As any true Potterhead knows, Harry's magical world can sometimes superimpose itself on real life, especially after watching a marathon of the films or rereading the books for the fifth time. After all, when fireplaces can act as magical forms of transportation, who wants to take the Metro?
This tendency has Gosar often explaining his politics to kids — and sometimes adults — through Potter metaphors.
"There are things that should be allocated to states' rights — that's Gryffindor — and certain things allocated to the federal government, which is Slytherin," he said. "Being from Arizona, the federal government is kind of a Slytherin."
His favorite character also aligns with his political beliefs. Dobby the elf inspires Gosar, he said, because the elf found it honorable to die free rather than to live in servitude. And he believes the federal government should be less like Slytherin and more like Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore — empowering the students, or states, to take charge on their own.
"One of the things that Dumbledore is always trying to do is to empower the kids to take ownership of issues and be creative and involved," he said. "That's what we see today. We need to empower America to be a creator of its solutions going forward in a new, very confusing world."
Although Connolly doesn't use Potter metaphors on the House floor, he says he does see how enemies at Hogwarts could align with political enemies in Congress.
"I suppose there are some Death Eaters in our politics these days we need to resist who would destroy Medicare and return the country to a more Darwinian kind of world," he said.
Loy said she understands why the turbulent world of Harry Potter could offer such apt metaphors for political clashes on the Hill, regardless of political persuasion.
"Its about the difference between good and evil, right and wrong, standing up for what you believe in," she said. "And that's the same with anything on the Hill."
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.