Republican leaders finally admit Etheridge fiasco was engineered

Link via Laura Leslie's Twitter feed:

They also tried to push Democrats into retirement, using what was described in the presentation as “guerilla tactics” like chasing Democratic members down with video cameras and pressing them to explain votes or positions. (One target, Representative Bob Etheridge of North Carolina, had to apologize for manhandling one of his inquisitors in a clip memorialized on YouTube. Only this week did Republican strategists acknowledge they were behind the episode.)

After all the coverage of the incident itself, our state/local news outlets have a responsibility to cover this postscript just as heavily. Especially considering how close this race was.


The really screwed up thing is,

it looks like they admitted this because they're proud of it. Proud of the fact they put on a good show that duped thousands in their own party.

Let the circus begin...

Past tense?

Especially considering how close this race was is.

Fixed that for ya. Is this really news? Anyone with a pulse could have told you this back when it happened.

You bet it's news

It's one thing to suspect something, and quite another when it's confirmed. The architect of this farce is set to take the reigns of the House, outranking and controlling the new majority. And he's just as likely to use "guerilla tactics" on them as he is the minority Dems.

Dome picks up story

And runs with it a few blocks, after a gentle nudge from yours truly. That's likely a little unrealistic self-aggrandizing, as they were probably already working on it. But I'm in dire need of a back-pat, even if it's self-administered. I was going to say, "masturbatory", but that's borderline disgusting and shouldn't be just casually tossed around on a respectable semi-family-oriented blog.

Here's your back-pat

Hey, you done REALLY good. Of course, the Rabid Right will deny it all, or say it doesn't matter.

Proud of the fact they put on

Proud of the fact they put on a good show that duped thousands in their own party.

Well, it seems to be Independents and even some Dems who were duped; the Republicans weren't going to support Etheridge anyway, but sadly, that (literal) attack ad must have swayed some in the middle, seeing how he had had comfortable winning margins in previuos elections and was even considered a "safe seat" by 538 up until about a week ahead of time.

It doesn't matter if it was planned

Etheridge acted like a jerk and deserved any bad press he received.

All he had to do was shake the guy's hand and say, "Sorry, I can't stop right now. Please call my office and we'll answer any question you may have."....period. End of video. A claim could be made that he was dodging, but there would have been a minute amount of bad press, if any. No viral video. No serious embarrassment. He allowed himself to be ambushed.

Whether or not it was "engineered" has no bearing on the boorish childish way he responded. He embarrassed himself and anybody who supported him.

Mike Wilburt

I might have reacted like

I might have reacted like Etheridge did. However i am also not a US Congressman. Bobby also has previous for having a bad temper and lashing out at folks in the 2nd district. Dont get me wrong i cant stand Ellmers at all but Bobby played a big part in his own demise. I wouldn't be surprised knowing his previous that Carter Wrenn didnt pay for a camera crew to tail Etheridge everywhere he went knowing he would lose it at some point.

There's no excuse

I just watched the video again. The kid didn't stand in his way. Etheridge stopped, turned to the kid and grabbed him.
For your convenience, here it is....

Etheridge has been dealing with the press for over 30 years. Had he simply waved and walked on, he would have, unquestionably, been re-elected.

This was a tough year and Ellmers was a credible candidate. But Etheridge would have won. He did this to himself.

His behavior squandered a lot of hard work by a lot of people who hit the streets, worked phone banks and knocked on doors on this guy's behalf.

Mike Wilburt

You refuse to address

the issue at hand, which is the soon-to-be Speaker of the House sending out people to stalk his colleagues. I will grant you that Etheridge didn't handle the situation well, if you will admit that Boehner's use of "guerilla tactics" like this is wrong.

So this type of hit job is ok?

Granted Ethridge handled the situation poorly, but your repeated excusal of this intentional baiting of a sitting congressman only perpetuates the worst of politics today.

"Ellmers was a credible candidate"

Really? How?

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Credible how?

Credible, in that, it was going to be a very tough year for incumbents, anyway, so facing a candidate who:
- Was not an "insider".
- Comes from a healthcare background during a time when healthcare is a large part of the debate.
- Is conservative in a time when that is a strength in this campaign period.
- Is young and attractive. Let's face a video/visual environment, Etheridge doesn't have that as a strength.
- Agree or not, she is articulate, spoke well to the issues, and stayed on message
She was a credible candidate.

But Etheridge chose to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. He is an experienced political war horse who allowed himself to be baited.

And please, let's not be naive in thinking that Democrats were not using ambush-style questioning, and attack videos around the state and the country this year. It takes just a few clicks to see them. It's been part of the campaign-game for 4 or 5 congressional cycles. Etheridge snared himself.

Mike Wilburt

Tell you what, since

you still refuse to even look at Boehner's part in this mess, and how that may impact the way he runs the House, then at least consider this:

Ellmers has ran into trouble with the (national) Republican Party big shots (partially because Carter tattled on them). She's heading to DC with a few demerits already, and she's going to have a boss (the Speaker) who has proven he's prepared to take unethical steps to get what he wants. I'm laying odds, right now, that Renee will be faced with some serious unpleasantness this term, and from her own party, no less.

Doubting the narrative here

I don't know if I buy the idea that Renee is on the outs with the RNC, but I'm sure it's a good strategy for bringing more money into her campaign. Something about the supposed cause of this supposed friction between Ellmers and the Party doesn't ring true. First, it doesn't actually make sense that RNC would be annoyed with Renee Ellmers for Carter's "tattling" on them. Second, he didn't actually tattle. All he did back in June was say that of course the RNC knew who pulled off the guerilla "gotcha" on Etheridge. SO? And that is harmful to whom?

The idea that the big boys in the party are sore at Ellmers is a great way to get "tea party" dingalings to send her more cash, but I don't see there being any genuine problem there. The problems will emerge later as she says one idiotic thing after another and winds up embarrassing the state and national GOP -- if not the numbskulls who voted for her.


I will absolutely acknowledge that Ellmers will have her work cut-out for her. I will also acknowledge that, assuming Pelosi retains a leadership role, remaining congressional Democrats will have a very tough time if they don't adhere to Pelosi's agenda.

Pelosi and Boehner are both very tough politicians who know how to work inside congress, and both know where all the bodies are buried (and how to put more bodies there).

These two years, leading up to the next congressional cycle and the presidential race, will require very adroit political maneuvering. Trying to view it from as objective a position as possible, Ellmers may have a leg-up being part of the majority party.

A moderate Democrat like Etheridge would be walking the tight-rope. Appeasing a conservative majority and a conservative climate at home on one side.....and appeasing Pelosi and what promises to be a very progressive agenda on the other side.

Mike Wilburt

The 2nd congressional

The 2nd congressional district lost out in this election. We traded a seat on the Ways and Means Committee for a freshman tea bagger with no influence. We traded a man that was able to bring in money to help the farmers (Lost Contracts Bill) that got screwed over by Pilgrims Pride for a woman that doesn't know a tobacco plant from a lettuce leaf. We traded a supporter of our military (new GI bill), small business (Hire Act), the unemployed (unemployment insurance extention), the retirees (SS, health care reform), education (no interest construction loans), and health care. A man that brought in much needed infrastructure (highway widening, Lillington hospital, school construction, fire trucks, small business seed money) for someone that believes the federal government should just stay out of our lives. I don't understand the thinking of some many. The farmers stand there with their hands out but complain about the government, the retirees pick up their social security checks and rail against the government, the business people take their tax breaks and infrastructure improvements that make their businesses more profitable, and the teachers get their jobs saved by stimulus money and vote against their own interests. I guess there are a lot more people making $250k a year than I thought.

I'm a moderate Democrat.

Huh....this comment should be a post on its own

one of your best and says exactly what needs to be said about this race.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

While Etheridge's race is still "undecided" officially, I agree

I spoke to the Ellmers' campaign "senior adviser," as neither the candidate nor or her campaign manager had returned several phone calls requesting interviews prior to Election Day. (But, Etheridge did not do an interview either.)

When asked about Ellmer's comment to the media at her Election Night "Victory" party that she won because of Etheridge's position on health care reform, Luther Snyder said Ellmers has a lot of expertise on the issue of health care.

When asked where she got that expertise Snyder said, "Well, she's a professional and that's her industry." When I tried to explore this line of reasoning I got nowhere. His lack of knowledge and lack of political experience became just as obvious as Ms. Ellmers.

There is professional experience as a nurse (R. N.) and there is policy-making experience in health care. The two are not one and the same. But try explaining that to a tea party Republican.

Martha Brock