Sen. Markwayne Mullin speaking during a senate hearing

Senator Markwayne Mullin Doubles Down on Embarrassing Tough-Guy Stunt

Are beatdowns part of being a legislator now?

Sen. Markwayne Mullin made headlines this week when he stood up from the mic in the middle of a senate hearing and threatened to fight a union leader. Now, the Republican from Oklahoma has replied to a tweet inviting him to appear on the rightwing podcast Ruthless with a picture of himself brandishing one of multiple guns laid out on the back of his pickup truck.

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The message’s intention seems to be that he does not regret his aggressive behavior in the chamber.

“Let’s do it. Anyplace, anytime,” Sen. Mullin wrote in his response on Twitter/X. That echoes a quote from his Senate dust-up with that union leader, Sean O’Brien. “You know where to find me. Any time, any place, cowboy,” Mullin said, reading a tweet from O’Brien.

The Oklahoma senator did appear as a guest on the Ruthless podcast, where he explained in detail how to throw a punch that’s so good it will “break your hand.”

A large number of the comments to Sen. Mullin’s X post feature two past photos of the senator with an apparent attempt to dismantle the tough guy persona he’s projecting in his gun selfie. One features Mullin in a debate, standing on a box behind his lectern to appear taller than his opponent, who is standing on the floor. 

The other is a video still from inside the Senate Chamber during the January 6 insurrection attempt, showing Mullin cowering behind a row of chairs. 

Is it shocking to see someone in Mullin’s position brag about their gun ownership online? Yes, it is super inappropriate. But at least social media—and especially Elon Musk’s “X”—seems like the appropriate place for inappropriateness. Standing up in the middle of a Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee where he had the floor (after the mutual threat of “stand your butt up!”) and threatening to beat up a visitor is not really the done thing. That’s probably why the committee chair, Sen. Bernie Sanders, tried to remind him, “You’re a United States Senator,” when trying to break up the kerfuffle. 

It’s worth noting that Mullin is a “former undefeated Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter with a professional record of 5-0,” according to his Senate website, which also says that he still coaches children in wrestling. Here’s hoping he’s not in charge of teaching them sportsmanship because he clearly does not understand how power dynamics play into disagreements.

(featured image: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

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Cammy Pedroja
Author and independent journalist since 2015. Frequent contributor of news and commentary on social justice, politics, culture, and lifestyle to publications including The Mary Sue, Newsweek, Business Insider, Slate, Women, USA Today, and Huffington Post. Lover of forests, poetry, books, champagne, and trashy TV.