On Tuesday, The Daily Caller‘s Mirror blog reported that Alaskan Republican Rep. Don Young was clowning around on the House floor during the naming of a post office. He stuck his fingers in his ears and made funny faces, much like Fred Flintstone and Barney Rubble on The Flintstones. Post office namings, as you might imagine, are not terribly exciting legislative moments in Washington.
But this one actually meant something.
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) sponsored the bill to honor a fallen solder.
The short video — WATCH HERE — starts with Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who is in charge of the debate time, explaining what the bill is about: designating the USPS facility the Joseph D’Augustine Post Office Building. During this, Young (to the left of the screen) is fooling around with his thumbs in his ears and fingers pointed to the ceiling (as shown here). Following the brief remarks from Meadows and Democratic Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Garrett begins his remarks (3:19:42). Immediately after Garrett is recognized, Young starts laughing and yucking it up with his staff.
Young isn’t entirely clueless. He’s paying attention to Garrett’s remarks because at (3:20:30) he appears to repeat a line from Garrett’s speech, “Gosh, 29 years old…”
But that didn’t stop him from again turning to his staff to crack another joke.
Now a bit on Staff Sergeant Joseph D’Augustine. He was killed in action in the Helmand province of Afghanistan on March 27, 2012. D’Augustine, a 2001 Waldwick High School graduate, was assigned to the 8th Engineer Support Battalion of the 2nd Marine Logistics Group out of Camp Lejune and was a specialist trained to dismantle bombs and land mines. D’Augustine was on his fourth tour of duty overseas and his second in Afghanistan.
Everyone knows Washington to be a town that’s simultaneously way too serious and not serious enough. Ordinarily Young’s goofiness could be viewed as a major breath of fresh air. But next time he want to think about the bill before practicing his water buffalo moves. Especially when the C-SPAN cameras catch all.
The Mirror sought comment from both Young’s and Garrett’s press offices.
“The House cameras caught Congressman Young in a light-hearted moment interacting with a colleague,” wrote Young’s spokesman Matt Shuckerow in an email. “As a veteran himself, his actions were obviously not related to the legislation being discussed on the House floor and he clearly meant no disrespect.”
Garrett’s office declined to comment.