When Arizonans John McCain and Janet Napolitano started arguing over border security in the Senate on Wednesday, it sounded briefly like the pair could be heading for a modern day shootout at the O.K. Corral.
But it ended in a Mexican stand-off instead, with each cow poke flanked by an imaginary posse of sympathetic sheriffs.
The trouble started when McCain, a Republican senator, got his chance to ask questions at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano, a former Democratic governor of Arizona, was a testifying witness in discussions that had been all about Islamist militancy up to then.
But McCain turned the conversation sharply toward the southwest to ask about security along the U.S.-Mexico border.