented a BRAWL in a Senate hearing

REFEREE: How Bernie Sanders prevented a BRAWL in a Senate hearing

Literally, about 90 minutes after Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) elbowed fellow Republican Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had to order Senator Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) to sit down and not attack a witness during a Senate hearing.

Are all the Republicans on steroids?

Making it even more insane is that Mullin’s own Senate website brags:

‘Markwayne Mullin is a former undefeated Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter with a professional record of 5-0. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2016.”

He also owns several successful businesses and has six cute kids who would likely have been humiliated by the media coverage of their father almost fighting with Teamsters leader Sean O’Brien.

To be fair, O’Brien took a pretty cheap shot at Senator Mullin on “X,” which instigated the matter.

That isn’t very nice.

But Mullin is a United States Senator and people who run for the U.S. Senate know that they are going to get cheap shots on “X.” That’s just part of the job.

Moreover, Mullin had the opportunity to verbally rebut O’Brien but chose to stand up and challenge O’Brien to throw down in the hearing room.

Thankfully, adult Bernie Sanders was there to stop Mullin before he got to O’Brien.

Mullin started out by reading the text above and then said:

“Sir, I wish you was [sic] in the truck with me when I was building my plumbing company myself and my wife was running the office because I should remember working pretty hard and long hours. ‘Pretends like he’s self-made. What a clown, fraud always has been, always will be. Quit the tough guy act in these Senate hearings. You know where to find me. Any place, any time, cowboy.”

Mullin went on:

“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 responds:

“Okay, that’s fine. Perfect.”

Mullin fires back: “You want to do it now?”

O’Brien: “I’d love to do it right now.”

Actually, no, you wouldn’t, Mr. O’Brien. Senator Mullin may well be a jerk but you don’t agree to fight a guy who was 5-0 in mixed martial arts unless you have a 6-0 record — and your website doesn’t say anything like that about you.

Mullin says, “Well, stand your butt up, then,”

“You stand your butt up,” O’Brien replies.

Mullin: “I’d love to do it right now.”

Senator Sanders to the rescue! From Mediaite’s report:

“’Hold it. Stop it,’ Sanders demands as the room erupts in noise.”

“’Is that your solution to every problem?’ O’Brien demands.”

“’Stop it. No, no. Sit down. Sit down! You’re a United States senator!’ Sanders says, trying to regain control. ‘Sit down, please,’ Sanders adds.”

“’Can I respond?’ O’Brien asks.”

“’Hold it. Hold it if we can’t. No, I have the mic. No, I’m sorry. This is over,’ Sanders demands again.”

To the video, we go, and the report continues below!

The two “near fights” today (McCarthy and Mullin) have received all the media attention you would expect.

Per MSNBC reporting, Speaker Mike Johnson blames the “atmosphere” around the Capitol, the fact that they’ve been working ten whole weeks (!!), and tensions are rising over the budget.

All of us deal with the same, every day, and hardly any of us have even been close to a physical altercation since fourth grade.

Johnson’s explanation is awfully rich coming from a guy who just this morning endorsed the man who really ushered in political violence:

Unfortunately, I suspect this will all look like child’s play after November of 2024 when the Republicans will really have a “bad atmosphere” in and around the Capitol.

I can be reached at and on X @JasonMiciak.

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author.

Jason Miciak
Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here:

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