...let’s be clear — this is assault and battery. The fact that Congressman Etheridge (D-NC) only struck at the camera is not relevant. Because the camera was being held by the student at the time, striking it is legally the same as striking the student. And certainly holding on to the student’s arm and locking an arm around the kid’s neck qualifies.
-The Moderate Voice
We are coming to cusp of a moment in history, one which will ultimately be decided in the 2010 mid-terms, but who's battle is being waged - literally - on the streets as we speak (or write). The question that begs the moment: Do we work for our government (and this includes not only elected officials, but federal employees), or does government work for us? Or put more eloquently, are we citizens in a Democracy or subjects in a "Republic"?
There is no doubt where Bob Etheridge stands; Congressman Bob feels he has the authority to physically strike teenagers who ask him questions about his policy positions. There is no doubt where Obama and the Democrats stand as a whole; the fact that they have passed a health care bill against the wishes of 60% of the American people and will be confiscating our wealth for decades to pay for it speaks volumes about how they see our "relationship". Not unlike a lazy, do-nothing husband buying a new car, telling his wife the payments will come out of her paycheck, then slapping her when she begins to ask questions.
But most importantly, a Congress comprised of true "representatives", and not simply career politicians, would be aghast at an attack by its membership on their constituents (and yes, every Congressman represents all of America to some degree or another). While only 24 hours has passed, and Etheridge - despite the video - has the right to defend himself, some sort of action or statement should have been issued by Congress promptly. After all, Etheridge has already confessed, albeit like a true Democrat, trying to paint himself as the victim:
At the hastily called news conference addressing the incident, Rep. Etheridge couldn't help defending himself by suggesting that he wasn't in top form at the time: "The truth is I had a long day. I've had bad days many times. It's not a good crutch to lean on and I won't use that." Calling on the politician's ancient rhetorical device of praeteritio, Etheridge somehow managed to serve up his long day as an excuse. Any crutch in a storm.
Indeed, Etheridge leaned on one more bad crutch in his statement: "No matter how intrusive and partisan our politics can become, this does not justify a poor response." As we can see for ourselves on the video, Rep. Etheridge himself is an unintrusive, nonpartisan kind of guy. Stop him before he leans on a bad crutch again.
The fact that he refuses to resign, that nobody in Congress has asked him to, and that the DCC is already out defending his actions, makes it obvious where Etheridge, and the Democratic party, feels he is - and you are - in the social pecking order. In other words - step off, prole, before you get slapped down.
Is this the new relationship between the United States government and their people? We'll see, come November, if the nation is in a mood to renew its vows....