When Bob Etheridge Attacks: Tale of a Paranoid Hothead

Cynthia Dermody

When I watched this video of Democratic Congressman Bob Etheridge assaulting two students on a Washington, DC, street, I expected his reaction to be prompted by something a little more controversial than the question: "Do you fully support the Obama agenda?" But that was all it took to set him off. I guess that's a bad question to ask Democrats these days. But really, attacking a kid in a suit? What kind of bad day was he having? Did he go off his meds?


The two male students walked up to the North Carolina Congressman with a handycam, who turned and responded angrily: "Who are you? Who are you?" grabbing one of the students by the arm and the other full-body. The students have not identified themselves, which is probably a good thing, else they might go the way of Joe the Plumber -- in not a good way.

No Republican groups have claimed responsibility.

Etheridge continued to scowl and demand answers from the students, who repeated that they were just students working on a project, and to, "Please let go of my arm, sir. Sir, sir, please!"

The kicker? Just look at this excerpt from his bio on his Congressional Homepage:

Etheridge has used commonsense North Carolina values to guide his work in Congress. He is active in his church and teaches Sunday school. For his diligent and decades-long work for the Boy Scouts, Etheridge received the Silver Beaver Award, the highest district award a Scout leader can receive.

Not the kind of role model I want for my kids.

Everyone has a bad day. Everyone loses their temper. But no one should manhandle someone -- clearly, these are young people, children even, there is no question about that -- in that way under any circumstances. There really is no excuse, which at least he does acknowledge ... now that he's had a chance to see his poor behavior in a YouTube video blaring over almost every political blog and major news outlet on the web.

His apology, as reported by the Washington Post:

"I have seen the video posted on several blogs," says Etheridge. "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."

And sign up for a few anger management courses, too, hey, Bob?

Why do you think the Congressman reacted to irrationally to such a simple and legitimate question?

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