The following is attributed by CBS News to Senator Lamar Alexander (R Tenn):
In talking about consensus building, Alexander described himself as a “very Republican Republican,” but he said senators do their jobs with excessive civility. He rejected the notion that Congress is overly divisive and cited more egregious examples from U.S. history — Vice President Aaron Burr killing Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in an 1804 duel, Rep. Sam Houston caning an Ohio lawmaker and venomous debates during the Civil War, the Army-McCarthy hearings, Watergate and Vietnam.
“To suggest that we should be more timid in debating the issues is to ignore American history and the purpose of the Senate,” Alexander said.
Sen Alexander is resigning his leadership position in the Senate ostensibly to focus on the important legislative work under deliberation by that august body. I think the real reason is to free up time to retake American History 101. I’m assuming he took it at least once before. Repeating the course may help prevent him from slandering other dead politicians. The caning incident he refers to took place on the floor of the US Senate in 1856. South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks severely beat Senator Charles Sumner (of Massachusetts not Ohio) to the point of breaking a cane over his head.
You might think Sen Alexander would know something about Sam Houston since they both served as Governor of Tennessee. Why he thinks the great Houston would go around hitting lawmakers over the head is as mysterious as why he once thought of himself as a President of the United States. There’s always the chance that CBS News got the quote screwed up.