Let us remind you of a song called “Twinkle, Twinkle Kenneth Starr.”
Written by Ike Allen | Published on
Georgia representative Marjorie Taylor Greene brandished nude photos of Hunter Biden yesterday during a congressional hearing about the government’s tax-related investigation of the presidential progeny. She claimed the explicit images showed the president’s son has been involved in making pornography, although it was unclear where they came from.
.@RepMTG: “Parental discretion is advised.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) asks an IRS witness about Hunter Biden’s alleged activity with prostitutes, which she claims is a violation of the Mann Act.
Clip contains graphic images of sexual acts. pic.twitter.com/BZJWBOHxDb
— CSPAN (@cspan) July 19, 2023
Greene is known for attention-grabbing claims and sensationalism, but the dick pic stunt was particularly outrageous, and drew condemnation from Democrats within seconds.
Still, she isn’t the first representative to turn the legislative branch into a circus. Here are some of the most eyebrow-raising, bizarre, and just plain dumb political stunts that have taken place in the Senate and the House.
Sen. Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham
The Texas senator’s 21-hour filibuster against Obamacare in 2013 involved many digressions, including the time he read the entirety of the Dr. Seuss book to his daughters at home. More recently, he cracked open another picture book, Ibram X. Kendi’s Antiracist Baby, to deliver a mocking tirade aimed at Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson during her confirmation hearing.
Sen. Jim Inhofe’s snowball
“If the world’s getting hotter, how come I’m cold right now?” Checkmate, liberals. Climate-change-denying Oklahoma senator Inhofe demonstrated this flawless logic in 2015, when he brought a snowball onto the senate floor and seemed to argue that it refuted the pattern of global warming. The record for hottest year on earth has since been smashed eight times.
Rep. Duncan Hunter vaping to protest a ban
“Yes, I vape,” the Southern California Republican representative wrote in an op-ed in 2015. Then he did so on the House floor, exhaling a billow of vapor that prompted nearby colleagues to wave their hands in disgust. It did not win him much support: the house passed the airplane vaping ban he had been protesting.
Rep. Steve Cohen eating a bucket of KFC fried chicken
In a somewhat groan-worthy gag, democratic Tennessee representative Steve Cohen ate a bucket of KFC fried chicken in front of reporters in 2019, calling Attorney General Bill Barr a chicken for failing to show up to testify before the House Judiciary Committee.
Sen. Rand Paul carting around a copy machine
Kentucky senator Paul—who once messily ate a candy bar during a filibuster—is a showboater on the Senate floor. In 2017, he ginned up some press attention by wheeling a copier machine over to the House in an attempt to find and distribute a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Republicans have voted fruitlessly to strike down the Affordable Care Act dozens of times since then, often as a futile political stunt.
Portable copy machine KY Sen Rand Paul wheeled over to the Hse to try to photocopy still unfinished health care bill pic.twitter.com/etb5tcQiwf
— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) March 2, 2017
Rep. Lauren Boebert setting off the House metal detectors with a gun
The outrage-courting far-right Colorado congresswoman, who once owned a gun-themed restaurant, set off the newly installed metal detectors in the House days after the January 6th insurrection. Boebert then refused to allow Capitol Police to search her bag, giving her the opportunity for a viral gun-rights stunt.
Rep. Mike Pappas’s Ken Starr song
The Clintons’ Whitewater controversy was eclipsed by the Monica Lewinsky scandal and may seem like distant history now, but it did lead to one memorable oddball stunt on the House floor. In 1998, Republican congressman Mike Pappas took the stand to deliver an admiring, cringe-worthy song about the independent counsel charged with investigating Bill and Hillary’s failed Arkansas real estate venture. “Twinkle Twinkle Kenneth Starr,” began the ode, “now we see how brave you are.” Pappas soon lost a re-election bid. His opponent ran ads calling him “out of tune,” and “out of touch.”
John Boehner handing out checks from lobbyists on the House floor
In 1995, then-representative Boehner admitted to giving out campaign checks from a tobacco PAC to incumbent fellow Republicans in plain view, right on the House floor. Boehner’s move was condemned as shameless, but wasn’t a political stunt per se. He apologized and claimed “it was a matter of convenience.”