Over the past two years, I have come to admire how Senator John Kennedy (R-La.) can turn a phrase. This Republican consistently has the best one-liners in the business, and the recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with Spygate perpetrator and former FBI Director Andrew McCabe was no exception.
While Ted Cruz metaphorically beat McCabe about the head and shoulders with the Logan Act like the skilled litigator he is, Kennedy also asked detailed, pointed questions. However, Kennedy never fails to drop a few one-liners that are immensely satisfying to those watching. At one point, Kennedy compared McCabe’s firing to the prosecution of General Michael Flynn. McCabe denied lying to the FBI or the Inspector General. Kennedy fired off:
You weren’t fired for parking in the handicapped parking spot at the FBI, were you? You were fired for lying.
It didn’t end there. Kennedy went on to question McCabe as to whether or not he understood the damage that has been done to the reputation of the FBI. Kennedy correctly pointed out that many Americans view the agency as politicized based on the continued disclosures of information related to the Crossfire Hurricane investigation and prosecution of General Michael Flynn. McCabe’s answer blamed the FBI’s politicization on the rhetoric of the last four years and framed himself and his colleagues as besmirched. Kennedy’s close was the kicker:
Kennedy: Well at best that’s what you, Mr. Comey, and the others did. At worst it was intentional. And I don’t know what’s in your head or in your heart. But I can tell you what it looked like to the American people. At the very minimum. An incompetence tsunami. And they’re thinking, “How did these guys make it through the birth canal?” That’s all I got Mr. Chair.
Kennedy has a knack for these zingers. When Congress was initially trying to pass coronavirus relief for Americans and small businesses, the Senate had come to a bipartisan agreement. Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to town, and it all fell apart. Here is how Kennedy characterized it in a Fox News appearance:
We had this deal practically put together. Speaker Pelosi flew in with her left-of-Lenin, bridge-to-nowhere proposals and Senator Schumer did not have the oranges to tell her to back off. And we were off to the races.
In a speech on the Senate floor over the same legislation, Kennedy said:
You know what the American people are thinking right now, Mr. President? They’re thinking that this country was founded by geniuses. But it’s being run by a bunch of idiots.
Indeed! When Senator Kamala Harris was chosen as Joe Biden’s running mate, and Neil Cavuto asked Kennedy his thoughts, Kennedy summed it up this way:
Kamala is my colleague, so I want to congratulate her. I think she is very personable, she’s very smart, she’s very aggressive, and she’s very liberal. I think of Kamala, I would describe her as Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, but smarter and without the bartending experience.
This is a short sample of Senator Kennedy’s memorable quips. But make no mistake. Senator Kennedy is serious as a heart attack when it counts. As one of my Twitter followers noted, “He sounds like he’s from Mayberry, but acts like he’s from Law and Order.” He’s a national treasure who brings much-needed color to political commentary.
WATCH: Senator Kennedy’s full exchange with former FBI Director Andrew McCabe.