An Idiot Representative

The folks that accused the Tea Party of being a phony “astroturf” movement and called their own constituents names and laughed privately behind closed doors at those idiot voters, have learned nothing in recent months.  In the video above Representative Bob Etheridge (D) NC assaults a young man with a camera simply for asking him if he supports the “Obama agenda.”

Watch how the Congressman manhandles this college student.  At one point it appears Etheridge slaps him in the back of the head.  Perhaps the most bizarre thing in this confrontation is the way Etheridge keeps asking his victim his name.  It seemed very psychopathic.  I am aware that the Representative apologized, but how does one accepted an apology for an unprovoked attack?

I don’t know who the student was, but if I could give him advice it would be this, secure the services of an attorney and sue the Congressman.  Placing a video on Youtube is nice but this jerk needs to pay and this video needs a higher profile than it’s getting.

Why the bizarre behavior?

I wondered if Representative Etheridge had a history of violence so I did a little search.  During a health care townhall meeting he once insulted a marine veteran, so Etheridge is no stranger to confrontation and bullying, but he also has no history, as far as I could tell, of violence.

His appearance in the scuffle almost made me wonder if the man was intoxicated or perhaps depressed or angry over some unrelated item.  Either way if Congressman Etheridge was afraid of losing his seat he certainly placed his future in jeopardy.

Commentator struggles with poor analogy

Politics Daily brushed off the video as “heavily edited” and made a very weak comparison to the antebellum caning Representative Preston Brooks (D) SC gave Senator Charles Sumner (R) MA.  The point the author was trying to make that because Brooks was handily re-elected, the incident meant nothing to voters today.

I actually laughed when I read that analogy.  I am not familiar with the author, Paul Wachter, so I don’t know if he was just reaching to defend a Democrat, or if he was just ignorant about the historical environment surrounding the Brooks/Sumner incident.  I suspect both.

History not repeating

Now a history lesson for Mr. Wachter.  The “beat down” Brooks gave Sumner occurred in 1856.  It was motivated by the slave debate.  Senator Sumner gave a very angry speech denouncing slavery and referring to the institution as a “harlot,”  a whore.  The institution was very dear to the white southern population.  Slavery was defended daily in Southern newspaper editorials and sometimes even in news stories.  Southerners, especially slave owners and leaders, became very emotional in their defense of it.

After reading the speech, Brooks mulled over it for 2 days before visiting Sumner in the deserted Senate chambers where he brutally attacked the Senator and nearly killed him.  The voters in SC praised Brooks, sent him hundreds of canes, many inscribed with encouragements.

It is also worth noting that efforts to expel Brooks from the House of Representatives forced his resignation.  But an angry proslavery South Carolina sent him right back in the fall election. Where his tenure was shortened by poetic justice; he died in office only days after being reseated.

Voters did not dismiss Preston Brooks’ behavior because they “Like Their Politicians Angry,” no it was because they liked their institution of slavery.  In fact, as a history-enthusiast, I can assure you Brooks and the reaction of Southerners throughout the South confirmed Senator Sumner’s point, the very point that resulted in his beating.  He said slavery was “a mistress . . . who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him[southern Senator Butler (D) SC]; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight—I mean, ‘the harlot, Slavery.’ “

So, there is no comparison between Representative Etheridge’s assault on a college student, that to me appeared to be in his teens, and the caning of Senator Sumner more than 150 years ago.  Etheridge was not provoked, nor was there any context for his attack.

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