Politics

Rep. Tattletale

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bully

It's not just wimpy kids and their wimpier parents who complain about bullying (see: Matt Labash's masterpiece on the anti-bullying movement in schools). The anti-bullying movement is trickling down to wimpy legislators.

The Boston Herald editorialized today "House chamber no place for thugs." Apparently some some gruff old legislator came up to a relative newbie and talked tough. The Herald's account:

A colleague came up to [Rep. Jennifer Callahan (D-Sutton)], chatted about a health care amendment that had come up earlier in the week, then what had been a casual conversation turned ugly. According to Callahan, he said, "I've been in this building for a long time, Jen, and I wanted you to know that I could make things really difficult for you. I mean, Jen, I could really hurt you."

While this is far from collegial, it's not much more than the kind of tough talk one learns to expect from Hollywood depictions of hard-boiled legislators (see: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). It's hard to imagine that Rep. Callahan was really as shocked (shocked!) as she makes herself out to be at the discovery that some legislators are assholes.

More on bullying here and here.

NEXT: Sugar Coating the Farm Bill

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  1. This women is an adult right?
    how difficult would it have been to tell the guy to fuck off?

  2. Yeah, now the bully (this guy) is going to leave her alone–because she ran and tattled.

    I guess she never took Bully 101, nevermind Bully 911.

  3. some legislators are assholes.

    It’s worse.

    They’re Massholes.

  4. 911 is a joke.

  5. Massachusetts politicians should know from in-chamber bullying. US Senator Charles Sumner, received a beatdown from SC Congressman Preston Brooks… at his desk in the Senate. It’s a fascinating story.

  6. Nutmegger,

    I think we need to get a CT/MA rumble going. Especially since our CT contingent seems to way outnumber the MA contingent (joe).

  7. The people of Sutton need to elcet a rep who isn’t such a wimp.
    Maybe a man wouldn’t be so easily intimidated.

  8. J sub D,

    Maybe they could elect an internet tough guy.

  9. The Boston Globe published the name of guy that made the threat. I’m 99% sure that he was my French teacher in 10th grade. The guy was pretty wacked out back then and I assume that age has done nothing to improve his mental state. If he had said to me back then “I could really hurt you.” it would have been VERY scary. I can imagine that it would be much scarier now.

  10. Massachusetts politicians should know from in-chamber bullying. US Senator Charles Sumner, received a beatdown from SC Congressman Preston Brooks… at his desk in the Senate. It’s a fascinating story.

    I first read that as “Charles Schumer.” And began to hope beyond hope that there was video on YouTube.

  11. I for one cast my vote for J sub D as my overlord . . . er . . . representative.

  12. The guy was threatening her. No she shouldn’t be shocked. But wotta fuck’s wrong with using all means at her disposal? I don’t see how it only encourages him, as Episiarch implies, to have the threat exposed. To say she should only fight back in the same manner the fight was picked with her just seems, well, dumb. Like saying you’re not a real man if you respond to a larger attacker with superior firepower…or making a police report.

  13. Jesse Helms used a surrogate. “Would someone tell that little pissant (Paul Wellstone) to sit down and shut up”.

  14. Unfortunately, some of those “wimpy” kids end up committing suicide to escape. Of course this kind of attitude is quite predictable from a political movement where “think of the children” is proudly used in a derisive sense by people who will never have kids themselves.

  15. Evidently Callahan thinks politics is beanbag.

  16. Katie M-W praises Matt LaBash’s “masterpiece” on anti-bullying, which contains the line “Through most of history, no one needed social scientists to tell them kids were cruel, so bullying was considered an unfortunate but inevitable byproduct of school life–like the poor quality of cafeteria food, or the promiscuity of cheerleaders.”

    I await another 2,000-word “masterpiece” from Matt on the Bush Administration’s asshole programs to keep cheerleaders from f*cking their heads off, the way God intended. Go get’em, Matt!

  17. The guy was threatening her. No she shouldn’t be shocked. But wotta fuck’s wrong with using all means at her disposal? I don’t see how it only encourages him, as Episiarch implies, to have the threat exposed. To say she should only fight back in the same manner the fight was picked with her just seems, well, dumb. Like saying you’re not a real man if you respond to a larger attacker with superior firepower…or making a police report.

    What fyodor said!

    It doesn’t matter whether its expected or not, whether that’s how Hollywood portrays them, or whether she SHOULD have actually been intimidated. Threats like that should not be tolerated or accepted, and good for her for exposing it, regardless of whether nor she is she feigning outrage.

  18. Alan, spare us your insight and go review Bully by Larry Clark. That has violence and fucking!

  19. MA here.

    Also, I do not see the problem in her using a different way to get back at someone that threatened her. I don’t know if it will be effective, but it certainly is a way to fight back.

  20. Rep. Jennifer Callahan should hire Steven Seagal as an aide. Then she should introduce Seagal to the colleague who tried to lean on her, and then Seagal should deliver a roundhouse kick to the guy’s face. Problem solved. And it would make a good movie. Especially if Callahan was played by Elisha Cuthbert.

  21. “..by people who will never have kids themselves.”
    Hey, classwarrior.
    My two teenage sons and I say go F@@K yourself.
    My two-year-old twins say you’re an old poopy-head.

  22. Boy in the photo wears lipstick and wonders why he gets his ass kicked.
    Not that there’s anything…

  23. I don’t have a problem with her using a different method to get back at the guy, but this approach seems unlikely to win her many friends in the statehouse.

  24. Boy in the photo wears lipstick and wonders why he gets his ass kicked.

    Getting rid of that retarded haircut would go a long way too. Endless Summer came out in 1966, dumbass.

    Now, I want to kick this kid’s ass.

  25. Hey Classwarrior,

    people who will never have kids themselves.

    And your evidence for that is…what? Not that it matters, because every poster here has been a kid at one time in his/her life, and we all managed to get through OK, except for you and Joe.

  26. Now, I want to kick this kid’s ass.

    Since I hate bullies, now I want to kick your ass. But wait, wouldn’t that make me a bully too? And then I would have to kick my own ass.

  27. Epi,

    No one likes a self-hating bully. Basically, you’re an emo bully.

  28. I don’t understand why you’re so dismissive towards bullies. If you were assaulted and possessed no effective means of self-defense, would you just shut up and take it, or would you go the “wimpy” route and “complain” to the police?

  29. Basically, you’re an emo bully.

    Does that mean he cuts other people too?

  30. No, MattXIV, he just cries all over them.

    But they’re tough tears, streaked with eye-liner gunk.

  31. My mother always told me that if I was bullied I should hit the guy as hard as I could in his face. When I was bullied in middle school, I smacked the guy as hard as I could in the face and lo and behold my mothers advice was great.

    Because bullies are cowards and if you hit them back they piss their pants.

  32. No, MattXIV, he just cries all over them.

    Don’t make me cry on you, NutraSweet.

    (sniff, wipes snot and welling tears away)

  33. Because bullies are cowards and if you hit them back they piss their pants.

    I hit a bully back and he just smiled, spit his tooth in my face and proceeded to fuck me up so badly that I still have a slight stutter.

  34. When I was bullied in middle school, I smacked the guy as hard as I could in the face

    It’s not even necessary to win the fight. Once the bully knows that you’ll hit back, the cost/benefit decision changes enough for him to pick a different kid to harass.

    Better still, if the bully knows that picking on another kid in your presence will get him smacked upside the head with the heaviest object you have handy, it might inspire the other kids to participate in a behavior modification program.

    “A Bug’s Life” is a great movie to show kids of any age.

    -jcr

  35. Ah the Herald. It is like the Post just without Page Six. But i mean was this guy really threatening bodily harm here? Wasn’t he just kinda making the obvious remark that longer sitting reps have more pull?

  36. “Wasn’t he just kinda making the obvious remark that longer sitting reps have more pull?”

    Maybe, but she should have punched him in the face just in case.

  37. was this guy really threatening bodily harm here? Wasn’t he just kinda making the obvious remark that longer sitting reps have more pull?

    Telling someone you can hurt them goes a bit beyond that, in both substance (at least potentially) and style (clearly), and a threat doesn’t have to be about physical violence to be a threat. I’d think he was threatening some sort of career retribution for not playing along. Not bodily harm, but not cool either.

    Were there better ways for her to handle it? Maybe. I’d say all other things being equal, it’s better not to involve the authorities. But sometimes other means aren’t available or advisable and going to the authorities is called for. You might just do the same.

  38. I’m seeing “Bully 911” as a TV show, like Nanny 911, where a professional bully comes and helps out those in need of his services…

  39. …she should have punched him in the face just in case.

    I think a knee to the groin is more traditional for women.

  40. Wait till she starts seeing all the “No Snitches” T-shirts in the chamber.

  41. I hit a bully back and he just smiled, spit his tooth in my face and proceeded to fuck me up so badly that I still have a slight stutter.

    Them Montana pre-schools are tougher than I thought. 😉

    That was no bully. That’s a full-blown sociopath in training.

    FWIW, the “punch the bully in the face in public” technique worked like a charm for me. Too bad you can’t continue this method into the workplace.

  42. “was this guy really threatening bodily harm here? Wasn’t he just kinda making the obvious remark that longer sitting reps have more pull?”

    If Tony Soprano or someone like said he could really hurt you, would you stop to consider if he was talking figuratively or literally? Either way, the outcome is unlikely to be pleasant.
    The guy who supposedly made the comment is the assistant vice chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, which in this state means he’s got some political power. In addition, this happened in the context of a fight over who will suceed the current House Speaker – the most poweful political position in the state. The Chair of the Ways and Means Committee is one of the two guys vying for the Speaker’s position. Guess who the guy who made the threat supports?

  43. I believe it’s traditional to beat the other politician with a cane. At least there is a precedent for it.

  44. My mother always told me that if I was bullied I should hit the guy as hard as I could in his face.

    Hitting anybody in the face with your hand is best left to trained professionals. Hands are full of small fragile bones; faces are full of large hard bones. You do the math.

    The advice I got as a wee one was to (a) always hit first and (b) always aim for a soft spot. The guy who gets the first solid shot in will nearly always win the fight.

  45. If a mobster were to threaten me I would think that the harm was physical. I think it was a poor word choice on the guy’s part. I’m not begruding the woman for making the complaint. He was saying that he could make legislating more difficult for the woman, and i think that raking muck for such threats is a great option. But i dont think we will be seeing Callahan in the back of a meat truck any time soon.

  46. Hit the soft parts with your hand and the hard parts with a tool.

    I learned this the hard way when I punched a guy in the top of his head. I didn’t break anything, but I had to flip people off with my left hand for a few days.

    In our second encounter, I drop-kicked a volleyball into his face from about ten-feet away. Hilarity ensued.

  47. I drop-kicked a volleyball into his face from about ten-feet away.

    Missed a couple feet high, did you?

  48. I guess thats a conditional suggestion, I have martial arts training and know to hit people or even maim and kill them if they try something serious. Yeah, don’t do it unless your trained.

  49. That’s my purse, you don’t know me!

  50. “I guess thats a conditional suggestion, I have martial arts training and know to hit people or even maim and kill them if they try something serious. Yeah, don’t do it unless your trained.”

    I concur. My seven year old has one year under his (now orange) belt.

  51. I think she did the right thing. Exposing this elected official for the childish wannabe-tough guy he is was really the best course of action. That or pumping his face full of ‘chemical billy’.

  52. If you were assaulted and possessed no effective means of self-defense, would you just shut up and take it[?]

    There’s the heart of the problem right there. I bet there’d be a lot less bullying if a kid’s school supplies list, in addition to glue sticks, scissors and filler paper, required him to bring a gun.

  53. Like saying you’re not a real man if you respond to a larger attacker with superior firepower…or making a police report.

    If someone assualted you, and you knew who they were, you’d include their name in the report, no? There’s no use filing a report if you refuse to say who the attacker was. Unless she names names, she’s just begging for sympathy (or quite possibly making the whole thing up).

  54. I personally know someone that ran against this woman for a spot on the Sutton School Committee (she’s from Sutton, MA as am I). Because he and another woman were running against Callahan, their votes split and Callahan won.

    From the start, it has been obvious that she has only had admirations of holding a seat of power. It should be a surprise to no one that she, or any other Dem in MA, would jump at the opportunity for ANY media attention (no matter how childish).

  55. Release your inner bully.

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  57. From the start, it has been obvious that she has only had admirations of holding a seat of power.

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