Congressman Etheridge - um, what the hell?

I realize this "kid" is from Breitbart, and thus has probably already stalked Congressman Etheridge, or poisoned the well at his farm or something, and the last thing I want to do is give unctuous, disgusting and dangerous Breitbart a platform, but, um, Congressman Etheridge, what part of the Congressman handbook says it's advisable to grab someone ON CAMERA?

I hope there's an explanation. If not, Bob just went up to the top of the list of endangered Democrats, and he's running against a young Phyllis Schlafly. Wonderful.


I can already hear

"Who are you?" Repeated a thousand times a day on local TV.

This is disastrous.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

The packaging of this video is so interesting

Obviously more than one person was taping.

Indeed, it seems Etheridge wanted to capture one of the "students" face on video as he turns him toward the second camera taping.

And they don't say who they are or if they are reporters, constituents or what school they attend?

A little edited video in a vacuum is just making the rounds on this Monday...hmmmmm

Hope someone comes out with more more info soon either on Etheridge or these supposed students.


Bob's going to need some help here.

We need to find out who these guys were and what happened in between the clearly edited clips.

This is not good.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

Etheridge will have to do without my help

..since he couldn't bring himself to vote for DADT repeal.

Life's a b!tch when your base doesn't support you, isn't it, Bob?


he voted for healthcare

don't let the perfect be enemy of the good. Bob is substantially more reliable than his Blue Dog brethren.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

He sure did

And the health care bill was stripped of all pro-LGBT provisions, and ETHA (Early Treatment for HIV) was stripped from health care bill as well.

And the US House just got through stripping FMAP from the promised stimulus funds to the states -- throwing the state budget into uncertainty.

And this?

don't let the perfect be enemy of the good

There was no perfect in that absurd DADT non-repeal compromise which he couldn't even bring himself to vote for.

So, Bob. Great career. Love ya, man.

Sink or swim on your own. Just like you've left us to do.


you have your opinion

thanks for stating it so clearly.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

While I'd almost have sympathy

for his attempts to get these in your face "interviewers" on camera and to identify themselves (especially after seeing videos like the one below), however his standing by the DADT discrimination has already turned me off to supporting him. I'm so glad he stayed away from the Senate campaign. Elaine & Cal are both way better choices.

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It also looks like he has few friends over on Pams House Blend either:

Etheridge will have to do without my help


He gave up some otherwise solid allies in the hopes of getting some pro-discrimination votes from people who definitely wont stand by him when things get rough. But he had lost my support before & irrespective of this video.

Granted his republican opponent's issues section makes her impossible to support either. Here is half of Ellmer's campaign website issues section:

Energy – I support off-shore drilling – it could be a boon for North Carolina’s economy. I oppose President Obama’s ‘Cap and Trade’ bill which raises taxes on energy, then uses the tax money to send $300 billion in foreign aid to Third World nations so they can build so-called ‘Green Industries.’

Marriage – I believe marriage is between one man and one woman.

Life – I believe in the sanctity of human life and believe that life begins at conception. I am Pro-Life.

Immigration – Immigration laws should be enforced. And I oppose Amnesty for illegal immigrants. I believe we should strengthen our border enforcement and implement a strong employment verification system so companies can be sure they are hiring legal workers and those that do not face stiff penalties.

Terrorism – My opponent Bob Etheridge voted to close Gitmo. I believe that was a mistake. I also support trying terrorists in military courts – instead of putting them on trial in New York City

When 67% of NC Democrats & 59% of NC Independents support DADT repeal (according to Public Policy Polling from this year) and a Democratic Congressman from NC still can't get behind opposing discrimination, it is hard to believe he is going to stand up when it comes to things like UAFA or DOMA repeal or any future gay rights issues.

where do they get crap like this?

I support off-shore drilling – it could be a boon for North Carolina’s economy. I oppose President Obama’s ‘Cap and Trade’ bill which raises taxes on energy, then uses the tax money to send $300 billion in foreign aid to Third World nations so they can build so-called ‘Green Industries.’


My wife chastises me all the time for belittling people in arguments. When the other side is saying stuff lik that, how do you not belittle them?

That's completely crazy idiocy.

"Man is free at the moment he wishes to be." -Voltaire

They pull it out of their asses

Your wife is right, though. Mine says the same thing. She'd argue that a proper response would be, "It's hard to make sense of a person's ideas when those ideas are pulled out of thin air without even the illusion of insight. Poor guy. Has he actually thought about this for more than a nanosecond?"

My own response is more like yours: "What a dumb shit."

He did himself no favors

He may not be a blue dog all the time but this is not good for him. Now Faux Noise is running this, not good...

Two cameras

Yes, there were two cameras. The guys at Big Government created that one video from the two videos uploaded to the students YouTube account. I made a video showing the action from both angles at once using the original uploads

That's pretty creative, TP

I'd like to see the entire video shot by the "witness", if you could find it. From the "victim's" footage, it looks like he stuck that camera (or phone) about 3 inches away from the Congressman's face, but the 2nd video footage doesn't begin until he backed up some.

I am ashamed

I am just truly ashamed of this man right now. I don't care if he is one of our own. I cannot believe his behavior, he became enraged very quickly which is very scary. Not to defend Burr but I remember the video of him recently going to a fundraiser and there was a camera and somebody saying something to him but he didn't go apeshi#. Ughhhhhhh!!! I just am in shock. We all have a right to ask questions but Etheridge did not have a right to put his hands on that kid and detain him in anyway because the kid didn't do anything to him. Ughhhhhh!!!!


First of all, it was hardly an ambush. The person called out to him from several feet away and was on a public sidewalk and the camera was already going so Bob had already seen it. Now, the question we have to ask ourselves is this: the next time Burr is leaving a fundraiser and we have a DSCC operative there to capture the moment are we saying that if they stick a camera in his face that he can go apeshi# and assault someone and that will be okay too?

How...did you know

what Bru was going to say before she said it?

Okay, new rule: In addition to coming clean on whether or not you're a paid staffer with a specific campaign, you also have to reveal upfront if you have any psychic powers like clairvoyance and/or telepathy. It's the right thing to do.

no psychic powers

I was actually commenting on a post that LoftT had made but by the time mine had posted he had removed his post(his post alluded to an ambush). I wish I was psychic, then I would know who to bet on in the World Cup!! And I'm not with any campaigns, as usual.

Scarlet O was probably responding

to me. I called it an ambush and then deleted my comment because I decided I didn't want to add fuel. Sorry to confuse the matter :-)

There's I diary up on Kos I pretty much agree with.

Oh, and I'm a grrrrl.

Yes, ambush.

It was an ambush, and Etheridge responded poorly. I suspect that most people with a modicum of familiarity with politics are going to understand what happened in just those terms. What I think is interesting/sad/ironic is that Etheridge is such a conservative that a lot of North Carolinians who vote on issues rather than party lines have no problem with the guy. He does know his base -- and progressives are not it. The GOP needs to pump some energy into the mid-terms, though, and this is a good strategy for doing it.

I've never particularly liked ole Bob, given his conservative perspective, but nor would I be so foolish that I'd throw him over in favor of someone who is guaranteed to vote against the President on every issue.

Speaking of sad . . .

What makes me sad is how well meaning people screw themselves and their best interests.

There is plenty "progressive" about this President and his administration. It just isn't obvious enough for some folks' tastes. Sadly, real life doesn't always play out like a drama on tv. Significant chance often takes a long, long time, and the transition is tedious.

The President and his administration are experiencing a lot of challenges, and some of them are very difficult ones -- such as the economy, foreign wars, domestic environmental disaster -- but maybe you haven't noticed that.

The number of true liberals in Congress are miniscule, and if they lose allies among Conservatives in the Democratic party they have NOTHING. The concept that we'd gain by renouncing alliance with conservative democrats is just asinine.

And the idea that a given democrat is taken "for granted" is likewise just so danged petulant. It's a tired cliche that is all too often uttered rather than examined. If you're so unreasonable that you don't expect the man to cater to the folks who will elect him, I can't think why he'd want to waste time campaigning to your interests. If you want to "show him" by withholding your vote, do it, but he'd have been an idiot to count on you in the first place. He doesn't. What he counts on is that there are a sufficient number of voters out there among progressives who realize that if Congress is taken over by the GOP, the President is not going to be able to push ANYTHING that you want to see accomplished. So no, he isn't taking *you* for granted. He's hoping people like me grasp the significance to either party of winning, losing or holding seats in Congress.

A condensed version of this point is the significance of the Supreme Court. Folks who just don't "get" why progressives are still grateful for Obama should spend some time looking at what the Court does, who sits on it and how extensive their influence is for EONS after their appointing President has come and gone. You want to take out a conservative democrat because you don't think he's progressive enough? What a great idea. Then see what kind of luck the President has getting his Supreme Ct. nominees approved.

Would-be progressives who think that throwing out a conservative democrat is going to force the President to reevaluate his strategy or perspective on policy have no clue about Congress functions and are apparently unaware of what politicians have to reckon with given the political leanings of their electorates.

Thanks for adding that Supreme Court rejoinder

Haven't heard it in a week or so.

Saith the vaunted Democratic pragmgtists who have backed this country to the right of Reagan in a precious few years:

"We must vote for conservaDems so the Supreme Court will save us!"

And we get the nomination of Elena Kagan. Not exactly liberal savior material.

Enjoy your unitary and all-powerful executive branch, pragmatists. Brought to you by the type of folks we just must support. Because the alternative is just so awful? Pffffft

I'll let you think about Heath Shuler while you reread this:

Would-be progressives who think that throwing out a conservative democrat is going to force the President to reevaluate his strategy or perspective on policy have no clue about Congress functions and are apparently unaware of what politicians have to reckon with given the political leanings of their electorates.


It's an oldie but goodie

Because it happens to be true. Yes, the alternative is pretty awful. If you don't think so, look at what is happening to campaign finance reform. Look at what is happening to women's right to abortion, and look at what is about to happen to the Civil Rights Act. Look at what is happening at the Wake County school board if you don't think it can get worse. Thank you for highlighting my point. And please do reread it yourself.


Ya know, they were probably serving some really nice drinks and stuff at that fundraiser. Ole Bob looks like he had one more than he needed.

Still, I would sure rather have him in office than his challenger. And there's a part of me that just despises these ambush tactics, whomever the candidate is.

Thank god I'm not Bob

I know I would have kicked the shit out of that punk for sticking his camera in my face, despite my promises of self restraint.

I'm with Brunette. These ambush attacks stink, double so when the person doesn't have the guts to identify himself.

I propose a third way...

Both the no-named student (who was probably working for some republican hack) AND the Bob Etheridge were wrong. Just because one was more or less wrong than the other doesn't make either one acceptable (it pains me that this needs to be said in the year 2010).

I can't see anyone siding with either the student or Bob on this non-issue without it being totally motivated by politics.

Well, I don't think that they are "equally wrong"

But as far as taking the stance that these guys are equally wrong, that's just not realistic. Mr. Anonymous College Boy loses nothing from his antics, while the U.S. Congressman stands to lose a hell of a lot.

Well, I think that Bob Etheridge happens to be more in wrong here, simply because he assaulted someone. The anonymous "student", however, was wrong for intentionally 'provoking' him (though I think any reasonable person will be able to say that his provocation was not so severe as to make physical force as a necessary response). Obviously the "student" has less to lose, and Rep. Etheridge has more...that's just the nature of being in a position of power.

Also, I didn't have anyone in particular in mind when talking about siding with one or the other. Some people were just starting to go a little too far out of the way to try and make what Etheridge did look less crazy. For some reason I don't think I would see any democrats defending Burr in that way if he were to slap around some Carolina student who was "protesting" him...

I agree, though, that it isn't going to matter. Nothing is going to come of this within a couple of days, so I say it's best just to drop it now. It serves no purpose constantly dwelling on these non-issues.

Bob got ambushed and he lost

Bob got ambushed and he lost his cool. They got exactly what they wanted and I'm sure Renee Elmers will exploit this for all it is worth. He has apologized and that's about all he can do. Now he just needs to weather the storm.

I would like to remind you all that when HCR was being debated he faced constant attack in the 2nd district. He was yelled at, harassed and ridiculed. When the vote was taken he could have taken a pass once they had the votes and he would easily be reelected. He didn't, he stood tall and cast his vote. Since then he has had a PA from Dunn follow him around in a pickup with a huge poster depicting him as a puppet of Nancy Pelosi and letters and phone calls blast him in the local paper. He could have avoided all that but he has faced it head on. He lost his cool one time and it was caught on (edited) video

I am shocked at the number of posters here that seem to be fair weather friends. It's like if he hasn't voted for everything you want all the time you have no use for him. Now he is going through a rough spot and you abandon him. Gee thanks. I'll stick with Bob.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

That's the good thing to come out of this obvious setup

I am shocked at the number of posters here that seem to be fair weather friends. It's like if he hasn't voted for everything you want all the time you have no use for him.

If you don't dance with the one that brung ya...

When you're a politician that betrays your (supposed) natural allies, don't expect your natural allies to waste limited resources supporting you.

We're not the fair weather friends, Etheridge is. He's just now reaping the fair weather alliances he's sown.



Bob Etheridge, was first elected the congress in 1996. In none of his campaigns has he ever stressed "gay rights" as part of his agenda. He stands on gay rights have been true to what he is, I might add a good portion of registered Democrats in this state are not known to be gay rights supporters but that is not the point. He has danced with the one who brung him it is just that you and your agenda were not and never were the one who brung him.

He is a congressman who unlike others has not searched out the nearest tv camera everytime one is around and he has a reputation of being a quiet but effective public servant. As to if he survives this, I do not know, but I still want to hear the whole story before I pass judgement, but it does show were the new politics is, and at some point this crap has to stop.

How forgetful we are

Bob Etheridge, was first elected the congress in 1996

Etheridge was member of the NC General Assembly and a statewide elected official (Supt of Public Instr) long before he went to to Congress.

Perhaps you should read a little further up the thread where I note the US House stripping out the promised FMAP funds for the states from the stimulus.

Wonder how his former fellow colleagues on Jones Street feel about that?

New politics? Ha! It's always been like this.

Lastly, if you want to push teh gayz (only a one of the Democratic coalition Etheridge has betrayed in the past four years in Congress) out of the coalition, then enjoy life in the minority.


Once again Bull

If you were to complain that President Obama has betrayed gay rights I could see your point, but I would like to know when did Rep Etheridge make promises on gay rights that he has not delivered. I am waiting.

If you want to know how the State Senators and Reps feel about him, well ask them, I have. He has always gotten very good remarks from the Democrats I know who serve, and I might add several Republicans have also.

I also remember his time as Supt of Pulbic Intsr. and as I recall he spent much of his eight years fending off charges from the left.

He has been a man who has never had a hint of scandal, and he was elected when he defeated David Flarety a conservative hero who left the scene of an accident and gave a false police report. And many on the right wing activist came to Flarety's aid, I would not be surpised if those same folks are the ones screaming the loudest for Etheridge neck.


You have defended Bob well. These folks are really fair weather friends or never friends in the first place I guess. One correction though. Bob defeated Jesse Helms favorite David Funderburke, not David flarety. He was a professor at Campbell and had been a Reagan diplomat in Romania I believe. Renee Elmers is a tea-bagger that is going to be a significant challenge in November. She will be a disaster for the 2nd district if she wins. I'm beginning to think the left has the same all or nothing mentality as the rightwingers.

I'm a moderate Democrat.


I got my Dave's mixed up Dave Flarety was the GOP DA who first was arrested for a DWI and then for breaking and entering into his former girl friends house, he probably got the same support from the right wing attack on Rep. Etheridge.

For the record Bob Etheridge

For the record Bob Etheridge is not a bluedog or a "conservative" democrat. He is a moderate Democrat. You are stereotyping based on what appear to be preconceived notions. Do some research about Bob's voting record and I think you will find that you are incorrect. He is also not liberal or "progressive". He works with people to get positive things done and is the right fit for the 2nd congressional district. A progressive candidate in my district would be lucky to get 15 percent of the vote.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

On the record, Bob Etheridge

is pretty danged conservative, Huh. But there ya go with one person's conservative is another's moderate and so on . . . But I'm glad you stuck up for the boy. I think he will fare ok. This ambush effort might backfire on the little worms who pulled it off after all.

I don't abandon my friends

I don't abandon my friends Brunette, especially when they are getting ganged up on. In Harnett or Johnston Counties (the bulk of the 2nd) and on TAP I am a far left extremist. In Raleigh I would be just an average middle of the road Democrat, and in Chapel Hill I'm a conservative Democrat. At least that's the way I figure it works. Bob is conservative to you and many here at bluenc but to the Republicans in the 2nd and the tea-baggers in general Bob is a Pelosi / Obama ultra-liberal puppet. I figure that puts him somewhere in the middle. :>)

I'm a moderate Democrat.