It’s no secret by now that Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC) physically handled a student. If it is news to you, please watch the video:
As you can see, Etheridge was clearly placing his hands on this student. And for what? Who knew that a simple question like, “Do you support the Obama agenda” would get you a reaction like that?
Adam Goldsteinwith The Huffington Post had this to say:
The talking points here ask questions like: why isn’t the interviewer willing to identify himself? Is he an RNC operative? Is this an ambush interview designed to discredit Etheridge? Is this part of a plot to score political points?
Let me make this really simple: I don’t care.
I don’t. I don’t care if it’s a Republican operative–congressmen shouldn’t assault Republican operatives. I don’t care if it’s an ambush interview–congressmen shouldn’t attack ambush interviewers. I don’t care if it’s the ghost of Richard Nixon, foaming at the mouth rabid and wearing nothing but a placard accusing Etheridge of being of questionable parentage. No matter who this is, Etheridge doesn’t have the legal right to put hands on him for asking a question.
Some people are trying to deflect blame by questioning the motives of the would-be interviewer, as if the law of assault was a complicated moral issue. It isn’t, by the way. It’s a simple moral issue. If someone asks you a question, you don’t get to start grabbing him or her. Asking whether the questioner has some political motive is as morally bankrupt as asking what specifically Tina Turner said to Ike before he started hitting her–as if there were any answer that would suddenly make the conduct okay.
While it really doesn’t matter what was asked, and if the student did or didn’t give his name, the underlaying problem is this is a violation of the protection to the freedom of information. As citizens, we are protected when it comes to the right to bear arms, freedom of speech and press, but are we protected when it comes to being informed?
The Obama administration feels that there is too much information out there, and also feel that there should be some level of policing of that info as well. So, watch what you say and who you say it to. Especially around angry Congressmen who support the Obama agenda.
What did Etheridge have to say after the assault?
“I have seen the video posted on several blogs. I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved. Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina , I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect. No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.” – via CNN Poilitical Ticker