Patterico's Pontifications

6/14/2010

NC Rep. Bob Etheridge’s Awkward Moment (Updated)

Filed under: Politics — DRJ @ 12:21 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

According to Big Government, last week North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge (D-NC2) attended a fundraiser headlined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and was asked by some students on the street whether he supported the Obama Agenda. “He didn’t take it well:”


[NOTE: I replaced the YouTube video with a better one from EyeBlast.]

“Let’s recap what we saw on this video. A sitting Congressman–a presumed living extension of James Madison and other founding fathers–was asked on a public street whether he supported the President’s agenda. His response was to hit away a video camera and assault a student. The age of Pericles this ain’t.”

Moe Lane says this is why today’s videographers need multiple cameras.

Amazingly, the Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel describes this as Etheridge grabbing the student “in a hug” and wonders “who TMZ’ed” Etheridge. Weigel, whose column is charged with looking at the “conservative movement and the Republican Party,” seemingly implies this is the work of new James O’Keefe-style politicos working with Andrew Breitbart. Even if that’s true, is that the real story here?

Etheridge has apologized.

— DRJ

UPDATE: Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs previously worked for Etheridge and he sent this statement to a Raleigh newspaper today:

“I’ve known Bob Etheridge for more than a thirteen years and I am proud to have worked for him. He is one of the most honorable people I know. Everyone makes mistakes, and I’m proud of Bob for taking responsibility and apologizing for his.”

Still no word on whether Etheridge is proud of Obama’s and Gibb’s agenda.

181 Responses to “NC Rep. Bob Etheridge’s Awkward Moment (Updated)”

  1. He might as well announce his retirement/resignation now, as this video – or bits of it – will be running 24/7 on the TV/Cable channels in his district from now until November.

    I guess he must have skipped that class on politics where they teach you how to respond to inconvenient questions:
    “No Comment”, and to walk away!

    AD - RtR/OS! (780d5b)

  2. His apology stinks!

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  3. The DNC claims the interviewer was a GOP troublemaker playing “Gotcha”

    But all he asked Ole Hug-n-Slug was if he fully supports the President’s positions… how’s that a trick question/trap?

    Unless you’re filled with arrogant rage, fear, and contempt for the voters… should be no problem.

    The progressive types are acting like cornered rodents… which of course they are

    Reaganite Republican (6836b1)

  4. AmazinglyPredictably, the Washington Post’s Dave Weigel describes this as Etheridge grabbing the student “in a hug”

    FIFY

    skink (a14371)

  5. What if the boy had known some kind of karate and defended himself? Or what if the congressman had asked the boy if he supported Obama’s agenda and the boy had grabbed the congressman?

    He’s be in a prison for years.

    Why is this congressman not being charged with battery? Grabbing somebody’s over politics should come with a criminal penalty. No one is above the law… or are some?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  6. The most amazing thing is the response from places like Weigel at the Wash Post or Colby Hall at Mediaite or Daily Beast commentators where they make it sound like it was okay what the congressman did!

    Weigel especially considering the WP ran Allen’s macaca comment like it was the lost Zapruder film showing a gunman in the grassy knoll. Maybe Allen should have jumped off the stage and beat the guy bloody. I’m sure the WP has no problem with our reps assaulting us.

    MU789 (6910eb)

  7. I wonder if he apologized in writing?
    And, if he did, it might have been more readily accepted if it was written on a stack of “Benjamins” – a very large stack!

    AD - RtR/OS! (780d5b)

  8. …plus, good thing that wasn’t that “don’t touch me” TV reporter.

    AD - RtR/OS! (780d5b)

  9. IANAL, but it looks like battery to me. Kids should have pressed charges.

    gp (72be5d)

  10. i think the most hilarious moment in watching a liberal make up a cruddy defense for bad dem behavior, is the moment that the actual offender apologizes, or otherwise admits to their wrongfulness (i.e. Helen Thomas quitting). it makes them look like complete fools.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. Watching Etheridge apologize made me think he was doing a bad Monty Python parody. He apologizes but never gives a good reason why he did it.

    Is it shameful in D.C. to admit you are drunk before the sun goes down?

    MU789 (6910eb)

  12. Being a Leftists means never having to say you’re sorry, or wrong!

    AD - RtR/OS! (780d5b)

  13. Imagine if there had been an R behind his name instead of a D. It would have been the lead story on almost every news channel in the country.

    JD (e21a29)

  14. OK, I’ll be the third to ask…Why isn’t this man being charge with battery ?
    Or are there different laws for some folks?

    flicka47 (0d26f5)

  15. Why isn’t this man being charge with battery ?

    He’ll claim he was working on congressional business and is immune from prosecution. Remember the stink over warrants for Jefferson’s files?

    How many times do you need to be reminded that our betters are allowed to do anything they want to us peons?

    MU789 (6910eb)

  16. some are saying that the congressman should be arrested and tried for assault. But they fail to notice an obscure provision in D.C.’s criminal code that states “it shall be a complete defense to any crime if one can establish he or she is a democrat.” So there is that.

    heh.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  17. This guy is so stupid even the Democrats in S. Carolina wouldn’t vote for him.

    Will Rep Clyburn ask the DOJ to look into how he got elected?

    MU789 (6910eb)

  18. So asking a Democratic “Representative” if he supports the agenda of the head of the party is intrusive but publishing the e-mail or phone numbers of the friends of the daughter of Sarah Palin is just the public’s right to know?

    Machinist (497786)

  19. In the longer video you can see the Congressasshole physically restraining the questioner, even grabbing him by the neck. IMHO, the victim would have been justified in decking his attacker, not only as a matter of law, but as common sense.

    [Good point, roy. The longer video is linked but when I can, I’ll replace the YouTube video with a longer one from EyeBlast. — DRJ]

    roy (a1e331)

  20. Mediaite refers to the congresscritter as a potential hero?!

    JD (e21a29)

  21. JD,

    Fighting people who don’t fight back is the definition of a liberal “hero.”

    SER (eadac1)

  22. Between this guy and the doofus/douchebag congressman from Peoria (“I don’t care about the Constitution”), I can’t wait for November, man.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  23. The student asked the most basic question, and it is the most basic questions that Democrat politicians dread. Professional journalists go to journalism school to learn how to not ask these questions and to protect Democrat politicians from encountering these questions.

    jcurtis (138cbe)

  24. I wish the student had retaliate with knee to his nut sack.

    HeavenSent (a9126d)

  25. As a lawyer, I can tell you that if you’re walking down a public street just minding your own business and somebody sticks a camera up against your face you can use force to protect your right to be left alone to walk down a public street. Proportionate force.

    nk (db4a41)

  26. So, let me see if I have this straight…

    If you go into a Dem’s office and pretend to be a telephone repairmen, you’re immediately arrested and the powers that be make noises about charging you with a felony.

    But, if you’re a Dem and you commit a battery on an ordinary citizen…thre’s no arrest and no charges.

    Yeah, I think I see how the system works.

    Dave Surls (771516)

  27. nk,

    How does grabbing the questioner protect the questionee’s right to be left alone?

    roy (a1e331)

  28. NK–as a lawyer, I have to say that the Congressman’s use of force to protect his oh so valuable right to be left alone seems disproportionate to the “threat”. Although I can understand why any Democrat would be threated by the question of whether they support Obama’s agenda these days.

    Champaign Dweller (ae9c58)

  29. I said what I said and I’m right in every state of the union. Everybody has a right to walk down a public street and nobody has a right to stick a camera up against anyone’s face.

    nk (db4a41)

  30. nk,

    I also don’t see any support for the claim that anybody stuck a camera “up against anyone’s face” before the Congressman turned violent. If you can see the face, the camera wasn’t up against it.

    roy (a1e331)

  31. You wasn’t there. Call me again when it happens to you.

    nk (db4a41)

  32. Never could stand rudeness. Won’t tolerate it.

    nk (db4a41)

  33. As a lawyer, I can tell you that nk’s advice is dubious at best.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. Nk – on what basis do you make that assertion? Congresscritters have some right to privacy in public? Sean Penn wishes the paparazzi had the same limitations as you propose.

    JD (5546f2)

  35. I must admit, nk, I am a little surprised. A powerful congressman, a physically smaller student. And the video didn’t look really good for the congresscritter.

    I would have thought you would be offering to defend the kids against the nasty big congressman.

    As for anyone being there, neither of us were. But I know how the video looks. And my guess is so do you.

    I’m glad to see your posts, nk, whether or not I agree with them. You are a good guy, and you have a right to be cranky.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  36. “…Never could stand rudeness…”

    Agreed, nk. I also cannot stand power-mad congresscritters who think they can manhandle teenagers. I smell “bully.” I think you do, too.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  37. “I said what I said and I’m right in every state of the union.”

    Well, surely. Democrats commit blatant crimes and get away with it all the time, and their supporters then try to make out like they’re victims instead of criminals. Ask Ted Kennedy, or Slick Willie.

    Lying under oath is o.k. (if you’re a Dem alleged president), but don’t try and pose as a telephone repairmen in order to dig up dirt on a Dem Congress-thing…that’s a serious offense.

    Dave Surls (771516)

  38. Well… it’s less than five minutes and safe for most work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEwADbas7L0

    nk (db4a41)

  39. Etheridge being a Democrat and a Senator don’t mean he isn’t a man. With all the rights of a man to walk down a public street in peace.

    nk (db4a41)

  40. *Represantive*

    nk (db4a41)

  41. Oh, nk. This congresscritter bullied those teenagers to no effect. All he did is make himself look like a bully and a fool. How many times is a politician asked a question he or she doesn’t like to answer? No one was hindering him in any way, and I am pretty sure you know it.

    I think that such an incident shows a great deal about the congressman’s basic nature. And it was not good.

    Painting it as “honor” seems odd. And I wonder what Call would have done to such a congressman? I think you know.

    Look at what you are defending. Please.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  42. *Representative* Darn, that’s a hard word to spell.

    nk (db4a41)

  43. man I hope I never get nk as my lawyer, if law skills were strength im not sure you could fight your way out of a wet paper bag.

    although im sure you could hold your own against an 18 year old 98 pound college student…

    ASSUALT IS ASSUALT! he is a public servant and he was POLITELY ASKED A POLITE QURESTION. AT WHAT POINT IS HE ALLOWED TO DECK SOMEONE THEN HOLD THEM BY THE NECK IN SUCH AN ENCOUNTER??????

    rumcrook¾ (4a9bee)

  44. There is no “right” to not be confronted on the street. If there was, I’d get to kick the ass of those Greenpeace clowns on the 16th Street Mall. Sadly, I’m not allowed to do so.

    There is a right in tort law to be free of offensive touching without one’s consent – it is the tort of battery. This video is a fine example of the cause of action of battery in tort.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  45. This is just depressing:

    You wasn’t there. Call me again when it happens to you.

    nk,

    First you threw out some facially intelligent but irrelevant non sequitur about the “right to be left alone”. Irrelevant because the Congressman’s actions don’t seem designed to facilitate being left alone. It’s also not at all obvious, no matter how many ways you rephrase your bald assertion, that the right to be left alone includes the right not to have people on a public sidewalk ask you awkward questions while pointing a camera at you.

    Then you tried to just make things up: “camera up against someone’s face”. After getting caught you’re trying to act like ignoring the evidence in front of us is some sort of cautious, rational position. If you want to be taken seriously, please, tell me: at what point in the video do you see evidence that the camera was up against the Congressman’s face?

    roy (a1e331)

  46. I, too, liked “Lonesome Dove.” And Woodrow Call is an interesting person, fictionally speaking. Here is what Wikipedia wrote about that character:

    “Captain Call, Gus’s best friend and partner, is the opposite: a workaholic taskmaster who hides in his work, emotionally cut off. He is afraid “to admit he’s human,” according to McCrae. He loved only one woman, a whore named Maggie, who gave birth to his only son, Newt. Though he knows he is his bastard son’s father, he refuses to admit it and give Newt his name. He is hypercompetent at his work to compensate for his complete failure at human relationships. He is cold and driven by pride and honor, not love. Even when he drags the body of the only human who ever understood him and loved him anyway over 2000 miles across the Great Plains, suffering ridicule and hardship, he claims he is doing it for duty, not friendship. He is the Western version of Captain Ahab whose reckless stubbornness ends in tragedy.”

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  47. it wasnt in his face. those two kids were polite and asked a direct question he didnt like. he is a public figure who is asked questions all the time. he then proceeded to get violent.

    and he was drunk.

    what justifies his behavior???? nothing! nothing they did justified being punched and held by the neck.

    rumcrook¾ (4a9bee)

  48. Comment by nk — 6/14/2010 @ 3:46 pm

    NK – Lonsome Dove rocks and I enjoyed the video (thank you), but I do not understand how this relates to your point.

    Pons Asinorum (0ae484)

  49. We are what we are. McMurty is second grade as an author but he did good with Call.

    As for the topic, don’t get into my face when I’m walking down my street or you’ll get the same and the law will be on my side.

    nk (db4a41)

  50. As soon as the congressman opened his mouth, he was aggressive, belligerent and defensive.

    It makes me wonder what he had to hide?

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  51. Comment by SPQR — 6/14/2010 @ 4:06 pm

    You’re walking down a street and somebody intentionally makes you slow down or step aside, that’s assault and you have a right to keep on walking the way you want to.

    nk (db4a41)

  52. “I do not understand how this relates to your point.”

    Pons, read the Wikipedia description. I think that nk is defending “honor” when the person he is defending has none. Speaking of proportionality.

    And nk, I certainly hope that you would not act as the congressman did when someone videos you and asks you a question politely. I continue to be surprised by your position here and elsewhere. This is a public figure, supposedly used to dealing with the public and dissent (having just come back from a Pelosi fundraiser). No one put anything “in his face” as you can clearly see. And he didn’t just knock the teenager around once. He kept it up, putting hands on the fellow.

    This is clearly a bully. I hope he was actually drunk, as some have theorized.

    And I have heard he took the fellow’s telephone.

    Whose side are you on, again? And you think this congressman was the polite one?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  53. Pons Asinorum,

    I’ve told you before that I respect you. I’m sorry that we disagree this time. I guess I also disagree with DRJ whom I love. But everybody has a right to not be bothered.

    nk (db4a41)

  54. “…somebody intentionally makes you slow down or step aside, that’s assault …”

    Really? Then I have been assaulted by many, many people apparently, ranging from panhandlers to students.

    Is there actually code on that one, nk? Truly?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  55. I suspect that nk went to the Jackie Chiles School of Law, without the sense of humor.

    Gazzer (d79016)

  56. “But everybody has a right to not be bothered.”

    nk – If you claim that is the law, that should have been the Congressman’s response – please don’t bother me, but it wasn’t.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  57. I am right in all the taverns within five blocks of my home.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  58. Especially when I am buying!

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  59. I’m pretty sure reporters often do exactly what this *child* did. You cannot defend yourself with physical force against this kind of “threat.”

    Assault isn’t even defined by statute in North Carolina. There was no fear of this *actual* assault and batterer, Etheridge, of being touched or harmed by anybody.

    I’m annoyed that someone would claim this is assault. It’s a very Chicago attitude, of giving a politician a pass for being a thug while also calling an innocent victim ‘criminal’ for making politicians uncomfortable.

    I have liked nk’s comments here for ages, but I think he’s having a pretty bad Monday. I also hope he isn’t giving legal advice like that… I don’t think he’s given an acceptable definition of assault. People get in eachother’s way all the time, without reasonably causing fear of ‘touch’ or harm or battery.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  60. Also, I think nk is a stand up guy, at least from what I can tell. Today he’s been off the wall, but this is no EPWJ.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  61. “I have seen the video posted on several blogs,” says Etheridge. “I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction, and I apologize to all involved. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.”

    Why would Etheridge need to see this on the internet to apologize? Didn’t he remember he had behaved so deplorably, or if it hadn’t gone viral, would he not have felt compelled to apologize for his battery? Because if that’s so, then he’s an even worse person than what we’re seeing here.

    Throughout my many years of service to the people of North Carolina, I have always tried to treat people from all viewpoints with respect.

    How conveniently self-serving to remind people he’s been in public service for a long time.

    “I deeply and profoundly regret my reaction, and I apologize to all involved. I have and I will always work to promote a civil public discourse.

    He needs to name his offense, I believe, in order to make a proper apology. Otherwise to couch it in “my reaction” is an attempt minimize the seriousness of his reaction. Which makes me think that’s his intent.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  62. “You’re walking down a street and somebody intentionally makes you slow down or step aside, that’s assault and you have a right to keep on walking the way you want to.

    Nope, that’s not an assault in either criminal or tort law. Nor is there any such “right” to walk over, or commit a battery, because someone has placed themselves in your way.

    Inventing law is not very impressive, nk.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  63. If it is assault to be slowed down while walking in public, then I was assaulted 21 times at the grocery store, and about 1936 times at Disney.

    Maybe nk could quote the relevant statutes that support his contentions? IANAL but those aSsertions do not sound right.

    JD (6ca166)

  64. Dana, I think his reaction is also intended to avoid admitting he laid hands on a kid, because there are legal ramifications (though it’s on video… no reason why he hasn’t been charged and sued).

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  65. rep asks “who are you?”
    who? who? who? who? “who are you?”
    he rilly wanna know

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  66. man I hope I never get nk as my lawyer, if law skills were strength im not sure you could fight your way out of a wet paper bag.
    Comment by rumcrook¾ — 6/14/2010 @ 4:06 pm

    — The only way I’d ever hire nk as my lawyer would be if my wife killed our newborn child. He might not win the case, but at least I know that he would give it his all.

    [Apparently “McMurtry” is hard to spell, as well]

    Icy Texan (43cdbb)

  67. it was just a hug
    the old redneck peckerwood
    tempers flare in June

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  68. @ Dustin,

    I agree. Once in a while I still have this naive hope that an elected official who offends and even harms an average citizen, would simply man up and hold himself accountable rather than spin it any which way to avoid implicating himself or to save his job. How refreshing would that be?

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  69. Have your fun, peckerwoods. I’ll give you this one.

    But JD, if you ever need to kick a panhandler out of your way, to go to work or to go pick up your daughter, I doubt that you will be arrested. But if you are, call me not SPQR.

    nk (db4a41)

  70. nk, you can clearly see in the video that Etheridge 1) seizes the guy by the wrist and holds on, and then 2) grabs around the back of the guy’s neck and pulls him in. These two actions are the _opposite_ of what you would expect from a person trying “to protect his right to be left alone.” If such a person needed to get physical, he would push or shove, not grab and hold.

    The question “Do you fully support Obama’s agenda?” (IIRC) is in NO way provocative or insulting or OT. If it had been phrased “Hey scumbag, why do you support Obama’s socialist agenda?” then I could understand an angry response. If this was “ambush journalism” or a set-up, it was weakest tea.

    I think Etheridge was pissed off about some unrelated thing and just went off. It was battery (an unwanted touching) and he should be charged.

    gp (3f5b43)

  71. Crap. Saying “Sir” does not justify stopping a man walking down a street minding his own business.

    nk (db4a41)

  72. No, gp, I think the guy was drunk and a bully. I could be wrong, of course.

    I think that the only peckerwood having fun about this, nk, is someone over at Media Matters. I’m sure you weren’t trying to be insulting to anyone here.

    But if there is some kind of official legal code stating that talking to someone to “slow them” is a form of assault, and justifies placing hands on others, I would love to see it.

    Unless you don’t have access to such information.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  73. Again, nk, think about what you are defending. Because the story isn’t over.

    And I would like to see those statutes of yours, please.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  74. I’m more suspicious, gp. To me, Etheridge didn’t act like he was offended by being interviewed — he kept walking toward the microphone as they were talking. He seemed offended by the question and then he wanted to know who was asking the question. Etheridge’s reaction makes me wonder if the word was out there might be some O’Keefe-type stings on DC Democrats, and his goal was to find out who these guys were.

    As for the interviewers, I’m undecided on whether they should pursue criminal charges. Reporters sometimes have to be assertive and get in people’s space, and assertiveness can go awry. They got what they wanted from Etheridge and I suspect they don’t want to out any group supporting them, as criminal charges would do. On the other hand,in today’s world, refusing to file charges is taken by some as a sign nothing wrong happened and can open the door to charges of wrongdoing in response.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  75. As for the topic, don’t get into my face when I’m walking down my street or you’ll get the same and the law will be on my side.

    I now understand why nk has such a problem with the Police.
    How many times have they had to haul you off to gael for battery?
    The disgust continues unabated.

    AD - RtR/OS! (780d5b)

  76. Never could stand rudeness. Won’t tolerate it.

    Comment by nk

    Do you carry a branding iron around with you, nk ? I watched the video and did not see the student impede his passage. This is assault but Cynthia McKinney has established the law for DC assault. She punched a cop and nothing happened.

    Mike K (82f374)

  77. peckerwood was drunk
    that warn’t no dadblame hug
    ruttin’ in Summer

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  78. I’m concerned that nk may have been kidnapped by Excitable Andy and is being forced to type those silly words. Only explanation I can come up with.

    Old Coot (f722a6)

  79. I’m undecided on whether they should pursue criminal charges.

    He seized a kid and held him, demanding his question be answered. Things are getting way out of hand with these ‘punch back twice as hard types’, with fingers being bitten off, people beaten down in the streets, and it’s not going to get any better until an example is made. This man is on camera, and there is no doubt he’s committing a crime. I don’t ask that he spend ten years in prison, but society deserves to know that its congressmen are not above the law.

    Of course, if any of us grabbed this congressman and shouted questions at him, just because he said something that we really didn’t like, we would be charged. That alone is my argument, really.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  80. “…As for the interviewers, I’m undecided on whether they should pursue criminal charges…”

    So I would assume, DRJ, that you feel that the student/activist was assaulted by the congressman?

    Or do you agree that asking a question of a congressman is a form of assault, and justifies violent action?

    I’m not a lawyer. So I am curious what genuine lawyers think about this.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  81. Cool! I’m a peckerwood.

    Icy Texan (43cdbb)

  82. OT but….
    Happy Birthday, United States Army!

    And, did we all fly the colors on Flag Day?

    Nice touch, EB: “genuine lawyers”!

    AD - RtR/OS! (780d5b)

  83. Go to law school. I will give you a hint. A person commits an assault when he places another person in fear of battery. Battery can be an unwanted touch.

    nk (db4a41)

  84. The Congressman was not satisfied by the young man’s answer that he was a student, and even if he was suspicious of it being an O’Keefe type sting, the only reason he would care about that is if there were something to hide, or if he feared he would be found out. Red flag.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  85. So, nk, you don’t have any statute to quote? That’s interesting. I don’t mean to be rude to you, sir, but you are talking out your backside, out of some odd sense of pride. I don’t get it.

    Defending powerful bullies doesn’t seem your style.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  86. “A person commits an assault when he places another person in fear of battery. Battery can be an unwanted touch.

    Comment by nk — 6/14/2010 @ 5:39 pm ”

    This isn’t what you said earlier. You earlier expressed a right to not have your course impeded, that if infringed, is assault.

    I like your new definition. And was Etheridge in fear of battery? No. Of course not.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  87. i will give you hint
    unwanted touch from redneck
    who you gonna call?

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  88. nk “stopping a man” Is that what the questioners did? Did they even stand in Etheridge’s way? When he grabs the first guy, Etheridge has already walked a foot or two _past_ him, hasn’t he?

    Hey, I don’t like being accosted either, but if someone greets me from over a dozen feet away, then asks me a non-threatening question as I approach, I do not have the right to grab and hold him. I can ask him who he is, but I can’t cuff him around the back of the neck.

    gp (3f5b43)

  89. Didn’t want to humiliate you, Eric. But you did not give me the same consideration.

    720 ILCS 5/Art. 12 heading)
    ARTICLE 12. BODILY HARM

    (720 ILCS 5/12‑1) (from Ch. 38, par. 12‑1)
    Sec. 12‑1. Assault.
    (a) A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.

    nk (db4a41)

  90. Eric,

    Anyone can file a complaint but I’m not talking about whether charges could be filed or would be successful. My point is that it’s not always wise to bring criminal charges (or file civil suits), even if there is a valid basis. I think that’s especially true with reporters. It’s an in-your-face profession and politicians usually handle it far better than Etheridge did here. Rather than be offended, I think these reporters would be delighted with the newsworthy response.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  91. Um. I’m not humiliated, nk. There is a reason that I am not a lawyer, and it isn’t a lack of academic skills.

    Nor have I been as outstanding rude as you have been recently. I guess I would like to have more friends than fights, based on your multithread contrarianism dealio.

    Anyway, I love the “reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.” The congressmen showed every evidence of that as he twisted the kid’s arm around, and then grabbed him by the neck.

    But you might prove it. But I wanted to get you to quote statute, so that other lawyers could discuss it.

    Thank you for that.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  92. redneck peckerwoods
    funny but not funny like
    Senator Al Greene

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  93. Now, this wasn’t in Illinois, where every law has that enthymeme ‘except if it was committed by a democrat congressman’. No ILCS isn’t super helpful (and there is no statute defining assault as far as I know… not super unusual).

    But anyway, was there reasonable apprehension of battery?

    No, a reasonable person wouldn’t think this kid was going to batter anyone.

    Show this video to someone and stop it before the congressman commits battery. Ask them if they expect the kid to commit battery.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  94. nk generous
    pol get benefit of doubt
    arizona cop?

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  95. Panhnandlers? WTF?

    JD (a90c7f)

  96. Oh, ColonelHaiku. Next thing you know, you are going to bring up Israel.

    But I am humiliated, apparently. Wait a minute. Perhaps I now am expecting battery?

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  97. If I’m walking down the street and some teenagers tell me “Where you going old man?” I think I’d just have to say “Bite me” and wait for their answer before I shot them.

    nk (db4a41)

  98. What was the congresscritter’s reasonable apprehension of battery? Good Allah.

    JD (a90c7f)

  99. Sigh. You are comparing apples and durians.

    I just never pegged you for defending obvious bullies. I saw you as a champion of people who lack power. And I think you really are, despite what I am seeing in this thread.

    Peace by upon you.

    Eric Blair (c8876d)

  100. WTF is wrong with you, nk? Asking a question of a public figure and public servant on a public sidewalk gives rise to a reasonable apprehension of battery?

    JD (a90c7f)

  101. Whatever, internet cowboys.

    nk (db4a41)

  102. For the sake of bringing a Legal Dictionary into the proceedings:

    Generally, the essential elements of assault consist of an act intended to cause an apprehension of harmful or offensive contact that causes apprehension of such contact in the victim.

    The act required for an assault must be overt. Although words alone are insufficient, they might create an assault when coupled with some action that indicates the ability to carry out the threat. A mere threat to harm is not an assault; however, a threat combined with a raised fist might be sufficient if it causes a reasonable apprehension of harm in the victim.

    Intent is an essential element of assault. In tort law, it can be specific intent—if the assailant intends to cause the apprehension of harmful or offensive contact in the victim—or general intent—if he or she intends to do the act that causes such apprehension. In addition, the intent element is satisfied if it is substantially certain, to a reasonable person, that the act will cause the result. A defendant who holds a gun to a victim’s head possesses the requisite intent, since it is substantially certain that this act will produce an apprehension in the victim. In all cases, intent to kill or harm is irrelevant.

    In criminal law, the attempted battery type of assault requires a Specific Intent to commit battery. An intent to frighten will not suffice for this form of assault.

    There can be no assault if the act does not produce a true apprehension of harm in the victim. There must be a reasonable fear of injury. The usual test applied is whether the act would induce such apprehension in the mind of a reasonable person. The status of the victim is taken into account. A threat made to a child might be sufficient to constitute an assault, while an identical threat made to an adult might not.

    Virtually all jurisdictions agree that the victim must be aware of the danger. This element is not required, however, for the attempted battery type of assault. A defendant who throws a rock at a sleeping victim can only be guilty of the attempted battery assault, since the victim would not be aware of the possible harm.

    — So, where’s the “reasonable apprehension” in this case, nk?

    Icy Texan (43cdbb)

  103. nk, you have to create BS analogies, with thugs in a dark alley or panhandlers, because you can’t *reasonably* expect battery from this kid.

    Your insistence that this kid must be in the wrong is precisely why we need a ‘reasonableness’ standard in the first place. I don’t mean to hound you… you already said you give this one to us peckerwoods, for good reason.

    Just tell me, if the congressman asked the kid if he supports the Obama agenda, and every other action was also changed to the opposite party, would you think the kid is guilty of battery? Would you expect him to be charged with battery?

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  104. It’s yours.

    nk (db4a41)

  105. nk better check
    registration tag may have
    fallen off his plate

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  106. What are the odds? I actually agree with Gleen Greenwald on something. Today he opined very strongly that the feisty congressman should be arrested for assaulting a citizen. Greenwald is taking a lot of heat for it but is holding firm in several updates on his site.

    http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/06/14/law/index.html

    elissa (066a97)

  107. Whatever, internet cowboys.

    Comment by nk

    I think he is getting to the Congressman’s state of mind.

    Sleep well, sir.

    Mike K (82f374)

  108. Never could stand rudeness. Won’t tolerate it.

    Based on your recent comments, it doesn’t appear that you tolerate anything at this point in your life. Good luck with that.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  109. The “internet cowboy” is the one who thinks you have a right to kick panhandlers and grab photographers.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  110. Odds that nk has actuaslly said the words, “You kids, get off my lawn!”?

    Icy Texan (43cdbb)

  111. Too many viewings of Dirty Harry, methinks. Or perhaps Deathwish.

    Dmac (3d61d9)

  112. I think the Congressman must have been concerned the students were members of a militaristic Israeli political party that makes Al Qaeda look like pacifists, but that’s just me.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  113. How does this one work for Etheridge if he was in Illinois and the student wanted to file charges:

    (720 ILCS 5/12‑5) (from Ch. 38, par. 12‑5)
    Sec. 12‑5. Reckless conduct.
    (a) A person who causes bodily harm to or endangers the bodily safety of an individual by any means, commits reckless conduct if he or she performs recklessly the acts that cause the harm or endanger safety, whether they otherwise are lawful or unlawful.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  114. I have made a new policy that I will not be challenged about the law by non-lawyers. My parents worked very hard to send me to law school and I also worked very hard to become a good lawyer and I will only brook legal arguments from Patterico, DRJ, and Beldar.

    nk (db4a41)

  115. And especially don’t challenge him about the law in the streets or he has the legal right to kick your ass.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  116. In latin, Judge Dredd is spelled Nikto Kickasso.

    That’s right.

    NK

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  117. ROFL

    SPQR (26be8b)

  118. I’m hurting myself laughing.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  119. “… I will only brook legal arguments from Patterico, DRJ, and Beldar.”

    You’re fighting above your weight.

    AD - RtR/OS! (780d5b)

  120. Re: 114. Oh, dear Lord.

    Again, nk, peace be upon you. But the nk I knew would…um…react poorly to a lawyer writing something like the above.

    For whatever reason, this is all about fighting with people. I just don’t get it.

    Eric Blair (f03f56)

  121. IANAL and I know that you were pulling sh*t out of your ass, nk. I can see how that would be disconcerting to you.

    JD (4b684a)

  122. You’re fighting above your weight.

    Comment by AD – RtR/OS! — 6/14/2010 @ 7:13 pm

    Yup. Always have. Took two guys on at the same time in a fistfight when I was fifteen. Bite me. It’s time I remembered who I am. Vaya con Dios.

    nk (db4a41)

  123. Sigh. Well, I hope that the real nk returns soon.

    Eric Blair (f03f56)

  124. i hope all is well, nk, and … well, I hope all is well.

    JD (4b684a)

  125. “I have made a new policy that I will not be challenged about the law by non-lawyers.”

    Okay Myron.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  126. I echo JD’s sentiments in 124. No need to use friends as punching bags. After enough bullshit we do punch back.

    daleyrocks (1d0d98)

  127. Gee, being a patronizing jerk just makes him all the more better than being just a wrongheaded jerk. The “my argument wins because I went to school” attack may have gotten Obama elected, but it doesn’t carry much weght around here.

    I mean, when you’ve become so edjumacated that everything you know is wrong . . .

    Icy Texan (43cdbb)

  128. 114 is the appeal-to-authority fallacy raised to the third power.

    gp (3f5b43)

  129. i hope all is well, nk, and … well, I hope all is well.

    Comment by JD — 6/14/2010 @ 7:24 pm

    Couldn’t be better, JD.

    nk (db4a41)

  130. #

    If I’m walking down the street and some teenagers tell me “Where you going old man?” I think I’d just have to say “Bite me” and wait for their answer before I shot them.

    Comment by nk — 6/14/2010 @ 6:00 pm

    nk, usually I respect what you write, even when I disagree. But this is beneath you. You would actually shoot someone who talked to you on the street?

    I can’t tell whether you’re serious or just trying to bait everyone. But you would have to admit that shooting at someone for talking to you, even when you didn’t want to be talked to, is hardly an appropriate response.

    Some chump (967a70)

  131. Here’s what struck me as strange by the whole encounter. You have Democratic Congressman walking down the street and some smart-aleck, along with a buddy with a camera, comes up to you and says:

    “Do you support Obama’s agenda?”

    I know I’m not nearly smart enough to be a Congressman, but wouldn’t the proper response as a Democrat — even in an aggressive situation — be to say:

    “Of course I support the President’s agenda. He has a well-defined vision for the nation. In recent history, he has accomplished more than any other President in a very short amount of time. He is devoted to the middle class and working people of America. He is forcefully putting policies in place to assure social justice and environmental quality while restoring the nation’s standing as the beacon of liberty overseas. Thank you for your time, but I’m late for an important meeting with Speaker Pelosi.”

    Heck, I don’t agree with a word of that, but it seems to me to be a whole lot easier than grabbing a kid by the neck and demanding to know who he is.

    It certainly would have made the job of the left’s propaganda machine a lot easier. You know, from a PR standpoint anyway. Don’t they send these guys to classes or something.

    Ag80 (1b8eea)

  132. AG80, It’s pretty amazing that such a question would be handled like ‘Are you a Nazi? When did you stop beating your wife?’ I guess he’s not a big Obama fan, then.

    The DNC response is that this questioner had it coming, because he was motivated by his partisanship. I guess they have no idea what Republicans deal with when they are interviewed by the MSM, or think that’s just the way it ought to be for the ‘bad guys’.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  133. My gut says Etheridge supports the Obama agenda but may not want to admit it to the folks back home.

    In any event, I’ve updated the post with something that surprised me.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  134. “I’m proud of Bob for taking responsibility and apologizing for his.”

    Ridiculous, Gibbs. He barely said what’s he’s sorry for, and made it seem like it’s just an external force of ‘more partisanship’. The least he could do is answer the young man’s question and explain what aspects of Obama’s agenda he agrees with and what aspects he does not.

    That fella paid quite a bit for even asking a Representative a question. Taking responsibility as a congressman means being accountable to those questions. If Etheridge is always so evasive and scandalous, no wonder his man Gibbs was promoted to the highest excuse making BSer’s position on the planet.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  135. I must admit, nk, I am a little surprised. A powerful congressman, a physically smaller student. And the video didn’t look really good for the congresscritter.

    Hmm, if the questioners were Latino and asking a Republican politician from Arizona about whether the new anti-illegal-immigration law was, say, “racist and totalitarian,” and the politician became very indignant….

    BTW, because I’m very confident in the correctness and sensibility of such a law, I’d be quite irritated if one of its defenders — Republican or otherwise — responded the way that Etheridge did. Then again, a Democrat politician (perhaps one of those who proclaims “I’m not a liberal! I’m a progressive!”) has a lot to be embarrassed and resentful about.

    Mark (411533)

  136. I’ve told you before that I respect you. I’m sorry that we disagree this time. I guess I also disagree with DRJ whom I love. But everybody has a right to not be bothered.

    Comment by nk — 6/14/2010 @ 4:29 pm

    No worries NK, I do respect you but I am a bit concerned.

    Totally understand that you and I are going to disagree (hell, I disagree with myself 50% of the time), but you seem to have thrown raw meat on the table all week long — almost relishing a (not fight, too strong a word) mean argument (?).

    As far as this thread, perhaps our respective Code of Ethics have different weights on duty/privacy rights and prohibitions. You see an obnoxious-punk reporter and I see an arrogant-jerk politician. Okay, no biggie.

    But NK, you’ve been scrappin’ all week. You say everything is fine, and if you want me to believe you, I will.

    We are all mostly anonymous here, but come to know each other through our writings. Just can’t shake the feeling something is not right.

    You hang-in there NK

    Pons Asinorum (be0f4b)

  137. Etheridge was drunk. Period. Sure hope he wasn’t driving.

    Icy Texan (43cdbb)

  138. Media Matters defended this as acceptable behavior.

    JD (9d6bcd)

  139. “I’m proud of Bob for taking responsibility and apologizing for his.”

    Really? He’s proud of an elected official, a public servant who is entrusted with making serious decisions that impact American lives, for apologizing for physically assaulting a private citizen??

    That makes Gibbs proud?

    Shouldn’t the expectation be, at the very least, an apology, if not a resignation?

    That he sees this as an accomplishment worthy of praise confirms how low the bar is set for the behavior of those on the left. And Media Matters confirms that.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  140. Dana – Given what Gibbs does for a living, his threshold for proud is obviously quite low.

    JD (b2079e)

  141. NK

    > I have made a new policy that I will not be challenged about the law by non-lawyers. My parents worked very hard to send me to law school and I also worked very hard to become a good lawyer and I will only brook legal arguments from Patterico, DRJ, and Beldar.

    First, those are not the only lawyers here. I am one, and in fact I bet I went to a better law school than you did if we are going to play that snot game. And I am willing to bet I overcame a lot more to become a lawyer than you did, unless you happened to face discrimination so severe that you were forced to get a GED.

    Second, what a completely snotty attitude to take. Even as I have a top-flight legal education, I would never assert to non-lawyers that they can’t contribute to the discussion. I have advantages over them of course, but I would never be such a snot.

    In a democracy, the law is actually expected to be something understood by the people. If they can’t understand the law, how can they hope to conform to it? So your elitist attitude is wholly misplaced and I suspect a feeble attempt to avoid trying to justify an utterly erroneous understanding of the law. You are zero for three on these threads recently, making outrageous claims and then failing to respond intelligently to them.

    But don’t take my word for it. Let me rip your idiot argument to shreds and show you that your argument is a failure.

    > As a lawyer, I can tell you that if you’re walking down a public street just minding your own business and somebody sticks a camera up against your face you can use force to protect your right to be left alone to walk down a public street. Proportionate force.

    Well first you are misstating the facts. The reporter did not stick a camera “against him.” He put it in close proximity. You later implicitly acknowledge that by stating that the man allegedly assaulted the congresschmuck, rather than committing battery. (For non lawyers listening in, assault is about creating fear only, as we will see later on, while battery is technically any offensive touch; and all of it has to be intentionally done).

    And even correcting for the exact facts, as a lawyer, I can say your argument is complete bullsh–.

    You try first to justify it as self-defense against battery. You say that if a person stands in your way and you intentionally run into him, the person standing there committed battery. That is not the law. If a person stands in your way, and you don’t stop, you are the person committing a battery not the person standing “in your way.” Now if a person suddenly jumps in your way so that you had no realistic chance of stopping then in that case you have not committed an intentional battery, and the person jumping in your way is the only one facing potential liability.

    You also try to trot out a state statute on assault:

    > (a) A person commits an assault when, without lawful authority, he engages in conduct which places another in reasonable apprehension of receiving a battery.

    I won’t snip that we are not talking about Illinois because that statute is fairly typical, except in most states its left to the common law. But the operative word is “reasonable.” Did anyone have any reason to think that the reporter was going to whack him? No he was just there to ask questions. The only “battery” is being asked if he supports the worst president since Carter, which I admit is probably a deadly attack on the man’s career, but not the kind of thing that gives rise to the right of violent self-help.

    Of course you are also trying a little verbal trick. You are saying “technically a battery is a touch” and you are correct to that extent. So, you reason, he is allowed to defend himself against being “battered.” But that is frankly a misstatement of the law. Here’s LaFave and Scott, in their hornbook on the subject: “One who is not the aggressor in an encounter is justified in using a reasonable amount of force against his adversary when he reasonably believes (a) that he is in immediate danger of unlawful bodily harm from his adversary and (b) that the use of such force is necessary to avoid this danger.” That is pretty much black letter law in every state (counting D.C. as a state for our purposes).

    This congressjerk’s behavior fails both prongs of this test. He was not in danger of harm; a mere touch doesn’t count as harm. And since he could have stepped around the guy, the use of force was not necessary to avoid the “danger.” Indeed, it’s a funny concept of self-defense to say that in order to defend yourself from a “mere touch” type of battery you will then grab the guy’s throat. It seems that if you are so terrified of getting his “cooties,” you wouldn’t respond to the fear of being touched in a way that absolutely insures that you both touch.

    But I consider it hilarious that you stand here defending conduct that the man himself has already apologized for. Why are you falling on your sword for this guy? You have now thrice today discredited yourself in these comments.

    Dustin

    > Assault isn’t even defined by statute in North Carolina.

    My understanding is that this was in Washington, D.C., fyi…

    Dana

    > Why would Etheridge need to see this on the internet to apologize?

    Well, MLK used to say that there were some people who believed you could ignore all of the ten commandments so long as you obeyed the 11th: thou shalt not get caught.

    Or less cynically, maybe it was only when he saw the video and saw how ugly he looked that he realized how ugly he had been.

    Or maybe he didn’t remember doing it until he saw the video.

    But you’re right, its sort of a weird line.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  142. Aaron Worthing, thank you for your insights. There are several lawyers in my family, so I was pretty sure that was the case. The reason I wanted nk to quote case was so that this kind of discussion could take place. Humiliation is not something I expected or experienced from this thread.

    I particularly appreciate your rejection of elitism. So has nk, many times on this blog in the past.

    I don’t know how long you have followed this blog (sorry about that), but nk has been a very clear-headed and consistent person here for years. You will notice that several of us were concerned about him, after (as you noted) a contrarianism-palooza during the past week or so.

    So I really and truly doubt that nk believes what he wrote about as a lawyer. This has all been about something else, complete with what seems to be a certain degree of testosterone display.

    The nk I have read for several years would never have acted this way. So all I can do is assure you he is a good man, and hope that whatever is going on passes.

    And I’m sure he will be all annoyed that I wrote this, but I do so out of the respect I have long had for him.

    I just didn’t want you to judge him based on this subset of his postings.

    Eric Blair (f03f56)

  143. http://www.nationalreview.com/campaign-spot/204192/i-washington-post-i-watches-bob-etheridge-and-yawns

    Again, imagine if this had been a Republican sending a naughty text. Nevermind. You do not have to imagine.

    JD (b19b82)

  144. “Second, what a completely snotty attitude to take. Even as I have a top-flight legal education, I would never assert to non-lawyers that they can’t contribute to the discussion. I have advantages over them of course, but I would never be such a snot.

    Hear, hear.

    SPQR (159590)

  145. eric

    Well, who knows. I mean in theory anyone could come on line and pretend to be nk. i am judging only the guy in front of me now, and yeah, that is really snotty.

    And its scary that someone might read his comments and think that is how they can behave. Mind you, I am big on the right of self-defense, but even then there are lines.

    And even if this is the nk whom i have seen here before, you never know. maybe someone just ran over his dog or something and he is lashing out in a negative way. hopefully this won’t go down as the moment NK went off the deep end, like Charles Johnson or Andrew Sulivan. heh.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  146. in fact I bet I went to a better law school than you did

    That only makes you a law student.

    A poor one.

    I won’t snip that we are not talking about Illinois because that statute is fairly typical, except in most states its left to the common law.

    There are no common-law crimes. Every element has to be spelled out in the statute. Fifth Amendment Due Process, 60+ year old Supreme Court decision. A very poor law student.

    Here’s LaFave and Scott, in their hornbook on the subject: “One who is not the aggressor in an encounter is justified in using a reasonable amount of force against his adversary when he reasonably believes (a) that he is in immediate danger of unlawful bodily harm from his adversary and (b) that the use of such force is necessary to avoid this danger.” That is pretty much black letter law in every state (counting D.C. as a state for our purposes).

    Hornbooks and textbooks? Law student. Call me in twenty years.

    You too, Eric. Big difference between a professional and a scholar.

    And I’m fine, thank you. Just tired of dickwads like A.W..

    nk (db4a41)

  147. Twatwaffles, too, JD.

    nk (db4a41)

  148. Please, nk. Why do you keep following up on this, given the pretty uniform reaction to how you have been acting?

    ” Big difference between a professional and a scholar.”

    You know how that looks, when it follows comments that are beneath you, such as claiming you will only discuss the law with people you deem worthy. This isn’t the nk I know. This is someone trying to be an insulting and unpleasant person….and calling it “truth telling.”

    There is a difference between honesty and tactlessness. And I have seen you show much more of the former than the latter in my reading of your posts here. And knowing the difference is, I think, the definition of a gentleman. Which is what you have been in the majority of your posts.

    So. Ramp back the testosterone, which is most unlike you. I like you, but you make it very difficult to support you. Of course you don’t need anyone to do that. Which is why you keep posting here, naturally.

    C’mon, man. Take a break. You won’t be proud later. Just like your icon Call, pride is the most expensive thing that doesn’t cost a dime.

    And yes, you will no doubt sling a few more insults my way. But I find what you post to be valuable, and hate to see you do what you are doing to your own bona fides. Yes, it is your choice.

    Eric Blair (f03f56)

  149. “There are no common-law crimes. Every element has to be spelled out in the statute. Fifth Amendment Due Process, 60+ year old Supreme Court decision. A very poor law student.”

    While assault is codified, the definition is often left to ‘common law’.

    Not in your state, I realize. And I was wrong in bothering with NC law (where it is not defined in statute).

    I think this is pretty obvious stuff. And it doesn’t matter. You’ve evaded the basic point that the congressman obviously was not in fear of being touched and wasn’t even trying to get away. He was attacking someone for asking a question, and your defense of this has made you take on *stupid* points about when you would defend yourself from hobos on the street.

    Your tone is arrogant for no good reason. People are giving you the benefit of the doubt because you usually are intellectually honest. At the end of the day, it’s strange that you keep acting like your profession gives you a pass for being less reasonable about the law, when the opposite is actually the case.

    You can insult everyone for their lack of professionalism all day long, but the reason you’re ignoring me is because I noted that your original definition of Assault is completely different from the statute you later cited.

    You’re the one who got this wrong, blatantly, which wouldn’t be a big deal but for your professed excellence.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  150. Only if you think being called a scholar is an insult, Eric.

    nk (db4a41)

  151. Now who is being unsophisticated, nk? That kind of game is, again, beneath you.

    I have never been rude to you as a person, and you seem just fine with lashing out at everyone and not admitting to anything wrongheaded.

    Sigh.

    Eric Blair (f03f56)

  152. Aaron Worthing @ 141,

    > Why would Etheridge need to see this on the internet to apologize?

    Well, MLK used to say that there were some people who believed you could ignore all of the ten commandments so long as you obeyed the 11th: thou shalt not get caught.

    Or less cynically, maybe it was only when he saw the video and saw how ugly he looked that he realized how ugly he had been.

    Or maybe he didn’t remember doing it until he saw the video.

    But you’re right, its sort of a weird line.

    I don’t buy for a second he didn’t know how ugly – and unacceptable – his behavior was. I think he waited to see if it went viral and when it did, it became an issue of damage control. Just one big CYA move. And, it’s typical of a person to apologize after they’re caught, not after they commit the act.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  153. While assault is codified, the definition is often left to ‘common law’.

    No. The common law is codified and the codification is strictly construed in favor of the defendant. Which is why I don’t want to discuss law with non-lawyers.

    nk (db4a41)

  154. I have never been rude to you as a person …

    Just patronizing pretending to be kind. Thanks but no thanks.

    nk (db4a41)

  155. So: an egotist and a mindreader.

    Did you actually accuse me of being patronizing after your stellar performance about discussing the law? Really?

    Great job, nk. Keep it up.

    That’s what I get for trying to be kind.

    You don’t need anyone but your own excellence, right?

    Why do you even post? You are just being a jerk, and for no good purpose.

    I’m glad you think so well of yourself. Something tells me you will be spending a lot of time with your favorite person soon.

    Eric Blair (f03f56)

  156. After all, the goal was to be offensive and rude to as many people as possible. Mission accomplished.

    Eric Blair (f03f56)

  157. I don’t know, nk, whether it’s just too frustrating having to explain law to non-lawyers, or it’s not worth the time or beneath you, but personally, I am very glad there are lawyers like Aaron Worthing or DRJ or SPQR and others who are willing (and seem glad) to be able to answer the questions those of us may have pertaining to a post issue.

    I’ve learned a tremendous amount from the lawyers here and I’m very appreciative of their generosity. So ultimately, I’m glad you’ve given us the heads-up. It will save you the aggravation, as well as saving non-lawyers the possibility of being embarrassingly blown off.

    Dana (1e5ad4)

  158. Nk

    Mmm, now you get personal and snotty again. It only makes it more fun to school you.

    You claim that I am a student, without real world experience. Except then you state something that is flat out, provably wrong. Namely you state that “[t]here are no common-law crimes.”

    Wrong. For instance, to pull out one of many cases on the subject:

    “This appeal presents a question of first impression in this circuit, namely the proper Sentencing Guidelines treatment of prior convictions for state common law crimes. For the reasons that follow, we hold that the modified categorical approach applicable in this circuit to prior convictions for statutory offenses also applies to prior convictions for state common law crimes.”

    That would be the state common law crimes you claimed didn’t exist.

    That would be from U.S. v. Walker. Is this an old obscure case? Nope, the citation is 595 F.3d 441 (2nd Cir. 2010). That’s last February. Look it up.

    And consider yourself served.

    You don’t know what the f— you are talking about.

    > Hornbooks and textbooks? Law student.

    No, lawyer. Indeed corporate counsel for a health care company. But please, if you think there is some local variant IN WASHINGTON, D.C. feel free to make your case. We have invited you to make your case now for two days and all you have done is act like a drunken, arrogant boor.

    But I find it hilarious. You cite Illinois law in a case involving an assault in Washington, D.C. and then you whine that I haven’t cited anything on point.

    > Just tired of dickwads like A.W.

    Mmm, we’ll let everyone here decide who is a dickwad. Or a competent lawyer.

    A.W. (f97997)

  159. A.W. is not a lawyer. DRJ and Beldar are. So is Patterico but he is careful about being a law professor. SPQR is too but he is a consistent jerk. Anyway, Dana, I know only another lady with eyes as beautiful as yours ….

    nk (db4a41)

  160. only *one* other lady

    nk (db4a41)

  161. nk – please explain to me, a lowly pathetic non-lawyer, how the situations you describe, fantastic as though they may be, fit with the applicable statutes in DC. Hell, how they fit with the IL statute you cite. IANAL, and if the way you are acting is indicative of lawyers, I am damn proud that I am not, but I cannot see how the blame for the actions would fall on anyone but the Congresscritter. I saw nothing zero zip nada that would cause him to feel threatened to the point where his actions would be justified. Hell, I didn’t see anything threatening, at all.

    JD (4b684a)

  162. Or, just keep on being a dick. Really does not matter.

    JD (4b684a)

  163. And people wonder why Dick the Butcher was so cynical?

    AD - RtR/OS! (728434)

  164. Nk

    You can falsely assert that I am a student all you want, but I just took you to school. Seems that you are the one who has some learning to do.

    Btw, D.C. not only has common law offenses, but even has a statutory provision for how to sentence them. D.C. Code §22-1807.

    But don’t let the facts get in the way of your snobbery.

    A.W. (f97997)

  165. A.W., for all I know you are a little off-white poodle with a hornbook. Good luck.

    Nobody said there’s no common law offenses. But they cannot be “Murder is illegal”. Every element has to be written out in the statute. A real lawyer would know that.

    JD,

    “Threatened”? About what? Why does it have not to be beaten up? Why not just to walk down a public street in peace?

    nk (db4a41)

  166. Btw, for clarity’s sake, i have said this before, but I am Aaron Worthing and A.W. I came out on my everyone draw mohammed site, so i don’t bother to keep it a secret. But i haven’t changed it in all of my computers, so…

    And i am licensed in Virginia and D.C. Which probably makes me the only person, between me and the snob NK, who is actually legally allowed to practice in D.C. without admission pro hac vice or some other exemption. And while most of my practice is in virginia, I bet i have done more work in D.C. law than NK has. If I had to guess, NK is an illinois lawyer.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  167. Where is the right to walk down a public street, on a public sidewalk, while being a public servant without being bothered?

    JD (4b684a)

  168. NK

    Wow, you can’t even be honest anymore. You said:

    > Nobody said there’s no common law offenses.

    And this is where you said it:http://patterico.com/2010/06/14/nc-rep-bob-etheridges-awkward-moment/#comment-668903

    Only you also said: http://patterico.com/2010/06/14/nc-rep-bob-etheridges-awkward-moment/#comment-668819

    > There are no common-law crimes.

    Cut and paste is a bitch, huh?

    Seriously, who exactly do you think you are fooling?

    And no, the elements don’t have to be written out. That is what it means to be a common law crime. A real lawyer, or even a real law student, would know THAT.

    But then you are so provably dishonest, I am starting to doubt you are even a lawyer.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  169. nk keep pissing
    on other posters legs and
    tell them it raining

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  170. There’s no Aaron Worthing in the DC bar. Where you licensed at?

    nk (db4a41)

  171. Here, let me redo that with nice html (hopefully):

    NK

    Wow, you can’t even be honest anymore. You said:

    > Nobody said there’s no common law offenses.

    And here is where you said it.

    Only you also said:

    > There are no common-law crimes.

    (source)

    Seriously, who exactly do you think you are fooling?

    And no, the elements don’t have to be written out. That is what it means to be a common law crime. A real lawyer, or even a real law student, would know THAT.

    But then you are so provably dishonest, I am starting to doubt you are even a lawyer.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  172. Sorry, bud, you have been proven a complete liar. I am having nothing more to do with you.

    Because what’s the point. If you are going to pretend that easily provable facts are not proven, what is the point in talking to you at all?

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  173. er, i should say that last comment was directed at NK. I guess i should be extra careful when I write when I am pissed.

    So, NK, we are through talking, liar.

    Aaron Worthing (A.W.) (f97997)

  174. nk dyspeptic
    aw not happy haiku
    say prez speech need thread!

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  175. You are some kind of paralegal, or legal secretary, or docket clerk, right?

    We inherited a common law system. Most of the crimes in our books arose from the common law. But now, under Fifth Amendment Due Process, the offense for which you can be jailed or punished must be written out — every element of it must be written out. Yes, non-lawyer, there are common law crimes preserved in statutes but there are no common law offenses for which you can be punished.

    nk (db4a41)

  176. Good to know that I am beneath you, nk. Thanks.

    JD (4b684a)

  177. “How to Win Friends and Inluence People.”

    But then, this all about picking fights and pissing matches, for the past week or two.

    Outstanding.

    Eric Blair (ffe6ea)

  178. No law, no crime.

    Fritz (0b0d73)

  179. “#

    While assault is codified, the definition is often left to ‘common law’.

    No. The common law is codified and the codification is strictly construed in favor of the defendant. Which is why I don’t want to discuss law with non-lawyers.

    Comment by nk — 6/15/2010 @ 3:46 pm

    Jeez. I went out of my way to be nice to this guy. I guess I get pissy too sometimes, but this guy is really out of line.

    I know what I’m talking about, and he’s basically a liar. I don’t know if he’s really a lawyer. He’s just dead wrong about assault in North Carolina. It’s defined by courts. Many concepts are. Ultimately, everything has to undergo some level of interpretation, and this isn’t all that difficult, but the court is where that occurs. Assault is not specified in NC and many other jurisidictions the way it is in Illinois.

    But he again ignored my primary point, which was that his current definition of assault is not the same as his initial and radical definition. He looked up the law after he went off half cocked and learned he was full of it. It’s not assault to interfere with someone’s intended path through the street. And under his more accurate definition, since there was no reasonable fear of a touching, there’s again no assault by the victim, the kid.

    In short, he was caught being completely wrong on the law, having to correct himself, and now anyone who disagrees with his terrible interpretation can’t even be a lawyer. He’s saying AW is a liar to claim to be more than a student.

    He’s very good at using personal attacks to distract from his weak case, I’ll give him that, but this style of argument is a failure, as is nk’s knowledge of the law in a practical sense.

    I don’t bother telling people how awesome I am and how awesome they aren’t because my arguments either succeed or fail on their own. I think 99% of commenters here get this principle and the basic patheticness of nk’s.

    NK, I think you are perceiving people’s politeness as weakness and insecurity. Quite the contrary. Everything I’ve said on the law, from my first comment, was balls on accurate. And much of what you’ve said was completely ridiculous. You shouldn’t mock students… I bet most of them know the law a lot better than you do.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  180. and the Lord God said
    be “fruitful and multiply”
    not “fruity” nk

    ColonelHaiku (79bc23)

  181. ColonelHaiku

    I just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed many of your posts. I don’t think anyone has actively encouraged you, so let me the one. Some of them are really funny.

    Dustin

    Or to put it more shortly, we have known since the time of the Greeks that the ad hominem and the appeal to authority are both fallacies. Right is right, no matter who is saying it.

    If you deal with any lawyer who purports to represent you, who says that he can’t explain the law to a plebe like you, fire him. mind you, there are occasionally clients who just can’t get it, but people like that are few and far between.

    Mind you, law is at times like a separate language. And sometimes law doesn’t even give you fair warning that it is about to throw you a curve ball. Like if I start saying “res ipsa loquitur” you are on fair warning that you need to look that phrase up. But on the other hand, most people think they know what “malice” means, so if they hear the word “malice” in the law they think they know what is being said, but in fact “legal” malice is defined more expansively than it is in ordinary English. I have jokingly referred to these kinds of quirks as the “Full Employment of Lawyers Act” because they have effect, if not the design, of almost forcing people to hire lawyers. Which in my opinion is deeply wrong.

    nk

    You are a liar, period. First you said that there are no common law crimes. Then you said “nobody” said there were no common law crimes. So either you are lying, or you are telling us all you are a big fat “nobody.”

    There is no such decision by the Supreme Court outlawing common law crimes. I challenge you to cite one. Now, there is a rule against the central federal government creating common law crimes—or indeed any common law at all, except arguably in filling in the gaps in statutes—and there is a rule against common law crimes in certain states. Perhaps your state is one of them and you foolishly assume that the other 49 are the same. But the Supreme Court has never declared that there can be no common law crimes as you claim, even in D.C. which is technically a federal territory.

    You wrote:

    “But now, under Fifth Amendment Due Process, the offense for which you can be jailed or punished must be written out — every element of it must be written out.”

    But in fact the D.C. Code section I cited to you, 22-1807, specifically contemplates that you can be punished for crimes that are not written out in the D.C. Code or the U.S. Code, stating: “Whoever shall be convicted of any criminal offense not covered by the provisions of any section of this Code, or of any general law of the United States not locally inapplicable in the District of Columbia, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both.”

    A real lawyer would look up the citations offered and actually address them. Hell, a first year law student would know to do that. I have given you two citations proving beyond any reasonable doubt that 1) common law crimes exist, 2) even in the District of Columbia where this battery by the congressa–hole occurred, and 3) that convictions for such crimes can result in imprisonment.

    And you have yet to challenge my actual argument against your point. Which is:

    1) Standing in a person’s way, even if it is intentional, by itself is not an assault. And asking questions doesn’t make it one. (Indeed it is more than a little strange to think that a person would film their own battery. It’s much more in line with that person being a journalist, duh.)
    2) In order to cite self defense you must fear actual harm, not merely an offensive touch.
    3) And you can only use the amount of force necessary to avoid the harm.
    4) He could have stepped around, avoiding the need for force.
    5) And if he was scared of being merely “touched” why did he then touch them, including grabbing the man’s neck and forcibly “hugging” him one handedly? According to you, his method of avoiding a non-consensual touch was to consensually touch him. Does that make sense?

    You haven’t addressed those arguments, but instead engaged in ad homs and appeals to authority, because you are either 1) a complete moron, or 2) you have been shown up and you are unable to respond in substance. So you resort to fallacious reasoning.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)


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