Attorney General William Barr decided to ignore the requests of the Democratically controlled House of Representatives to come to Capitol Hill and testify. So, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) decided to make Barr’s absences more conspicuous. He brought a bucket of KFC chicken and a chicken figurine to stand in for Barr.
— CSPAN (@cspan) May 2, 2019
Barr’s appearance before the Senate was notably heated, and after that debacle he decided not to appear before the House. Rep. Cohen replaced Barr with a chicken figurine and said:
“Chicken Barr should’ve shown up today and answered questions.”
Senate Democrats made Barr’s appearance more than uncomfortable, despite the fact that the body is controlled by Republicans friendly to the Trump Administration. Barr declined a visit to the House, given that experience.
Rep. Cohen, who orchestrated the stunt, posted a picture of the ceramic chicken he had standing in for Attorney General Barr, complete with placard, on Twitter:
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) May 2, 2019
One could see how such antics would be viewed as inappropriate for the United States Congress. After all, it is a deliberative body of the United States government and should be taken seriously. However, no one, regardless of political affiliation, can deny that Rep. Cohen’s actions gathered attention.
This is a serious issue, and Committee hearings in Congress are often contentious. Members of the House of Representatives have every right to conduct oversight of the sitting president and his administration. That might sometimes involve doing things like questioning the Attorney General.
Attorney General Barr likely would have faired better had he just shown up to answer the questions posed by the House of Representatives. At the very least, Rep. Steve Cohen gave everyone a few laughs.
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Shannon Barber is a progressive queer feminist and budding political scientist. She is passionate about issues of social justice, including but not limited to racial equality, criminal justice reform, pro-Black politics, and LGBTQ equality. She hopes to change the world, one mind at a time.