US politics has frequently departed from convention and appeared lacking in order during the tumultuous events of recent years.
And one Republican congressman suffered his own embarrassing brush with procedural chaos when he suddenly appeared upside-down during a hearing this week.
A technical hitch with his video call meant Representative Tom Emmer virtually floated into the congressional financial services committee meeting, appearing to his colleagues as a disembodied head on a screen.
Footage of the hearing shows him to be initially unaware of the problem, and he begins speaking before being stopped by committee chairwoman Maxine Waters.
“Mr Emmer, are you OK?” she asks.
“You’re upside-down, Tom,” one person is heard saying, amid widespread mirth, before another asks: “Is this a metaphor?”
Apparently unable to remedy the problem, Mr Emmer can then be heard, saying: “I don’t know how to fix it.”
The episode prompts an off-camera colleague to suggest: “Maybe you should stand on your head.”
“Tom, you’re going viral,” one man is then heard saying, while a woman calls out, “At least he’s not a cat!”, referring to a video that went viral this week of lawyer in a virtual court hearing speaking through a Zoom filter that made him look like a kitten.
Mr Emmer, one of many Republicans who had supported Donald Trump in his failed reelection campaign, said he was having trouble correcting his appearance on the screen, but was soon able to right himself.
He has served as the Republican representative for Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District since 2015.
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