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“I have a right to know who you are”

Congressman assaults college student.

26 Responses to ““I have a right to know who you are””

  1. Boondoggie Says:

    I guess he was on his way to Congress so he can commit any crime he wishes. Out of the way, prole!

  2. JKB Says:

    Hey the kid was asking for it. “Do you fully support the Obama agenda?” is a loaded question and asked in such a cavalier manner could ruin a congressman’s career.

    I mean if Nancy and Barack were to discover he wasn’t faithful would they stand behind him at the admission press conference?

  3. John Smith Says:

    Why doesn’t the Congressman come down here to Texas and pick on someone his own size? We would not only kick his A$$ we would tar and feather him as well.

    These jacka$$e$ think that they own us all.

  4. Bobby Says:

    JKB, just to be sure here, Are you defending Etheridge and his actions here because the kid asked a tough question?

    Heh, brings up a funny thought…
    “Look out! run! he’s got a loaded question!”

  5. Freiheit Says:

    Bobby – JKB is being sarcastic. I hope.

    This is pretty damning video, but its been edited. I believe that something went down and that the Congressman needs more than a slap on the wrist, but I want to see what got cut out too.

  6. Jake Says:

    I might have let him get away with grabbing my arm – even after slapping the camera away – because I would have been the one who approached him in a potentially hostile fashion, but grabbing the back of my neck like that would have resulted in him pulling back a broken arm. Especially after having been told to let go of me.

    Regardless of the appropriateness of the student’s approach, his actions did not rise to the level of justifying any physical contact, much less forcible restraint. The Senator needs to be charged with assault and battery, at the very least.

    This footage should also be broadcast far and wide every time he is up for reelection.

  7. blounttruth Says:

    He was drunker than Cooter Brown, could have lit a cigarette off of his nose. All that aside I wonder what would have happened to the kid had he done to the congressman what the congressman did to him? As Uncle says, “like you and me only better”.

  8. Speakertweaker Says:

    Granted, there may have been some stuff left on the cutting room floor, but from the video I saw, the kid waited for the Congresscritter to approach, called him by proper name, and asked a question. I’m afraid I don’t see how that could have been considered hostile.

    I would likely have backed away once he swatted at the camera, but once dude grabs me in restraint, the gloves are coming off.


  9. markofafreeman Says:

    there may have been some stuff left on the cutting room floor

    I really don’t get this assumption people are making about parts of the video being edited out. I’ve watched it several times and I don’t hear any breaks in the audio or anything else indicating that it was edited in that way. What I think is meant by ‘edited’ is simply the blurring of the student’s face.

  10. Freiheit Says:

    markofafreeman – The big edits are at 0:02, 0:20. I think you’re right though, its a spot for text and not cut footage.

  11. nk Says:

    He’s got a right to walk down a public street without some pimpleface shoving a camera in his face. So do I. So do you.

  12. Nylarthotep Says:

    you’d think a politician would have more ability to tolerate that type of behavior seeing he lives with it quite a lot.

    Though I have to say if that kid shoved the camera in my face that way, I’d have slapped it away as well. If he pushed it in my face again he’d have needed a proctologist to retrieve it.

  13. John Smith Says:

    Wow so the congressman thinks that he can assault and physically restrain someone off the street who asks him a question. Nice. The guys filming him made no threats nor used off color language yet he reacts like a paranoid delusional. He has no right to know who anyone is. He broke the law. I would not have been as forgiving as those kids if a congressional representative grabbed me like that. Think finger splints.

  14. Jake Says:

    I’m afraid I don’t see how that could have been considered hostile.

    I only say that because of the way it looks like the camera was suddenly shoved in his face: even if you call out my name, if you suddenly shove something in my face and start asking questions in that tone of voice, I would probably knock your hand away then grab your arm, too – at least until I figure out what’s going on.

    From the college kid’s point of view, though, after the first warning, or at least the second, some “physical reinforcement” would have been applied. And if he’d grabbed my neck like that, he would have ended up with a broken arm, missing teeth, or both. That passes far beyond “restraining a potential hostile until the situation is assessed” and becomes a strong signal of harmful intent. Instead of the “hug” he ended up with (and WTF is up with that, anyway?) it could easily have been the start of an attack.

    Also, my response to “I have a right to know who you are” would have been “No, you don’t.”

  15. Linoge Says:

    Suffice to say that Representative (in name only) is damned lucky that it was a set of still-maturing, unsure-of-themselves college students he happened to accost, rather than someone a little more willing to… get their hands dirty. I do not give a flying squirrel’s left testicle how inflammatory, annoying, idiotic, or otherwise troublesome the kids’ questions were – there is absolutely no excuse for anyone, much less a US Representative, to manhandle anyone like that for simply asking a question.

    I admit to being somewhat disappointed that we have not seen charges against the Congressmat hit the news yet… That would have been my first stop after the incident.

  16. dave Says:

    “He’s got a right to walk down a public street without some pimpleface shoving a camera in his face. So do I. So do you.”

    Bullshit. Ever read the first amendment?

    He does not have the right to assualt someone for asking him a question.

  17. Nylarthotep Says:


    Right, where does it say anything in the first amendment about having to answer anyone’s questions when they shove a camera in your face unexpectedly?

    Maybe some of you may want to consider that some people don’t like being taken unawares and react differently. I’m sure all of you belittling the congresscritter would have acted nicely and treated the rude questioner nicely. Right? I didn’t think so.

  18. John Smith Says:

    @nylarthotep. To react like the congressman did they would of had to have accused me of selling drugs to 5 year olds. Questions do not give me the right to assault you even if it makes me chickenshit afraid. Political question does not equal assault and battery.

  19. Tam Says:


    A brusque “no comment” as one continues walking past would have been expected. Maybe even batting the camera aside if it was shoved way into your personal space.

    But to lay hands on someone in the manner he did? No matter how much lipstick you put on that pig, it’s still assault and battery. I mean, if you or I had done it, it would have been. Our leaders can obviously rough up the peasantry a bit as long as they’re sorry about it afterward.

  20. nk Says:

    I left Paterrico’s over this. Well, the Arizona anti-Mexican law, too. A man’s got a right to be left alone on a public street, whether he’s a Congresscritter or too dark-complected.

  21. McVee Says:

    Exactly, what Tam said. This is an issue because he made it an issue. He could have ignored the student, maybe a “no comment” and life goes on. And this is the type of behavior you can expect when you don’t hold our elected officials to the same letter of the law as the general public. R/D/I… doesn’t matter.

  22. nk Says:

    I don’t trust Breitbart. He exaggerates and overdramatizes incidents. I’d like to see the unedited video.

  23. SayUncle Says:


  24. nk Says:

    Thank you, Uncle.

    Still, I dunno. When I was 25 or so a younger person thought he could scare me into giving him my money on the stairs going down to the subway (the train not the sandwich place). I stiff-armed him against the wall and he ran off.

    I am generally a friendly and gregarious person. I smile at and say “Good morning” to everybody who wants to make eye-contact with me. I live in a place where that’s not unusual.

    I dunno.

  25. Mikee Says:

    The videographers might have elicited a less idiotic response by saying something along the lines of, “Congressman Etheridge, we’re college students from your district doing a school project! Can you answer a question or two for us as we walk along with you?” Then they might have gotten a full-on Democratic talking points answer, complete with seemingly intoxicated rambling, rather than a clear case of (apparently) drunken assault and battery.

    The (apparently) drunken assault makes for much more useful campaign videos, of course. I wonder what price the Congressman’s opponent will have to pay to use that video in ads? I wonder if Congressman Etheridge has any staff smart enough to buy ALL rights to that video before campaign season?

  26. liberal gun lover Says:

    Personally I would have bitch slapped the guy for sticking the recorder in my face with out introducing him self first and then bitch slapped him again when he did not identify him self after a asked who he was. It was clearly a set up.