The Ugly Effect of Physical Insults

Debates can get, well, ugly in Congress, but rarely do they descend to the level of physical taunts. Yet that is exactly what happened on Thursday during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee.

During a discussion about whether Attorney General Merrick B. Garland should be held in contempt of Congress, Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, told Representative Jasmine Crockett, a Democrat from Texas, “I think your fake eyelashes are messing up what you’re reading.”

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat from New York whose own signature red lipstick has become something of an online lightning rod, then leaped to Ms. Crockett’s defense.

“How dare you attack the physical appearance of another person,” she said.

Further name-calling ensued, culminating in Ms. Crockett’s covertly returning the insult by asking the chair, James R. Comer, “If someone on this committee then starts talking about somebody’s bleach blond, bad-built butch body, that would not be engaging in personalities, correct?” (That description being a not-entirely-implicit reference to Ms. Greene.)

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