The painting by Missouri student David Pulphus, 18, was hung there after he won a local art competition in Clay’s district. Nobody objected to it until earlier this month, when police organizations began raising objections to the painting’s depiction of an officer as a pig.
What followed was a surreal tit-for-tat that’s almost too easy to read as a symbol of congressional dysfunction. Heeding the outcry from some police groups, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California personally took down the painting on Friday. On Monday, Democrats fired back at a press conference at which Rep. Clay, joined by other black lawmakers and the head of the Congressional Black Conference, reinstalled the painting at a small ceremony.
But after the ceremony this morning, the painting was again removed by Republican Rep. Doug Lamborn, who returned it to Clay. Clay responded at a little after 2 pm by putting the painting up for a third time, where it lasted for — you guessed it — just a few hours.
At around 4 pm, two other Republican representatives — Dana Rohrabacher and Brian Babin — again removed the painting, marking the fourth time it had been moved Tuesday.