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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

‘My best description of this video is that Rep. Etheridge acted “manly.” ’



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You guys know that democracy and the Constitution are dead, right?

I noticed that after I read some of the responses to the Etheridge video at the web site of the Raleigh News & Observer, the hometown paper for a portion of Etheridge’s district:

I’m very proud of the way my congressman, Bob Etheridge, handled being accosted by a pair of video muggers. We have the right to walk the streets in peace, without being accosted by cowardly little men who refuse to identify themselves. It’s good to see that Etheridge has the backbone to stand up for himself.

John Gullion Lillington


Bob Etheridge has nothing to apologize for. He was assaulted by two right-wing thugs who refused to identify themselves. He should, however, have called the police and had them arrested.

Steve Bank Morrisville


Bob Etheridge was exhausted and walking home. Two boys greeted him, and he politely greeted them back. Suddenly, one stuck something in his face and asked him a loaded question.

No introductions were made by these boys. Nor did they provide credentials validating who they were or what they were about.

Something (we now know a microphone) was thrust into his face. Gun? Knife? Mace?

Dadgum right he had the right to wrestle it away from him and hold it at a safe distance. And cuffing that boy’s neck: If I had been that boy, my parents would have been unhappy that he didn’t wail me out.

Since the boys were nameless, faceless and posted immediately and anonymously, I must conclude, if not literally, then figuratively, they are opponent Renee Ellmers’ children.

And as for Tom Fetzer’s comment (lame), I guarantee you that if young Bob Etheridge had done that to Tommy’s daddy, Bob’s mother would have thanked him for giving him a good whipping.

James Davidson Lillington


What Bob Etheridge did to a couple of harassing punks would not even have put him in the Stanley Cup penalty box. Etheridge as a member of the party of Jackson knows Jackson regularly lost his cool, even threatened to kill others but is also considered by many as the leader who galvanized democracy for the masses.

Rather than just being a talking head, Etheridge showed a human side that is actually quite endearing. Could it be he can actually empathize with the widespread feelings of anger going around these days?

Bruce Spader Cary


Thank you for printing the transcript of the words exchanged by Congressman Etheridge and the anonymous “students” who alarmed him.  It seemed likely from his wanting to identify them and their constant repetition of “students” and the blurred photos to insure their secret identities that they were provoking him and setting him up, with videocams close at hand.  I’m sure the scam fooled a host of gullible voters. If a pair of strangers shoved a camera in my face and started up with me the way they did, those “students” would be learning about American health care in  a Washington hospital’s intensive care unit and I would — at worst — have to endure a boring chat with a sympathetic magistrate. I hope the N&O spares nothing to expose these creeps. 

Jake Horwitz Bynum


I have watched the video of Rep. Bob Etheridge’s encounter with the video sneak attack several times on my computer.   My best description of this video is that Rep. Etheridge acted “manly.”

I guess that I am a little old-fashioned, but I have always been taught that when someone accosts you on the street, will not provide identification and covers over his face that it must be either The Lone Ranger or a crook.  In watching the video, I did not see a faithful companion or a white horse. 

Leon Neal Raleigh


Remember, there are Americans who believe that if you run into your congressman and ask him a question, the congressman has a right to not merely hit you in response, but to have you arrested. And their vote counts every bit as much as yours.

Tags: Bob Etheridge


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