A guide to congressional names

By Nick Thomas

Disgraced New York Representative Anthony Weiner left the nation cringing after he sent a series of inappropriate messages and images to women in 2011. Given his name, it was difficult to discuss the incident without smirking. Which raises an interesting question.

There are 541 members in the 115th Congress – 435 in the House of Representatives plus six non-voting delegates and 100 from the Senate. Are there members in the current Congress who are also encumbered with interesting names?

Here is a guide to current congressional names that are all real and, unlike some members, unadulterated.

It would seem there are a few colorful individuals in Congress, including one Black, and a couple of Browns and Greens.

The list also includes members who are Kind, Blunt, Strange, Long, and three who are Kings. There’s a Flake, a Harper, three who are Young, and one is a real Payne, but only a single Brat in the group. And even on a good day, one senator from Idaho is always Crapo.

Others are just plain animals including Reps. Foxx, Labrador, Bass, Doggett, Duckworth, and Senator Coons.

There is a Waters, Brooks, and Meadows, as well as a Boxer, a Cook, a Gardner, and a Hunter. And despite touting several Bishops, no Christian is listed on the current Congressional roll.


Rep. Slaughter is known for her killer speeches, while Rep. Cleaver’s wit can cut an opponent down to size. Unfortunately, Senator Lugar retired in 2013 – he was a straight shooter.

The international crowd is represented, too, with Daines, some Scotts, and Reps. Deutch and Jordan.

A few members do try to keep active, especially Representatives Walker, Trott, Walz, and Roe.

Some members might even claim presidential heritage since the group boasts a Carter, Adams, Buchanan, Wilson, McKinley, and Johnson. And for military buffs, there’s a Lee, Sherman, Kuster, and MacArthur.

There are plenty of Lewis and Clarks, a couple of Mr. Rogers, and a Daniel Webster. And let’s not forget a bunch of Bradys, too.

Until Ben’s retirement in 2013, Bill and Ben Nelson were both Democratic senators. Now, when Bill votes, it’s officially recorded as a half Nelson. And after Republican Doc Hastings retired two years ago, Democrat Alcee Hastings is the only Hastings remaining. Which is just as well, since the two would often go head-to-head on the House floor invariably leading to a Battle of Hastings.

Sometimes, despite their opposing political views, Rep. Lance has been known to assist Rep. Boyle, much to the latter’s relief.

While we occasionally see ugly partisan discussions in Congress, it may seem unprofessional for a member to tell a colleague to go to Heck. Unless it’s a suggestion to seek out advice from the Washington Democrat, Denny Heck.


Most members, however, are able to avert conflict. Rep. Duncan prefers to ignore the fray and nibble on donuts, while Rep. Goodlatte relaxes with cups of hot coffee. As for Senator Boozman, they don’t ask what he sips to keep calm.

Although rare, members sometimes put politics aside over social pot-luck meals. At such gatherings, there is bipartisan support welcoming Reps. Franks and Rice. Usually it’s unanimous that Rep. Budd be in charge of beverages.

Finally, after considering the above House and Senate members, unanswered questions may still remain:

Shouldn’t Rep. Banks chair the House Finance Committee? No one would be confident if it was Ohio’s Rep. Fudge.

Will Fischer & Price ever stop toying with the American public?

Shouldn’t Rep. Marshall be in charge of the FBI?

Will Rep. Yoder introduce a bill to reevaluate the proposed Reagan era “Star Wars” missile defense system?

Could Rep. Bacon really be impartial to lobbyists from the Pork industry?

And, let’s face it, isn’t Senator Graham crackers?

Nick Thomas teaches at Auburn University at Montgomery, Ala., and has written features, columns, and interviews for over 600 magazines and newspapers.