Here are a few of those moments captured on video, just in case you yourself happen upon your own “interesting times”. Watch this so you’ll recognize them when they occur:
The guy is obviously stressed. He has also committed bodily assault. I hope they bring him up on charges. Or at least file a civil suit. I hope the young man took a time-stamped picture of his own wrist later.
Ah, but The Honorable Mr. Etheridge is apologizing real fast:
Etheridge told reporters that he hasn’t apologized to the young men involved because “I don’t know who they are.”
“I would if I knew who they were,” he said.
Lame. Lamer. Lamest. He’s just mad because his intimidation tactics didn’t work. This non-apology demonstrates clearly that the man is outta touch and still angry that his bullying didn’t get him what he demanded.
“I’ve been spat at, pushed and threatened before but that’s no excuse,” he added, saying that the incident occurred after a “long day.”
You have at least that much right: it’s not an excuse. Those experiences are a professional hazard of politics, sir. If you can’t stand the heat, take off your apron, give up all your perks and get on out of the kitchen. Awww, someone pushed you…poor baby.
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In a statement Monday, National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Jon Thompson said, “Bob Etheridge has lost it.
“His conduct is unbecoming of a member of Congress. It’s bad enough that he’s joined Obama’s assault on North Carolina jobs, but his physical assault on a college student goes beyond the pale.”
Quick little jab in there. A one-two for him and the president he rode in on?
Fox goes on to mention Mike Flynn’s analysis at Big Government, but doesn’t link to him so I will:
Maybe it is my Catholic upbringing, but I’ve always been cursed with a bit too much empathy. It is often difficult to witness people bearing the full weight of the consequences of their decisions, even when it is richly deserved. (And, in the case of House Democrats few have ever been more deserving of reaping everything they’ve sown.) We’re human, after all, and witnessing people on the cusp of realizing that they’ve lost everything can be difficult.
Expect more of this. The hard, progressive left captured the Democrat majority in Congress and forced them to enact a fantasy grab-bag of legislation that is increasingly unpopular with the American public. We’re on the cusp of a deeper recession, millions of unemployed Americans have no prospect for work, taxes are about to spike higher and we’ve maxed out the national credit card. The Democrats were given a chance to run government and they’ve only succeeded in running it into the ground.
So, yeah, Democrats who are up for reelection this November are a bit testy.
Now Fox doesn’t think the Honorable Mr. Etheridge is in any political trouble back in his District, but they’re wrong.
Even if he has been in office since 1997, and even if he is a powerful member of the House Ways and Means Committee, his District is rated R+2, i.e., a Republican kind of place. And these are interesting times; incumbency won’t be an advantage in November.
Just think of it: his opponent doesn’t need to pay for expensive campaign ads. All she has to do is clip this video into small segments and run them ad nauseam with a caption like, oh maybe, “Do you Really Want to Re-Elect a Bully?” A voice over (manly, firm and indignant) says “Etheridge doesn’t deserve our vote”. I tell you, the possibilities are limitless.
No, Fox gets it wrong on this one. There’s a long, hot summer ahead, with lots of volunteers willing to rake this unstable person over the coals. A little judicious shoving, a bit of name-calling – he’s going to be fair game for anyone who happens across his path.
What political hay there is to be made here! Personally, I think he needs an IQ test followed by Congresso-Rehab. Some psychiatrist could develop a treatment plan for members of the political class who go berserk or become exceedingly thin-skinned and testy. Yeah, Barry O needs help, as does anyone who demands of another “Don’t you know who I am?”
At The Carolina Journal, they’re scratching their heads over this one:
On Monday, when news began circulating throughout North Carolina political circles about the now-ubiquitous YouTube video of Rep. Bob Etheridge, the initial reaction mixed equal parts surprise and curiosity.
The surprise came from the fact that Etheridge is no novice politician. He’s spent decades in the public eye, including stints as the powerful appropriations committee chairman in the North Carolina House, the elected state superintendent of public instruction, and longtime congressman from Eastern North Carolina’s 2nd District.
He has been asked tough questions on countless occasions, by aggressive news reporters as well as disgruntled citizens at public hearings and town hall meetings.
So how in the world did Bob Etheridge end up starring in the most embarrassing political video of June 2010? Did two shrimpy college kids with handheld cameras really intimidate our state’s tallest congressman?
Good question. Is there something in the water down there in the Carolinas? In addition to North Carolina’s Etheridge-berserko-moment, everyone is asking how Alvin Green ended up as the Democrat contender in the Senate race in South Carolina? Dems say it is an ugly Republican trick. But they put up a party hack with no name recognition and expected to walk away with it and go through the motions against a shoo-in Republican. Instead the primary went to Alvin, who got sixty percent of the vote. DeMint is going to win anyway, but the primary mess is embarrassing for the Dems. Not only do they lose anyway in November but until then, they have Albatross Alvin hanging ‘round their necks. Alvin doesn’t talk much but he sure is a…he sure is a presence.
But back to Etheridge and the Carolina Daily’s analysis:
That’s where the curiosity came in. Democrats and Republicans alike speculated…Would he claim that the tape had been edited to depict an assault that never really happened, or that was in response to some provocation not shown in the edited version? Would he blame Republican dirty-tricksters? Given the fact that the congressman had just left a fundraiser at which adult beverages may have been served, would he pull a Mel Gibson?
None of the above, it turned out. At a hastily organized press conference Monday afternoon, Etheridge simply expressed regret and refused to explain further. “I came today to say I’m sorry,” he said. “I had a long day. It was at the end of the day. All of us have bad days, but that’s no excuse.”
Like other public figures, members of Congress have made a choice to subject themselves to public scrutiny and questioning. That doesn’t mean politicians shouldn’t have a reasonable expectation of privacy. But when a member of Congress walks down a public sidewalk on Capitol Hill and is approached by someone with a camera asking questions about public policy, there are just two defensible ways to respond:
• Answer the question [the author has lots of examples]
• Just walk on by. [more helpful suggestions]
Instead, Etheridge has suddenly become notorious as a symbol for an out-of-touch, out-of-control Congress. Never thought that would happen, so you can color me as surprised along with everyone else.
But curious? Not any more, no. Etheridge has no interesting excuse to offer. Turns out, he’s just a jerk.
Well, of course he is. That’s another professional hazard for the political class: they end up as denizens of Jerkdom.
I love all Five Feet of Fury. She collects such neat stuff, like this video. Or like her news that Canada may get a Fox-type clone news channel and Michael Coren is going to be there. I also love Michael Coren…what can I say? – I like to think around.