Democratic Congressman Assaults College Student

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His name is Bob Etheridge, a Democratic* Congressman from North Carolina. After being asked a simple (though perhaps loaded) question on a sidewalk, the Democratic* Congressman -- in the words of the NRCC -- "lost it" and assaulted the questioner: an unnamed, self-professed, college student. The Democratic* Congressman grabbed the person on the wrist, and later on the neck; he repeatedly asked, "who are you;" and then he lied that he had a "right to know" who the student is.

Frankly, I am more disturbed by the lie than by the physical assault. The physical assault, while disturbing, was a one-time incident, resulting in only a temporary loss of liberty to the victim. Such a lie, though, from an elected official of the federal government -- a Democratic* Congressman -- could be used to permanently deprive someone of his First Amendment rights.

Thinking more about it, though, I wouldn't be surprised that a Democratic* Congressman didn't know that we have a First Amendment right to anonymity, since the Democratic* Party has spent so much time in the last couple years assaulting our First Amendment rights (saying groups of people lose their right to speech when they exercise their right to associate, for example).

OK, maybe that was overly partisan. It's not like some Republican politicians don't have First Amendment problems too (John McCain did help author the bill I am referring to, after all). But I get really angry about government assaults on liberty, whether corporate assaults on corporate liberty (lockstep Democratic* opposition to the rights of filmmakers), or individual assaults on individual liberty (a Democratic* Congressman assaulting an individual on a sidewalk).

I agree with some of the commenters I've seen that the Democratic* Congressman should be removed from office as soon as possible. Practically speaking, that may mean just waiting until November, of course. It's notable that currently, Democratic* Congressman Bob Etheridge's election web site is not responding.

*Note that I used the proper form of the party name here. As an adjective, the word is "Democratic," not "Democrat." I took great pains to make sure everyone knows that this is a "Democratic" official, not merely a "Democrat" official: that he is, in fact, an elected member of Congress that belongs to the Democratic Party. (You're welcome!)

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<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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