Ice cream didn’t ask for any of this

Lawmakers put frozen treat at the center of their heated debate, ruining it for the rest of us

As if a pandemic weren’t enough, lawmakers have spent the week fighting about ice cream. (In the extremely unrelated photo above, protesters highlight environmental issues at the Capitol by dressing as a “baked Alaska” in 2005.) (Roll Call Photos)
As if a pandemic weren’t enough, lawmakers have spent the week fighting about ice cream. (In the extremely unrelated photo above, protesters highlight environmental issues at the Capitol by dressing as a “baked Alaska” in 2005.) (Roll Call Photos)
Posted April 17, 2020 at 6:09pm

It started when Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared this week by video on CBS’ “The Late Late Show with James Corden.”

The California Democrat, opting for what appears to be two refrigerators as a backdrop, revealed a freezer drawer full of ice cream to the British television host.

“I like it better than anything else,” she told Corden of her obsession with ice cream and candy. (An Easter basket trimmed with chocolate was off to the side.)

For anyone looking for Dove vanilla ice cream bars coated in dark chocolate, Talenti (which is technically gelato) and pints of Jeni’s ice cream (which flaunts flavors like “Milkiest Chocolate” and “Blackout Chocolate Cake”), they’re all in Pelosi’s house.

It didn’t take long for the innocent frozen treat to unwittingly become a political weapon. (Maybe it’s more threatening when frozen.) “We’ve got the speaker being on late night TV … showcasing her gourmet ice cream [instead of] securing the funding,” Republican House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News.

He was referencing the ongoing fight in Congress over small-business relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the ice cream didn’t ask for any of it.

“I only have one refrigerator,” Republican Sen. Marco Rubio quipped on Twitter. “I will give you all the ice cream I have, Madam Speaker, if you fund small business and stop holding it hostage.”

Rubio offered up what appeared to be a pack of “M&M’s Fun Cups,” which, honestly, who could refuse?

The National Republican Congressional Committee went even further, promoting swag inspired by something Marie Antionette, the extravagant queen beheaded in the French Revolution, probably never said. “Let them eat ice cream,” reads the limited-edition T-shirt.

Meanwhile, Democratic allies defended Pelosi’s sweet tooth.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden complimented her “great taste,” while Rep. Dean Phillips, the onetime gelato tycoon who helped build up the Talenti brand, found out the hard way that he isn’t the speaker’s favorite.

“I don’t know what I would’ve done if ice cream were not invented,” said Pelosi, sparking the feud that ruined it for the rest of us.

[California ice cream shop milks D.C. impeachment hearings]