Hating the Ideology, Not the Methodology

As Radley Balko noted this morning, Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC, and the Sean Penn of Congress) was asked by a self-identified student (the Ron Galella of citizen journalists) if he subscribes to the “Obama agenda.” Sure, the question is overly broad and it’s not entirely clear what is meant by “the Obama agenda”—Afghanistan? Bailouts? Health care?—but Etheridge, determined to drive Congress’s historically low approval rating down to zero, responded by physically assaulting the meddling, camera-wielding kids. Video here, for those who haven’t seen it.

The Atlantic rounds up the reactions here, and notes this “skeptical” tweet from my pal and former colleague Dave Weigel: “He's a student! He's working on a project! He has no name! Nothing shady there.” Sarcasm acknowledged, but what is “shady” about asking Etheridge a simple, if vague, question? First, the Congressman asks “Who are you?” while knocking the camera out of the kid’s hand and, demonstrating that he possesses a limited familiarity with American law, declaring that he has “a right to know who you are.” On a public street, you have the right to walk away, Bob, but members of Congress have no special rights to demand names and affiliations of those asking questions. Should these kids have been more specific? I would have been, though as demonstrated in the video they were attacked before they were allowed a chance to respond.

The American Prospect’s Tim Fernholz tweets that the video looks “like James O’Keefe 2.0,” a reference to the conservative activist who produced the infamous ACORN “pimp” videos. If this is meant as criticism—and I suspect it is—it is meaningless. Does anyone doubt that Fernholz would blog with indignation, until his fingers were raw, if the member of Congress doing the shoving and wrist-grabbing was, say, Michele Bachmann?

Also noted by The Atlantic is a post from blogger Doug Mataconis who declares that “sticking a camera in somebody's face and demanding they answer a question is hardly a form of reasonable political debate, and perhaps not the best way for a constituent to interact with his or her Congressman.” Sticking a camera in someone’s face? Demanding? This is nonsense on stilts, as the video clearly demonstrates. And if Mataconis, the moral arbiter of what constitutes “reasonable debate” (this wasn’t a debate but a flimsy journalistic question; I suspect he means reasonable inquiry), thinks that tracking down a member of Congress on the streets of Capitol Hill is unreasonable, or constitutes some form of harassment, does he hold the major networks and Hollywood studios—think 60 Minutes or Michael Moore—to the same standard?

The only thing new about the “student’s” journalistic methodology is that it bypasses the usual media channels and is distributed via YouTube and Breitbart. And we all presume, though don’t know for sure, that the kids were right-wingers. So just be honest, my liberal comrades, and admit that you hate the questions, not the method.

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  • ||

    Wiggle has a post up at his WaPo blog characterizing the assault as a "hug."

    Jeebus. Who did he blow to get a gig with you guys?

  • ||

    So, add child molestation to the charges ...

  • ||

    David Weigle is a steaming pile of rat shit.

  • Mike M.||

    I can proudly say I had Whygull pegged two years ago. At least now he's where he belongs, with the other dicks at the WaPo.

  • Team America||

    He's not a dick, he's an asshole.

    Dicks exist to fuck assholes and pussys.

  • JB||

    The next time you see a congresscritter or Wigglebrain on the street, beat the shit out of them.

  • JB||

    The next time you see a congresscritter or Wigglebrain on the street, beat the shit out of them.

  • JB||

    Or should that read 'hug' them?

  • Apogee||

    It's apparently the same thing.

  • Esoteric||

    A lot of the piling on with Weigel has seemed unfair in the past. No longer.

    I agree with others that he's really -- REALLY -- crossed an intellectual & moral line here. Pretty disgusting.

  • David Weigel||

    Here's what I said:

    "Who are you?" asked Etheridge, grabbing one of the cameras and pointing it down -- a move more typically seen from Hollywood bodyguards than congressmen. The second camera rolled as Etheridge, irritated, held the wrist of the first cameraman, then pulled the student to his side and grabbed him in a hug.

    My crime appears to have been saying "grabbed him in a hug" instead of "grabbed him in a half nelson" or something. It's impossible to read this and think I'm defending the congressman, unless you're one of the dozen or so Reason commenters who seethe with jealousy over my success as your mom reheats your dinner thoughtfully criticize my work.

  • ||

    Yeah, you landed your dream job. So you are happy to put principles aside to defend whatever establishment action your establishment rag boss tells you to.

  • Prostitutes's Union||

    Don't lump him in with us. We don't claim Weigel as his fellatio technique is sub par.

  • ||

    No Dave. We just all have boring jobs. My guess is that most of the people who comment on here make more money in their boring jobs than you do towing the Democratic Lion at WAPO.

  • Barack Obama||

    Way to follow my example, Weigle! You gonna be following the blogs to figure out whose ass to kick?

    Are you sure your first name isn't Trudy?

  • Tman||

    Dave,

    The best you can do is say the congressman "acted strangely"?

    Don't you think that this was more than just "strange"? Assaulting a guy who just asked a reasonable question is not "strange" it's inexcusable and irresponsible. After reading your post you make it seem as though the Congressman was the victim here, and not the person who was assaulted.

    You don't even mention the fact that this was assault.

    And as soon as my mom finishes reheating my dinner I want a better explanation.

  • Warty||

    dozen or so Reason commenters who seethe with jealousy over my success as your mom reheats your dinner

    What the fuck is this? I don't even hate you that much, Weigel, but shit like this earns fat boys like you titty twisters and swirlies.

  • David Weigel||

    Well, I really enjoyed the two and a half years I spent here, and I'm constantly confused as to why mentions of my name lead to a lot of schoolyard insults. I really can't figure out why they do it -- lack of fulfillment seems like a good enough theory. After all, I'm here, and they're where I left them in 2008.

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return to my rewarding job and large circle of friends. I don't know how my ego will ever recover...

  • Warty||

    What are you trying to accomplish here? No one wins in a fight against internet assholes, and I hate to see a grown man demean himself.

  • David Weigel||

    Oh, it's not rational. I liked this magazine -- I hate that it's now the internet's leading source for hatred of me. Need to develop thicker skin is all.

  • Barack Obama||

    I agree, Dave. So do I!

  • ||

    Lies!!!

    We love you David.

    Plus i think you are just pissed cuz someone at Drudge razzed you about the "hug" comment.

    It is funny though.

  • ||

    As I do not share in the Weigel hate, I will theorize that your reporting about Ron Paul's newsletters earned you about 90% of that hate.

  • The Gobbler||

    I simply dislike shitty writing.

    But then, as we learned today, Weigel is his brain, so there's that.

  • Esoteric||

    I thought Weigel's work on the Ron Paul newsletter debacle represented his true journalistic high point. Not only do I not hold that against him, I think it's something he can and should be justifiably proud of. He actually 'made a difference' in a good way with his reporting, which was 100% on the up-and-up.

  • David Weigel||

    Thanks! And all it got was a lousy honorable mention.

  • Warty||

    I didn't particularly care about him one way or the other until he showed up here all pissy and joe-like. His daddy ought to have beat him more.

  • ||

    IIRC it was mostly Welch and Balko who did the newsletter stories. (and the original work was done by the National Review, not Reason, anyway.) Weigel did the reporting on the RP campaign itself.

  • Congress||

    Now if you'll excuse me, I have to return to my rewarding job and large circle of friends. I don't know how my ego will ever recover...

    Excellent response acolyte. You will be rewarded well for your perfect mimicry of our behavior.

    Have you considered a career in politics? You certainly have the smug pre-req. Are you related to Chad?

  • ||

    constantly confused as to why mentions of my name lead to a lot of schoolyard insults.

    I can take partial blame for that. But you constant unending articles on Obama's birth certificate and your complete lack of coverage on say Romney and other aspects of the republicans for the 2008 election was sort of annoying.

    Anyway i am glad you got a cool job and are doing well. Plus truth be told i like you.

    Also the "Hug" thing came from Drudge. You know someone there totally got you on it. So stop taking it out on us.

  • a||

    As a Weigel hater myself, I don't understand why people like John hate Weigel. True to form, Weigel was a good little centrist on the Iraq war back when it mattered (i.e., he ridiculed anyone who opposed it as an anti-Semitic America-hater). That ought to buy him a little cred with John and RC Dean, right?

  • ||

    After all, I'm here, and they're where I left them in 2008.

    Considering "here" is the 21st century equivalent of the leading buggy whip manufacturer, I wouldn't be basking in my good fortune just yet. But by all means, be well and prosper, and may our descendants forget you were our comagazinist.

  • johnl||

    Bye Dave. Don't let the door bang you on your way out.

  • ||

    And Dave, if I come up to you on the street and grab you buy the neck and kick your ass, will you not call the police and just describe me as "giving you a hug" and "acting strangely"?

    Seriously Dave, you should be embarrassed by what your wrote. That is of course if you were capable of such a thing.

  • David Weigel||

    I didn't say "giving you a hug." I said "held the wrist of the first cameraman, then pulled the student to his side and grabbed him in a hug." You have to chop up what I said to make it sound bad.

  • Emeril Lagasse ||

    Hell, even with my weak cutlery skills, I could make your insipid shit steak sound bad. BAM!

  • ||

    "So who are the students? I don't know. The National Republican Congressional Committee tells me they didn't send them, and "DCCameraGuy" has yet to respond to my e-mail. But without any name or organizational support, just by riling up a member of Congress, the students have created the first conservative meme of the week. They seem to have learned from organizations such as ThinkProgress that any video of a member acting strangely, no matter how grainy, is grist for the Web."

    Jesus Dave, could you diminish the incident anymore?

  • marlok||

    And how is it remotely fucking relevant who the kids are or who they represent?

    The congressman grabbed the guy by the neck for asking a question. Would it matter any less if the guy was with the Heritage Foundation?

    The only reason lefties are asking about the names of the students is because their only hope of discrediting the story is to attack the character of the students.

  • JB||

    It's good to know if you see Weigel on the street asking questions, the proper response is to pummel first, then get him to defend you.

  • ||

    Admit that "hug" is a stupid word for what the guy did. And that word choice is significant.

  • +HoM&M||

    Well, when I saw the vid, I thought it looked like he realized having the kid by the back of the neck looked bad (herp derp), so he tried to pass it off as some sort of, "No, see, we're buds" type thing.

    So I'd call it a hug. A scary, retarded, non-consensual hug.

  • ||

    Why didn't you simply describe it as it was - a totally unprovoked physical assault on a member of the public, by a sitting Congressman, who clearly didn't like being questioned by a member of the hoi fucking polloi? It's not that you said 'grabbed his wrist' or 'gave him a hug', or even sucked his fucking dick. It's that you made it out to be less than it was, to minimize it in the way you would not have done had, say, Mike Pence done the same to a MoveOn equivalent, and now we know why.

    Go and tell that to your large circle jerk of friends, of whom you seem so proud. (Most people I know don't equate their self-worth with the number of friends they have; it must be a Washington/Journolist thing).

  • Esoteric||

    Dave -

    Do you really want to know what the problem is? On an elemental level, we're reacting to? Because if I tell you, you have to promise to actually response in good faith. Incidentally, this is a critique that comes not only from me, but from some of your friends and acquaintances throughout your life, who I happen to know.

    The problem is that your instinctive first hot-off-the-pixels response was NOT to act as someone who really cares even a whit about "liberty" -- which is something we would have expected from a man who self-identifies as libertarian and once worked for Reason. Your locution was almost painstakingly chosen, rather, to MINIMIZE the ridiculous thuggery Etheridge displayed here. You called it a "hug." You reduced it to "people behaving strangely."

    And you INSTANTLY diverted the question away from "WTF is this scumbag Congressman doing?" to . Which, just coincidentally I'm sure, was the lead thrust of the Democratic Party talking points memo on the Etheridge affair (as posted by Ben Smith of POLITICO) being forwarded around to bloggers like yourself today. You, quite literally, seem to have "gotten the memo" on how to spin this into "those Nixonian conservative dirty tricksters!" rather than "Holy shit, now Congressmen are attacking random strangers rather than answer for their votes!" That would have been a lot more appropriate; as you may have noticed, pretty much everyone EVEN ON DAILY KOS reacted that way. Which is why POLITICO singled you out as an "Etheridge defender." (So don't be disingenuous. I know you too well to think you're that stupid.)

    And that reveals so much about who you are, whether you realize it or not. For god's sake Dave, even ANN ALTHOUSE got this right. It's stunning that you didn't. And it is going to be very hard for you to live down your first response to this incident in the future. Because a first response is always the most revealing thing about a person's true character.

  • Esoteric||

    Ack, correction:

    "And you INSTANTLY diverted the question away from "WTF is this scumbag Congressman doing?" to"

    finishes with

    "...the question of 'who hired these guys and what conservative conspiracy are they a part of?'"

  • ||

    +10. Exactly. Make the story about the guy with the camera rather than the Congressman acting like a thug.

  • Esoteric||

    My kingdom for an edit function. Ack, the typos, they break my heart.

    And I have a lot more left to say to/about Dave on this matter, in extreme good faith, FWIW. Watching his decline has been one of the more upsetting public transitions over the past few years. It doesn't necessarily have to BE this way with him.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Watching his decline has been one of the more upsetting public transitions over the past few years"

    Does he have a drug or alcohol problem? That would explain a lot.

  • My job is better than yours||

    Bingo. Totally un-shockingly Weigel hasn't responded to these well formed critisims of his er...integrity, rationality, and credibility...with friends like Dave - who needs Obama?

  • Esoteric||

    I guess I didn't do a good job of elaborating on the true reason so many of us are disappointed with him these days, on an intellectual level:

    It's not because he "attacks conservatives" or isn't sufficiently sympathetic to them or even libertarianism. It's not as black-and-white as that, at least not for us.

    Rather, it's because, on top of all the minimizing and alarming downplaying of Dave's post, what comes through the most is ironically enough, the very same trashy "TMZ-like" approach to conservative/libertarian/tea-party politics that he decries in his original post. THAT's the kicker that sticks in our craws.

    Weigel has a platform and an opportunity to do serious research into the way REAL conservatives, or tea-partiers, or libertarians, are thinking about today's issues. He could explore the actual intellectual merits of their arguments, agree or disagree, but at least take it seriously.

    Instead, he has become a glorified tabloid reporter, chasing a slightly more bien-pensant class of freakshow tabloid stories than TMZ: instead of reporting on Paris Hilton, he's aping Diane Fossey, reporting from the seemingly dense mists of the savage conservative jungle, except that he's only sending back stories about embarrasments, tensions, negativity, and clownshoes moments.

    Maybe he's determined that this is the sort of material his editors want. "Sex sells," as they say, after all. But it's a disappointment, a forsaking of his genuine skill and talent, and most depressingly of a selling out of the potential that having such a powerful public venue to educate people.

  • Esoteric||

    Again, a butchered final paragraph. But the point is clear enough, I suppose.

    In the end, Dave, I guess the question I'm asking is: sure, you can be a "conservative tabloid" reporter. But you were naturally blessed by both God (the intellectual ability) and the Washington Post (the powerful blog venue) to do so much more.

    I know that's something you used to care about, at the very least. And I think you still do. So ask yourself: are you happy with being a tabloid reporter? Or do you think you owe it to yourself, at the very least, to strive for something more ambitious and long-lasting with your work?

    Because in the end, all anyone can ever judge you on is your work.

  • Russ 2000||

    the very same trashy "TMZ-like" approach to conservative/libertarian/tea-party politics that he decries in his original post. THAT's the kicker that sticks in our craws.

    Exactly. Weigel did this very early on in his time at Reason and it took only about 2 months before I realized that any articles or posts with his name on it was of no value. His work is to date the only author's work here that I have routinely ignored because of the name of the author attached.

    Still, I hesitate to blame Weigel for all of this - it's hard to blame him for delivering exactly the content Gillespie asked for. If Nick thought that would increase impressions in the marketplace, well it was worth a shot. Too bad that was exactly the sort of stuff the regular customers did not want.

  • David Weigel||

    But we had the video and saw the congressman acting like a thug. The next parts of the story were: who were these guys? What was Etheridge thinking?

    If I wanted to defend Etheridge I would have ignored the incident. What he did was awful, but Mike Flynn already broke the news of him being awful, so I was looking for a new take.

  • My job is still better||

    Ok, fine...you'll find a lot less antipathy around here if you just admit the obvious - it wasn't a good one. In fact, as "new takes" go, it was worse than New Coke, Neo-cons, and Keanu Reeves all rolled into one.

  • Worser tHAN ThIs||

    ...the "new take" is actually worse than even the digital dreck George Lucas coughed up and called Parts 1-3.

    Midichlorians, and peacenik Solo my ass - Hans shot first MF'ers.

    http://vimeo.com/7057373

  • Journalism 101||

    We suggest you think your thesis better next time when looking for a fresh perspective. F-

  • Slut Bunwalla||

    Uh, no, that doesn't really matter. Unless it comes out the camera guy actually threatened the Congressman off camera somehow, it doesn't matter at all who he is. What matters is that he, a constituent, dared to ask a Congressman a question about politics and was attacked in response. This is unacceptable behavior.

    Who the camera guy was is insignificant. Just like the whole Joe the Plumber thing during the campaign--pundits sought to smear Joe as a plant. Well, first, Joe probably wasn't a plant, and second, it doesn't matter if he was. Why doesn't it matter? Because Joe's question wasn't what was so revealing in that instance--Obama's answer to that question was.

    Same thing here. Who the camera guy is and what he asked doesn't really matter. Etheridge's behavior is what matters.

  • Jim Treacher||

    But we had the video and saw the congressman acting like a thug.

    Oh. So you just accidentally left off the "t"?

  • Da Troot||

    This is "acting like a "thug"...

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIe0A3hmUwM&feature=fvsr

    This?...this is *BEING* a THUG.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

    and btw, this is "acting" like human being...(what was that kid's mom thinking?)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

    It should make you shiver to your *bones* that any elected official would dare lay hands on someone for asking a question with an iPhone in hand on a public sidewalk - not piss your pants over the inkling whiff of an expose of a GOP "set-up". Even if Karl Rove himself admitted sending these kids and telling them exactly what to say - this beast of an elected fool should be in *jail* right now, not sucking the soul out of America like some horrible Skesis brought to life.

    NEW GAME: Which Seksis most resembles the good congressman? I vote skekNa.

    http://muppet.wikia.com/wiki/Skeksis

    ...It doesn't really matter anymore what you wanted or intended by choosing your words and tact so very poorly, DW.

    Indeed, what you've achieved is nothing less than a flaccid defense of monster.

  • ||

    "If I wanted to defend Etheridge I would have ignored the incident. "

    You can't ignore it, the washington post tried ignoring this stuff as long as they could and they are becoming obsolete. They hired you to stop ignoring this stuff and start spinning it. You are a propagandist for a corrupt/dying/desparate bunch of aholes. Go enjoy your expansive circle jerk of scumbag friends.

  • JB||

    I'm sure he always volunteers to eat the cookie.

  • ||

    Mr. Esoteric,

    Weigel is just trolling for one of those new government created media jobs coming down the pike.

    On a more serious note, isn't it comforting to note how easily a former Reason employee offers his neck up to the boot of our betters.

  • Sudden||

    The Jacket gets the new government created media job in a Sudden administration. It can bring Gillespie along as a secretary if it'd like.

  • kinnath||

    "Who are you?" asked Etheridge, grabbing one of the cameras and pointing it down -- a move more typically seen from Hollywood bodyguards than congressmen. The second camera rolled as Etheridge, irritated, held the wrist of the first cameraman, then pulled the student to his side and grabbed him in a hug.

    Dave, I don't have any grudges against you, and for the most part, I can't even remember stuff you wrote here in the past. But this paragraph is so carefully worded to diminish the actions of the Congressman that it cannot be dismissed as a mere "oops".

  • ||

    Nice english on the cue ball Weigel...you can spin with the best of them. You are a real pro. Congrats on making more money than everyone that comments here.

  • Apogee||

    If Weigel were a real pro, then he'd have most commenters at Reason agreeing with him.

    It's hackery.

  • Oh no not this again||

    I don't make a habit of hunting down your articles/pieces, but when i come across your work, i enjoy it.

  • Mike M.||

    ...unless you're one of the dozen or so Reason commenters who
    seethe with jealousy over my success as your mom reheats
    your dinner
    thoughtfully criticize my work.

    Wow, you really showed us there, Whygull.

    Why don't you, Obama, and Soros go suck each other off in a threesome.

  • qwerty||

    David Weigel, I had no idea who you were until today, but FUCK YOU. And I wouldn't trade my job for yours, ever.

  • SIV||

    12?

    Mark 5:9
    "My name is Legion: for we are many

  • johnl||

    You didn't need to call it a "half nelson" but "hug" was really reaching. And nobody warmed my dinner of white wine and almonds, thank you very much.

  • Mr. Chartreuse||

    Maybe he meant hug like people in the UK mean "Glasgow Kiss".

  • Joe||

    My wife reheats my dinner. So ha!

  • ||

    If success means your employer has made less money and lost readers since they hired you then bravo.

  • Greg Q||

    As you know now, and should have expected then, the Washington Post, your employer, stripped out all that "context", and simply quoted you (in their "news" report on the issue) as saying that Etheridge gave the student "a hug".

    So, what did you do to address the way your employer took your comments so totally out of context?

    Should you have gotten "hate" mail over that? no. You are far too pathetic an individual to be worth hating. You should have gotten "mocking mail", and "contempt mail", and "Dave, you ignorant slut" mail".

    Because that's all you're worth.

  • ||

    "Hug" has affectionate connotations; "half nelson" has connotations associated with combat.

    I saw the video: the latter term is more characteristic of what happened than the former, hence the mockery.

    Were I your editor, I'd have struck "hug" first thing as I laughed in your face.

  • Colin||

    Something in Weasel flipped when Palin got nominated. From that moment, his writing turned hard left.

  • The Gobbler||

    Gays hate Palin to the extreme. So there's that.

  • Gay Guy||

    Counterexample

  • SIV||

    Weigel really flipped out at Palin's GOP convention speech.It is worth looking back at to see the moment he dropped all pretense of "journalism". I'm having difficulty pulling it up from the "search" box.It is all the more telling as he had the text before she spoke and went leftard at the effectiveness of her delivery.

  • ||

    Sorry, Dave, but characterizing what is on that video as grabbing the student's wrist and giving him a hug seriously minimizes and distorts what we can see with our own eyes. You completely gloss over the hostility and physical aggression.

    Imagine this scenario:

    I'm walking down the street, and on a street corner one of those annoying PIRG people asks me to sign a petition. I treat him as Etheridge treated this citizen.

    At best, I might be able to plea down to disorderly conduct. If the PIRG decides to throw the book at me, though, I've got a jacket for misdemeanor assault. At a minimum.

  • Black Panthers||

    I'm walking down the street, and on a street corner one of those annoying PIRG people asks me to sign a petition. I treat him as Etheridge treated this citizen.

    At best, I might be able to plea down to disorderly conduct. If the PIRG decides to throw the book at me, though, I've got a jacket for misdemeanor assault. At a minimum.

    Only if you ain't a Democratic Party hack, counselor! Thanks Eric Holder, you ain't so Tom after all!

  • ||

    I think he changed it from hugged to handled or something.

    Also Weigel seems really really interested in finding out who these guys were. He has like 2 other posts on his blog about it. No idea why he thinks this is important.

  • marlok||

    So that he can either 1) uncover the story of the next conservative geurilla film-making stars or 2) dig up dirt on them to diminish them and earn cred with the left.

    Which do you think it is?

  • PROGRESSIVE HIVE MIND||

    THE HIVE MIND MUST ESTABLISH IDENTITY TO ARRANGE FOR IMMEDIATE ASSIMILATION OR TERMINATION OF NONCONFORMING SPECIMENS. SPECIMENS EXHIBIT TRAITS OF SUSPICION, BELLICOSITY, HOSTILITY TOWARD HOST SPECIMEN.

    WHO ARE THEY?

    WHO ARE THEY?

    WHO ARE THEY?

    WHO ARE THEY?

    WHO ARE THEY?

    TELL ME WHO THEY ARE.

    TELL ME WHO THEY ARE.

    TELL ME WHO THEY ARE.

  • Suki||

    Weigel has gone down hill lately.

  • ||

    And we all presume, though don’t know for sure, that the kids were right-wingers.

    Maybe the kid was getting ready to ask why Gitmo is still there? Or why we don't have comprehensive free unlimited national health care yet?

  • ||

    Why does it matter what political ideology the questioner has? Any of these would have been a far smarter response:

    1) "Yes, I support what Obama is doing."

    2) "I agree with some of what Obama is doing, and disagree with other things, like not closing down Gitmo."

    3) "I'm a bit busy now, but here's my card -- contact my office and they'll fit you in my schedule."

  • ||

    Yeah, #3 is an excellent idea; if they bring a cell phone and PDA you can file another charge of bugging your office, Congressman.

    Tar. Feathers. Politician. Some assembly required.

  • tarran||

    Mr. Moynihan,

    You are far closer to being an American 'liberal' than Doug Mataconis is.

    On the other hand, if you are attacking classical liberals with your cute little broadside, then I am curious why Reason magazine even bothers to employ your sorry, often factually-challenged, ass.

  • ||

    Drink!

  • marlok||

    I can't decode this. What the hell are you saying?

  • ||

    A hug! Now, I get it....

    "C'mere, ya nut! Where ya gonna be later? Wanna, you know, 'hook up'? I'll show how ta make sausage."

  • ||

    Timmy, have you ever seen a grown man naked?

  • ||

    I was most surprised by the fact that Congressmen walk down the streets, just like us mortals. I've always assumed that they had their own private tunnel system, like Disney World.

  • Astrid||

    Or at least unpaid interns to drive them around in golf carts or something.

  • ||

    Or at least unpaid interns to drive them around in golf carts pedicabs or something.

  • Astrid||

    Good point, it'd remind them of their youthful days before the horseless carriages came about.

  • ||

    Or at least unpaid interns to drive them around in golf carts pedicabs rickshaws or something.

  • ||

    Hey! We're not complete savages, you know.

  • CatoTheElder||

    On the Great March, Mao was conveyed up and down mountains in a sedan chair.

    We should do no less for our esteemed Congressmen on the streets of DC.

  • CatoTheElder||

    And, like Mao, our esteemed Congresspeople should be entitled to order any peasant-citizen passing by to act as porter.

  • ||

    Actually, Cato, we used to use fence rails in this country. After the tar and feathers.

    Tradition!

  • Suki||

    Not complete savages, yes, that's why you would use the homeless instead of interns.

  • Sudden||

    Rickshaws. Seriously people, Congressfolk don't like any transportation system that they can't see human suffering and servitude of the commoners as a direct result.

  • Jordan||

    I've always assumed that they had their own private tunnel system, like Disney World.

    Only Henry Waxman can access them.

  • ||

    I already mentioned naked mole rats down-thread, dude.

  • ||

    There is a private tunnel system, with trolley, between the Senate office buildings and the Senate itself. I've ridden on it (Mathcounts competition, back in 7th grade, was on the NC national team.)

  • Suki||

    I always loved the catchy name of that contest :)

  • TXLimey||

    They do have private tunnels from their office buildings to the capitol, but not throughout the entire city. I'm sure the next stimulus bill will contain a program to rectify that oversight.

    Either that or they'll get the interns to haul them around on giant thrones like Xerxes in 300.

  • ||

    Maybe we tax slaves should outfit every member of Congress with his very own Segway Personal Transporter. Who wouldn't be proud to see Nancy Pelosi gliding down Pennsylvania Avenue in two-wheeled elegance?

  • ||

    Congresscritters are above driving their own vehicles.

  • ||

    Recall when Japetto asked Sarah Palin if she supported the Bush Doctrine. Imagine if instead of answering, she secured the Muay Thai plum and started asking him "who are you?" The MSM would still be carrying the story today.

  • ||

    I'm getting pretty sick of saying "the partisans aren't even pretending to be intellectually honest any more", because I have to do it EVERY SINGLE FUCKING DAY.

    It's like every moron partisan in the world has decided to go full-blown joe and not even attempt to aspire to slightly appear to not be utterly intellectually dishonest.

    Every time I think "this TEAM RED TEAM BLUE shit can't get any worse", it gets worse.

  • ||

    I think someone needs a "hug".

  • ||

    You feeling OK, sage? You all right, big guy? You need a hug? You wanna get some ice cream? Would that make you feel better? Remember, though, that you can't get chocolate--you know what it does to your poopies.

  • Brian||

    "You wanna get some ice cream? You wanna get some McDonald's? You wanna take a dump in the Congresman's shoes?"

  • Spoonman.||

    I stole your characterization of things like defending the honorable assmaster from North Carolina as "more TEAM RED TEAM BLUE shit" elsewhere today. It's all it is.

  • ||

    It's all it is, but what's really bad is that they seem to not even care about being utterly obvious about it. I mean, if you are going to be a partisan scumbag, fine, I expect that, but don't be an utterly obvious partisan scumbag and then try and tell me you're not being one.

  • qwerty||

    I fully agree that that what Etheridge did was both legally and morally wrong, and he should be punished (and I'm sure he won't be).

    Still, there ought to be some limits on what the press can do. If we don't like the idea of government surveillance cameras, why is what the papparazi do OK? If someone comes up to you and asks a question, you should have the right to say, "I'm not answering any questions, go away." If they keep harassing you, that should be a crime.

  • ||

    I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  • FOP||

    So would we. We don't like being recorded by the proletariat either!

  • Untermensch||

    Not according to the SC, at least if you’re a cop and the suspected perp answers something as simple as “did my kicking you in the balls hurt or should I do it again?”

  • ||

    If you tell the cops you're not going to answer any questions, they DO have to stop the interrogation. Yes, even according to the latest SCOTUS ruling. But by all means keep spouting off about something you're not informed on.

  • Mike M.||

    Still, there ought to be some limits on what the press can do.

    In public, with truly public figures like members of Congress? Why?

    Bob Etheridge is one of the assholes who voted to make it a crime to not have health insurance; these people are wrecking our country and have no compunction whatsoever about taking our rights away. I would argue that they are too unaccountable and insulated from the general public they purport to represent as it is.

  • ||

    If someone comes up to you and asks a question, you should have the right to say, "I'm not answering any questions, go away." If they keep harassing you, that should be a crime.

    Wait, I thought we were agreed that you just had to remain silent, and that it was an unjust imposition to expect someone to say "I'm not answering any questions?"

  • ||

    When they take the government paycheck they give up any right to not answer questions. If they don't like it, they can go back to selling used cars and getting drunk at the rotary meeting.

  • Colin||

    If you don't like being asked questions by the public don't become a public official. It's that simple.

  • ||

    It's so weird that everyone thinks what he did is so wrong. It's not that I think it was okay. It's just that I already know that anyone who would even want to be a politician is already a COMPLETE AND TOTAL ASSHOLE and so it doesn't shock or surprise or disturb or offend me that this guy would react in that way.

    It really doesn't seem that bad to me, but I think it's just because my standards are so low for these people that I feel like I have to give them a pass for shit like this.

  • ||

    If someone comes up to you and asks a question, you should have the right to say, "I'm not answering any questions, go away." If they keep harassing you, that should be a crime.

    It is a crime. Harassment.

    Etheridge did not say he wasn't going to answer questions, so that's irrelevant in this case.

  • ||

    I should also note that I don't see how that type of harassment constitutes an initiation of force, so there's no libertarian justification for such laws.

  • ||

    I've always assumed that they had their own private tunnel system, like Disney World naked mole rats.

  • ||

    Mole rats provide the useful service of eating insect grubs. Congressmen do nothing useful, except retire.

  • ||

    Well, there's also the part about how DC would tip over into the Potomac without the counterbalance their deadweight provides.

  • Ska||

    Quick, call Moira. She's got something for those mole ratties.

  • Solanum||

    God I hated her. On my last playthrough, I nuked Megaton and she got ghoulified. She retained her sandpaper-on-the-brain voice, however.

  • ||

    Remember the thrill you got when you were 11 years old and you saw Han shoot down Darth Vader's TIE fighter and Luke blow up the Death Star? The average journalist gets that same thrill seeing some college Republican be physically dominated by a Democratic senator.

  • ||

    Congressman, mitch, not senator.

  • ||

    No, because I wasn't yet born when that movie came out, and Han didn't shoot Vader's fighter, he shot the one next to him and that caused Vader to spin out of control and wind up a safe distance from the Death Star.

  • ||

    That was the very moment you knew there would be a sequel.

  • ||

    If someone comes up to you and asks a question, you should have the right to say, "I'm not answering any questions, go away."

    You already do have the right to do that. I'm sure the congressman now wishes he'd gone with that option.

    If they keep harassing you, that should be a crime.

    It actually is a crime, but I doubt the congressman will be prosecuted for it.

    Oh, wait, you mean criminalizing people asking you questions you're free to ignore?

  • ||

    "Oh, no. He asked me a question and pointed a camera in my face!"

    He should count himself lucky he doesn't get pelted with dog turds dipped in mayonnaise when he goes outside. Which is still better than he deserves.

  • ||

    You guys missed Weigel in his full douchbag mode. On WAPO today

    "But without any name or organizational support, just by riling up a member of Congress, the students have created the first conservative meme of the week. They seem to have learned from organizations such as ThinkProgress that any video of a member acting strangely, no matter how grainy, is grist for the Web."

    Just imagine if Sarah Palin had done something like this. Weigel would be saying she is crazy and needs to be locked up. I really hate that guy. Worst Reason hire ever!!

  • The Gobbler||

    Is that Weigel a fucking Macaca or what?

  • Colin||

    In his day he was good. They could've only judged him at that point of time. Remember, Ralph Nader was once a libertarian, too.

  • Kiwi Dave||

    really? say more.

  • SIV||

    Worst Reason hire ever!!

    Naaa, that would be Kerry Howley.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    The liberal (and Wiegel) pushback is hilarious:

    1) If the cameraguys were conservative, then it was ok to attack them.

    2) (Wiegel): if the video is grainy, then the attack was ok.

    Seriously, when a congressman (or Sean Penn) attacks somebody for asking them questions, it is an interesting question to ask what provoked them, but it's not the main point.

  • Hugo Chavez||

    I love my Seanbino's early work!

  • ||

    It's basically the same as blaming a rape victim for her attack because she had a short skirt or something.

  • Esoteric||

    I really have nothing to say about this other than that Dave Weigel is such an embarrassment to Reason these days.

    I mean, seriously, he called this a "hug."

  • ||

    I really don't know what the jacket was thinking when he hired him. If Weigel were a hot chick like Howley or even a cute nerdy one like Mangu Ward instead of a dorky guy, I could maybe forgive it. But as it is there really is no excuse for his name ever being associated with Reason.

  • ||

    Hey, there is a certain cache to be had by hiring a guy who looks like a cross between Charlie Sheen and Conway Twitty. Don't discount it.

  • ||

    +1

  • Charles||

    I like Dave and think he takes some unfair knocks on the comments here, but that was funny.

  • Ted S.||

    0
  • John's #1 Fan||

    If Weigel were a hot chick like Howley...

    Ah! So that's the reason for the Howley hate! You denigrate what you can't have!

  • ||

    No quite. I denigrate her because her writing is annoying and naive.

  • Shorter John||

    She writes like a hot chick.

  • ||

    I am losing faith in both you and John.

    It was the drudge snip that got you all riled up and if you read Davids article without that snip you would have cared less about his use of the word "hug" and would not have noticed it in the least.

    You guys are turning into Drudge ditto heads.

    Plus you are doing it over something that obviously was put there to raz David. Even the guy working at Drudge probably doesn't give a crap. He just wanted to fuck with David.

  • ||

    What's wrong with being a Drudge ditto head?

  • ¢||

    my pal and former colleague Dave Weigel [...] knocking the camera out of the kid’s hand

    Your conjoining these two things gives the impression that you think you're offering a sensible objection or explaining something to him. I assume you haven't noticed that your "pal"—a "pal" of us all, really!—strikingly resembles a Hollywood caricature of a pathologically closeted mall cop.

    Appearances (and widely disseminated pre-rational reactions) seldom deceive. He jacks to that shit. Don't encourage him.

  • ||

    I ask the barbaric ravenous and occasionally brilliant horde of Reasonoids -

    Is this a "Macaca moment"?

  • ||

    Yes. The guy is in an R +2 district. He pretty much as a Dom Sub relationship with Pelosi and her agenda. And every voter in his District just saw him attack someone for asking a question. He is toast.

  • ||

    IF, and its a big if, his opponent has the balls to make this an issue, and put that video on the air.

    Easy ad:

    Is this who you want representing you in Congress?

    [roll tape]

    We can do better."

  • ||

    That is what I was thinking. I would play that video over and over again.

  • ||

    In this case, it would be his opponent having the ovaries to do that ...

  • ||

    Roll video of American Flag flapping. Move to close up of candidate Renee Ellmers.
    "Hello I'm candidate Renne Ellmers and I am for Position A and Position B and I oppose Position C and Position D."
    "We would ask my opponent his position on these important issues....but we are afraid to!"

    Roll Tape

  • ||

    His opponent in the other oligarchic party is very nice to look at.

  • ||

    Damn. She is.

  • ||

    She is originally from Michigan. Maybe she can undo some of the damage done by Jennifer Grahnholm to the reputation of hot blonds from the great white north.

  • Byron||

    She is originally from Michigan. Maybe she can undo some of the damage done by Jennifer Grahnholm to the reputation of hot blonds from the great white north.

    How in the hell can you call Granmole hot?!?!

    Also, Granmole is from Canada, eh.

  • ||

    She looks like a eyes-too-close-together Jean Smart.

  • BakedPenguin||

    meh. For a congresscritter, she's a 10. Pretty low bar, admittedly, but...

  • ||

    She has that soccer mom cougar kind of thing going. And in a very good way if you like that sort of thing, which I do.

  • ||

    I'd hit that. Right in her clinic.

  • ||

    If this had happened to her she would have just walked away.

  • ||

    NC 2 is a district that went Republican for exactly 1 term since 1900, that being in the Republican landslide of 1994, and lost immediately afterward in 1996.. This was made more possible because the black-majority 12th District was even more absurdly drawn then. Since then, the 12th has been made less absurd and the 2nd more Democratic as a result. The 4th District (Durham and Orange counties) also has the most Republican parts of Wake County stuffed into it in order to gerrymander the 2nd to be a bit more Democratic.

    It's a target for Republicans, to be sure, but it's hard to say how likely.

  • ||

    Realclearpolitics.com had NC2 as a "likely Democratic" district before this incident, but not a done deal.

    I'd say this moved into the toss-up column, or even leaning R, with a few TV ads showing this incident.

  • ||

    See what happens when you approach a cop in Canada "armed" with a video camera:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....r_embedded

  • Cthorm||

    Damn, I really just can't take Canucks seriously. Whenever they speak, all I can think of us Upright Citizens Brigade.

  • ||

  • ||

    "I have seen the video posted on several blogs."

    That is an interesting way to put it. Why does him seeing the video have to do with anything? Was he so drunk he had to see the video to remember what he did? If it there hadn't been a video out on blogs, would he not be sorry?

  • ||

    He was on PCP (they still make that don't they?).

    That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

  • ||

    Well there is that other video of him later in the evening putting his fist through a car windshield and jumping out a two story window trying to "fly".

  • steve smith||

    PCP GOOD WAY TO RELAX AFTER WEEKEND OF RAPING. WILL BRING MUCH PCP TO REASON BOAT CRUISE ON WATER.

  • ||

    He said he was leaving a "meeting." That's the newest congressional slange for "smoking PCP and killing hookers."

    Has anyone asked him if he stopped killing hookers during his PCP-fueled rampages?

  • Astrid||

    Maybe he had a three* martini lunch?
    (If you stop counting after three.)

    And they're only ever sorry after they've been caught, you know that.

  • ||

    I love this part: "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.”

    Translated: "The other guy is just a big, fat meanie and it's all his fault, so next time I'll make sure I destroy the evidence too."

  • robc||

    So he is turning himself into the police and will plead guilty to assault?

  • Congress||

    You mean us being held to the same standard as the proletariat?

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

    We like you, you're a funny guy. We'll kill you last.

  • ||

    Why does him seeing the video have to do with anything?

    Because now he can see than he's pulled a McKinney on tape, and is in trouble in November.

    He realizes he has no plausible deniability if he tries to spin things.

  • TXLimey||

    The "apology" reinforces my initial impression of the video - that the Congressman was drunk off his ass.

    "I've seen the video"? You were in the video jackass!

  • ||

    "Am I high? Look into my eyes. If you could see them from the other side, you wouldn't be wonderin', am I high."

  • Ska||

    The level of partisan depravity required to defend this behavior is mindblowing in both scope and application.

    I need some punchable faces, and I need them now.

  • ||

    *points to Dan T*

  • Max/Lefiti/Edward||

    Pick me! Any of me will do!

  • MNG||

    Jump back Sybil, I want the abuse! It gives me a woody!

  • ||

    Don't worry, Ska, a veritable bevy of leftists will reveal their depravity in defending this; there will be so very many punchable faces.

    I have to say that it may be this TEAM RED TEAM BLUE shit that I detest people for the most. I cannot express the level of my disdain and contempt for these people; it is Lovecraftian in its depths.

  • ||

    Don't worry, Ska, a veritable bevy of leftists will reveal their depravity in defending this; there will be so very many punchable faces.

    There is nothing defensible about this congressman's actions. In fact he should be charged with assault and battery.

    And I don't see any of the house liberals here out here defending any of this.

    So maybe people can comment on reality rather than the caricature of reality that lives in their heads?

    It gets real old real fast seeing "and cue the leftist morons to defend this" over and over...yet no one appears to actually defend this shit.

  • Warty||

    Didn't you notice Dan T in the original thread? Granted, it's doubtful that he counts as a human, but still...

  • ||

    http://althouse.blogspot.com/2.....words.html

    There are plenty of liberal morons defending this over on althouse.

  • ||

    There are plenty of liberal morons defending this over on althouse.

    Then go and attack them at Althouse's comments.

  • ||

    no one appears to actually defend this shit.

    *points to Dan T*

  • ||

    I wasn't referring to H&R, Tom; but rather the wider array of leftist talking heads, blogs, etc.

    And guess what? Plenty of them are defending it. And the reason no one shows here to defend it is the same reason joe never shows here at all: because we would tear them to ribbons instantly.

  • ||

    And guess what? Plenty of them are defending it

    Identity Politics? Overlooking or rationalizing your side's indiscretions?

    Thank Goodness libertarians are PURE and would would ever engage in such a thing! It's OUTRAGEOUS!!!!!!11111!!!111eleven

  • Ska||

    The fact that it's common doesn't make it less infuriating.

  • ||

    The hypocrisy is so blatant in this case that it makes it even worse.

    Sorry, buddy--you need a nap? You want to take a time out? You wanna go to McDonalds and get a Happy Meal? Will that make you feel better?

  • ||

    The hypocrisy is so blatant in this case that it makes it even worse.

    Whose hypocrisy? Worse than what?

    Is it worse than the right wing hypocrites? (The pro family values cheaters or the anti-gay homosexuals?)

    Worse than Spitzer's hypocrisy?

    Worse than the hypocrisy of cops/politicians wanting to install surveillance cameras everywhere but arresting people for filming them?

    Or are you pretending to be outraged that certain tribes will defend their leaders in the face of obvious bad behavior? Because if that is what passes for outrageous, then someone hasn't been paying attention

    Sorry, buddy--you need a nap? You want to take a time out? You wanna go to McDonalds and get a Happy Meal? Will that make you feel better?

    I could go for a chocolate shake -- you buyin?

  • ||

    I am not pretending outrage; I am disgusted by the fact that people who jumped all over the "macaca" incident (for instance) flip 180 degrees in this case, but on top of that they are the "side" that claims to be for civil liberties.

    TEAM RED are tribal assholes as well, but TEAM BLUE has a serious credibility problem going on.

  • ||

    TEAM RED are tribal assholes as well, but TEAM BLUE has a serious credibility problem going on.

    As opposed to whom, exactly? The oh so credible red team? The limited government/fiscally conservative team? George Allen and his supporters condemned this kind of thing when they were on the receiving end of it.

    You keep trying to make it seem like Team BLUE is somehow worse than team RED. (or any other team)

    They all have credibility issues.

    And that's what is most surprising coming from you of all people (someone who is rightfully quite cynical -- and I say that in an endearing and respectful way) -- you can't possible believe that either of these two teams have/had even an ounce of credibility between them, do you?

  • ||

    It's not that I believe they have any credibility. What really annoys me is that they will insist on pissing down my back and claiming it's raining, and to be perfectly honest, TEAM BLUE is worse about it right now because they're in power.

    When TEAM RED slaughters them in November, I guarantee TEAM RED will get worse right away.

  • ||

    Hey Tom, you know what? If the Libertarians ever swing enough wood to amount to more than a pile of beans and manage an "indiscretion," be sure to let us know.

    A real one, now, not BLARRRGHRRAAAARGHLIBERTARIANSBLARRRGHWOOPWOOPWOOP

  • ||

    Hey Tom, you know what? If the Libertarians ever swing enough wood to amount to more than a pile of beans and manage an "indiscretion," be sure to let us know.

    Right. Got it.

    Your team is the perfect team.

  • ||

    Your team is the perfect team.

    About time you figured that out.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Nice to see that Chicago Tom has adopted joe's passive-aggressive style of discourse.

  • ||

    Ummm ... our side? Do you think people here would be falling over themselves defending this (with the possible exception of John) if it was Republican congressman doing the same thing?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, when the newsletters hit, all of us defended Ron Paul to the hilt.

  • ||

    Yeah, when the newsletters hit, all of us defended Ron Paul to the hilt.

    I dunno if this is sarcasm, but there were quite a few defending him. No, not all. And not all lefties are defending this criminal congressman.

    Last I checked libertarians aren't fond of painting with a broad brush...I guess that doesn't apply to the monolithic left?

  • ||

    Ummm ... our side? Do you think people here would be falling over themselves defending this (with the possible exception of John) if it was Republican congressman doing the same thing?

    Because of the nested comments I am not sure if this was directed at me...

    but I will say that some libertarians did fall over themseleves defending Ron Paul during the racist newsletter/Lew Rockwell fiasco.

    So yes...your tribe is like every other tribe out there.

  • ||

  • BakedPenguin||

    Yeah, it was sarcasm. And I say it still stands. There were a few idiots who defended (and still do - HURR HURR SMEARED HIM WITH FACTS!) everything Paul had ever done until they were blue in the face, but it's nothing like TEAM RED TEAM BLUE. The few conservatives or progressives with any intellectual honesty get absolutely lambasted by their tribes for lack of loyalty when they don't go along with the herd. They're the exceptions, rather than the rule.

    Libertarians, in my experience, while not immune to herd mentality, are far less likely to act in such fashion. The down side to that is it's hard to get us together in a positive way.

  • Fluffy||

    Tom, Greenwald denounced the Congressman, and every one of this Democrat readers showed up to bitch him out that he was helping the "bad guys" and to defend the Congressman.

  • ||

    Tom, Greenwald denounced the Congressman, and every one of this Democrat readers showed up to bitch him out that he was helping the "bad guys" and to defend the Congressman.

    Fluffy,

    I get bitched out on liberal blogs for pointing out failings of Democratic politicians...and I get the same responses.

    "No Circular firing squad"

    "The GOPer would be worse!!"

    "You are gonna hand the other team control"

    But that kind of thinking/mentality isn't exclusive to the left or the right.

    What is shocking is to actually see consistency and intellectual honesty and a lack of hypocricy. THAT is the dog bites man story.

  • ||

    I hate it when ChicagoTom makes sense.

    Anyway congratulations for having principles beyond simply defending your own.

  • Barack Riding a Unicorn||

    I'm sorry but the correct term is asses to kick, asses to kick

  • ||

    All I'm sayin is, Neil Patrick Harris has got only one ass to kick: the ass of the guy who stole his Unicorn.

  • ||

    I intend to fly out to Seattle and strike Episiarch the next time he insults pizza. Apparently, using physical force to counter words is completely legal now.

  • FOP||

    It works for us! You gotta love sovereign immunity! On the floor now, maggot!

  • ||

    Bring it on, you deep-dish eating primate! I'm going to pretend I'm a Congressman and rabbit punch you as you get off the plane. Congressmen can do that, right?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Congressmen can do that, right?

    They have a de facto ability to get away with it, if that's what you mean.

  • ||

    They also have the right to do harms.

  • Harm Sandwich||

    But can they still indict me?

  • ||

    At least I'm a primate.

  • ||

    I think a year or two ago some Russian guy said the USA will be broken into 5 or so smaller countries.

    Ahhh, via WSJ here

    I think when I heard that my Nationalism (what's left, anyway) was offended.

    Now, I can't wait for that to happen.

    In other news, I just found out an employee of my father's is running for Congress in Virginia as a Libertarian.

    My father isn't worried that he'll have to hire and train a new person, but I still think he contributed to his campaign.

  • cynical||

    Yes, and they will all suck for libertarians in a variety of ways.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    It really is quite amusing to see the water carriers of the left who have been hand wringing for a year about the "angry" Tea Party folks and the hpoothetical violence that they supposedly MIGHT engage in suddenly reverse course and start making excuses for an elected official who engaged in actual violence merely because they share his political beliefs.

  • ||

    Just like the guy last week that tried to bait a Tea Partier into a racist attack but ended up punching the dude instead.

  • ||

    "You're doing it wrong," in action. Beautiful.

  • ||

    today is TRTPMDLID

    Team Red-Talking Points Memo Distribution List Identification Day

    Weigel we already knew you were on it ...but thanks for the update.

  • ||

    Seriously, what's up with the inability of incumbents to take criticism? They're now avoiding town hall meetings, at least one has taken to beating questioners, and they're making sure that any opposition is shouted down. WTF? It's like life has become one big blog.

  • ||

    Sen. Ben Cardin will go on the Ron Smith show on WBAL every few weeks. I gotta say, that as big as shitbag Cardin is and as much as I despise him, he takes every bit of venom that the callers dish out.

  • Congress||

    We resent those remarks; how dare you question your betters! Expect a knock on your door soon and we WILL have a warrant, counselor! I hope you like runny omelets!

  • ||

    Seriously, what's up with the inability of incumbents to take criticism? They're now avoiding town hall meetings, at least one has taken to beating questioners, and they're making sure that any opposition is shouted down. WTF? It's like life has become one big blog.

    Criticism hurts their fee-fee's and makes them feel sad inside.

    Look they didn't get into this job to hear from the unwashed dirty masses (on the left, the right or anywhere in between)...they got into it for the financial gains and rewards that power gives.

    What's so fucking complicated about this? They can't take criticism because the don't fucking care what their critics say. And they hate being ambushed because speaking off the cuff exposes them as the know-nothings that they are.

    They aren't here to listen to likes of you and me and whoever else.

    Unless the critics are somehow going to make them better off financially, these critics can go fuck themselves.

  • ||

    +1

  • ||

    Dang, CT. Mad props.

  • ||

    Your anger makes you strong.

  • Fluffy||

    +10.

  • ||

    That doesn't explain why he didn't just say he was busy now, and ask the questioner to set up an appointment with his office for an interview. There's a gajillion ways to avoid answering off-the-cuff questions without going down the road Etheridge did.

  • JB||

    They are creating a whirlwind and they will reap it someday.

  • ||

    The Atlantic rounds up the reactions here, and notes this “skeptical” tweet from my pal and former colleague Dave Weigel

    Please don't remind us that he used to write here. It's just too soon, Moynihan.

  • OO=====D||

    I, for one, miss his sweet, sweet kisses and sandpaper tongue.

  • ||

    It'll be interesting to see how Olbermaddow spins this latest act of Tea-Bag violence.

  • ||

    From Congressman Etheridge's official website:

    Bob Etheridge has emerged as one of the Capitol's most authoritative voices for school construction, character education, early childhood development, youth safety, college aid and other education issues.

    I do not think those mean what he thinks they do. But certainly the authoritative voice part...

  • ||

    The awful Chris Matthews on Hardball just called them "students from a right-wing website who ambushed a Congressman."

    Hahahahaha!

  • Colin||

    By the left's logic, the guy who filmed George Allen was at fault for utterance of "Macaca."

    Funny, how they had no problem with guerrilla journalism back then.

  • ||

    Yeah. But now they are sending death threats to the guy who video taped Helen Thomas.

  • ||

    By the left's logic, the guy who filmed George Allen was at fault for utterance of "Macaca."

    I believe it was George Allen himself who blamed the guy following him around with a video for the controversy.

    Funny, how they had no problem with guerrilla journalism back then.

    Funny how the right condemned it back then yet miraculously support it now.

    It's almost as if they are all a bunch of fucking hypocrites looking to rationalize bad behavior from those on their side.

    Why it's almost as if this politics as usual rather than a failing of one side or the other.

  • Fluffy||

    Dude, I never thought Allen was anything but a schmuck and a douchebag.

  • ||

    I liked his earlier, funnier films.

  • Jim Treacher||

    Funny, how they had no problem with guerrilla journalism back then.

    Funny how the right condemned it back then yet miraculously support it now.

    Yeah, they all cheered when Allen tried to smack the camera out of the guy's hand and assaulted him. Which happened in some parallel universe, I guess.

  • a||

    Can Weigel and Moynihan just duel it out? With excellent aim and identical reflexes?

  • Ska||

    Not if it's going to take as long as Barry Lyndon.

  • a||

    What about a Youtube synopsis-length Barry Lyndon? I could sit through that.

  • Warty||

    I will confess to enjoying Barry Lyndon.

  • ||

    It is Kubrick, after all.

    There's always The Duellists as an alternative.

  • Warty||

  • ||

    Nice, but I was talking about the Ridley Scott flick.

  • Warty||

    So were they, I think. Iron Maiden loves writing songs about movies.

  • ||

    Good choice by them, 'cause that's a good flick.

  • ||

    I saw Barry Lyndon in the theater when it came out, when I was 15 or so, just so i could see Marisa Berenson's tits.

    Actually, this would be a good story to tell the he-spawn about how hard we had it in the old days.

  • Ska||

    It's not that I didn't like it, but it was a bit too drawn out for my liking. Chalk it up to youthful impatience.

    I found it a lot more watchable than Citizen Kane ever was.

  • ||

    I will confess to enjoying Barry Lyndon.

    Me, too.

  • ||

    I can say I won't miss Moynihan much either. Can they use shotguns?

  • ||

    Edit feature: I can't say I will miss...

  • Warty||

    By the way, something like this is what you do when some asshole grabs your wrist like that.

  • ||

    Nah, if it's a congresscritter and you got him or her on tape assaulting you, you don't physically fight back, you post the video on YouTube and press assault charges.

    Fighting back muddies the waters.

  • Slaver||

    Could there ever be a more clear example of how American politicians see themselves? We are all slaves now (at least until Nov).

  • ||

    Could there ever be a more clear example of how American politicians see themselves? We are all slaves now (at least until Nov)

    Unless there will be armed revolution to overthrow our whole system of government, I don't see what changes in Nov.

  • Ska||

    Hopefully the seat retention rates for incumbents.

  • ||

    It might drop all the way to 90%!

  • ||

    While I'm hoping first for gridlock, a general anti-incumbent movement would add a lovely breeze to our political climate.

  • ||

    Hopefully the seat retention rates for incumbents.

    And a fresh crop of corrupt hypocrites is empowered!

  • Ska||

    The fresh ones have less favors to repay, so there's that.

    Does being even more cynical make it any better? Will I need to drink more bourbon now?

  • Tony||

    The fresh ones have less favors to repay, so there's that.

    Which is why you supported Obama over McCain?

  • Ska||

    No, I chose not to bite into either shit sandwich, thanks much.

    I guess there is that whole maleable freshman problem, but that sounds better in Congress than in the executive branch.

  • ||

    The fresh ones have less favors to repay, so there's that.

    Maybe

    But in order to get get elected, they had to call in some favors (and if they are unseating an incumbent probably lots)

    in either case...the piper will be paid...he doesn't work for free you know.

    Does being even more cynical make it any better? Will I need to drink more bourbon now?

    More cynicism = less disappointment.

    So in a sense it makes it better.

  • ||

    Unless there will be armed revolution to overthrow our whole system of government, I don't see what changes in Nov.

    The best we can hope for is a switch in control of the House, gridlock, and marginally less slavery for us proles.

  • BORAT||

    I love it; I wish I could get footage like this!

  • Esoteric||

    Amusingly, Glenn Beck is absolutely sodomizing Bob Etheridge on his show.

    I don't even really like him, but goddamn he is such a brutally effective showman. He delivers his points with eerie VERVE.

  • ||

    Thanks for the visual.

  • BeesInTheBrain||

    Should these kids have been more specific? I would have been
    Wow, haven't read much about wire tapping cases recently have you.

  • Mangler||

    This is obviously a kickback scheme between Moynihan and Wiegal to increase readership on both of their blogs. Generate a little controversy and the post count quadruples! Can't you fools see??

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Here at Reason it's drugs not hugs. Pass it on.

    (And, perhaps, drink? Maybe? Little bit?)

  • RyanXXX||

    The self-identified "progressive" Glenn Greenwald at Salon is saying that Etheridge should be arrested:

    http://www.salon.com/news/opin.....index.html

    What people like Weigel, and his opposite Greenwald, demonstrate is the importance of principal. I'd take a principled man I disagree with over an unscrupulous snake whose views I share.

  • ||

    Greenwald is just trying to limit the damage. Since he's seen the failure of all the other attempts to spin this (Etheridge was the victim, he was ambushed with Breitbartites), he had to respond with the last-resort method of spinning: intellectual honesty.

  • ||

    Etheridge has now issued a sort-of apology for the incident:

    "I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction and I apologize to all involved," Rep. Bob Etheridge of North Carolina said in a statement. "No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response."

    [...]

    "The truth is I had a long day," he said. "I've had bad days many times. It's not a good crutch to lean on and I won't use that."
  • weigelsucksdick||

    weigel is losing his mind. i think it's his quest to schmooze in DC and make friends.

  • Barack Obama||

    He's just looking for someone to plug the damn hole.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    I have nothing to say here. Ethridge is clearly being a dick whether or not is behavior is "legal". I do hope that if Rand Paul has a similar moment the general tenor of commentary will be the same.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    Although it might have been helpful if the students identified themselves...

  • Jim Treacher||

    ...as they were being coerced to do so by use of force.

  • ||

    Wonder if this will get as much attention as the macaca incident.

    Partisan media magic eight ball says "not likely"

    Is the Washington Post trying to 'Macaca' Bob McDonnell?

    In the 2006 campaign season the Washington Post ran more than a dozen front-page stories on Senator George Allen’s reference, at an August 11 campaign stop almost 400 miles from Washington, to an opposition campaign staffer as “Macaca.”
  • ||

    Weigel, go suck a fat one you bloated narcissist.

  • Rick||

    So this @#$@$ shoves this kid, rips at his jacket, twists his arm and takes his camera phone (see link below) and nothing will happen to him right?

    http://www.kooks.com/congress/.....Phone.html

  • Fact:||

    Macacca please. You used to love ambush journalism Weigs.

  • ||

    2010 06 14

    Jack booted college thugs from the Tea Party’s vicious Youth Video Projects department attacked innocent Congressman NC Rep Bob Etheridge (Dem) as he returned from conducting the people’s Pelosi business. Both thugs were able to escape from the victim after the poor congressman was able to overcome and detain one of the assailees for a short time and squeeze a gurgled epithet from the more brawny of the two skinny thugs. The congressman’s friends from the SEIU benevolence league have offered to protect the congressman from future random attacks by sacrificing other people’s rights to assure he is left unopposed in the business of raising taxes for the peoples own good of course. Keith Olbermann was quick to point out the obvious racial overtones that weren’t heard or seen during the altercation. Rosie O’Donnell also commented during her radio show on the blatant anti-gay rhetoric not being uttered during the attack by the pro life Catholic Church mob down the street during a church service. The congressman coming from a Pelosi fund raiser to repeal Arizona’s AB1070, was heard to yell “I have a right to know who you are” and “Vee haf veys ouf making you show zee papers” at the assailants, no admission by the attackers of belonging to any neo-type group was forth coming. After the congressman’s dust up with the hooligans, Janet Napolitano quickly declared the scene safer than it had ever been before and pledged to be even more vigilant for neo-anti taxpayers like these two youths. White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said the President will withhold any comments about whose @#$% ass to kick for at least a month or two. A full investigation of the assault by the top prosecutors in the US AG’s office has been promised by the US Attorney General. Mr. Holder said funds allocated in the next year’s budget for the persecution of the two youths will require billions to assure the American people this type of freedom of the press or speech behavior by youths running rampant with cameras and microphones cannot continue unchecked. Harry Reid has proposed massive tax hikes on the rich to fund the new legislation.

  • ||

    Etheridge must have been carrying a bit of Vorlon in him.

    "Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?!"

    Snap! NerdATTACK!

  • ||

    "I'm constantly confused as to why mentions of my name lead to a lot of schoolyard insults."

    Like when you habitually refer to Republicans as "Ratfuckers"

    THOSE kinds of schoolyard insults, or just the kind that get under your ricepaper-thin, gives-it-out-but-cant-take-it skin???

  • ||

    Hey this thread is still open? Cool.

    Take a look at comment this by Esoteric above, made a 5:01 PM, and tell me if that's not prescient or what, given that we now know that Weigel's been coordinating his lefty talking points with fellow MSMers on Journolist the whole time:

    http://reason.com/blog/2010/06.....nt_1753453

  • دردشة||

    thanks

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