John Kennedy Gets Owned During Thursday Senate Hearing

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On Thursday, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) utterly humiliated himself during a Senate Banking Committee hearing regarding the nomination by President Joe Biden of Dr. Saule Omarova to serve as head of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), which regulates banks. Omarova was born in Kazakhstan when the area was part of the Soviet Union, and considering these circumstances, she — like other young citizens of the Soviet Union — was a member of a particular Communist youth organization known as the Komsomol. Membership was not optional, but Kennedy not only questioned Omarova about the long defunct group — he asked her if she’d ever sent a “letter of resignation,” which is simply not how the totalitarian regime worked.

After Kennedy asked at first about her membership in general, Omarova told him as follows:

‘Senator, I was born and grew up in the Soviet Union… Everybody in that country was a member of the Komsomol, which was the Communist youth organization, because that was a part of normal progress in school.’

Kennedy then asked Omarova if she had “resigned” from the organization. The Soviet Union hasn’t existed for some three decades. Does Kennedy have any substantive grasp at all of the basic facts relevant to Omarova’s membership in the group? The Komsomol was brought to a close along with the Soviet Union in 1991 — a fact which could be uncovered with about 30 seconds of Googling. After Omarova explained how membership in the Komsomol was automatically cut off at a certain age, Kennedy reiterated his question, asking if she “sent them a letter, though, resigning,” at which point Omarova explained the age cut-off once again. Kennedy, though, was undeterred — he subsequently asked her to “look at your records and see if you can find a letter of resignation for me.”

Subsequently, Kennedy went through points of Omarova’s record that he found troubling, including her… membership in a Facebook group ostensibly about “anti-capitalist” ideas. His melodramatic approach to points as utterly mundane as membership in a Facebook group is laughable. But, he said that he doesn’t “know whether to call [Omarova] professor or comrade.”

Omarova replied as follows:

‘Senator — I am not a Communist. I do not subscribe to that ideology. I could not choose where I was born. I do not remember joining any Facebook group that subscribes to that ideology. I would never knowingly join any such group. There is no record of me ever actually participating in any Marxist or Communist discussions of any kind. My family suffered under the Communist regime. I grew up without knowing half of my family. My grandmother herself escaped death twice under the Stalin regime. This is what’s seared in my mind. That’s who I am. I remember that history.’

Check out Kennedy’s meltdown below: