Hot dog varieties and the members who’d eat them

Hot dogs are a singularly American institution that can take wildly different forms depending on their place of origin — an awful lot like members of Congress, when you think about it.

Throw a pickle on the Cheap Trick, M’Dawg’s traditional Chicago red-hot, for every scandalous pickle Republicans have battled this year and raise your dog to Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the House leadership’s famously impassioned Chicagoan. Or pick up a Cajun-flavored French Made andouille sausage and add some hot sauce for in-hot-water Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) or some honey mustard for affable former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.).

Pay homage to Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), whose cheese and mushroom napoleons won a congressional cook-off last year, by adding those two toppings to a Wisconsin Wunderbrat. Some apricot chutney atop the sweet Italian sausage that M’Dawg dubs The Lady is perfect for ladylike Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.), named the nicest lawmaker in the Capitol by Washingtonian magazine.

If you’re amenable to both red and blue politics, like Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.), try the Split Beefer, which combines beef and pork for a bipartisan dog. But he’s not likely to eat it — it’s not kosher. Lieberman, a well-known Orthodox Jew, would likely opt for the dog that is a natural match for Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), the Big Apple’s hot-dog-monikered mayoral hopeful. The choice is, of course, The Oy, a juicy Hebrew National straight out of Times Square.

And for the vegan at heart? Surely Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) would have to go with The Virgin Dog, a meatless hotdog.