Flash back to 1996. DPI Secretary Bobby “Boom Boom” Etheridge was running for Congress against freshman Republican incumbent David Funderburk in North Carolina’s Second congressional district.
We all know NOW that Funderburk was involved in a — ahem — “controversial” traffic accident. Funderburk was accused of switching seats with his wife to avoid being cited in the accident.
THAT became THE issue in the race. The Etheridge campaign and the state party and various lefty groups ran ad after ad after ad on the accident. (You would have thought Etheridge and Funderburk were auditioning for the job of driver’s ed teacher at the local high school. )
The 1996 Etheridge for Congress campaign’s thesis became THIS: “Bad judgement in your personal life disqualifies you for public service.”
The voters bought that argument and elected Etheridge to replace Funderburk in Congress.
Fast forward to 2010: A certain piece of videotape was shot — featuring Boom Boom walking down a DC sidewalk on his way home from a Nancy Pelosi fundraiser. The videographers — two young men in their late teens dressed in coats and ties — made the following comments to Etheridge ON CAMERA: (1) “Hi, Congressman.” (2) “How are you?” and (3) “Do you fully support the Obama agenda?”
Oooh. Provocative stuff, huh?
On camera, you can see Etheridge going beserk, repeatedly yelling “Who are you?”, swinging at the camera, and grabbing the young men. Etheridge could have easily smiled and walked on by without commenting, but he chose this route. (Just like David Funderburk COULD have stayed in his seat and taken the rap for the accident.)
Etheridge initially apologized, calling his reaction to the cameramen “a poor response”. He asked us for the same forgiveness that, in 1996, he and his campaign said David Funderburk did not deserve. Etheridge’s minions tried to justify what the congressman did by suggesting the whole event was a “Republican dirty trick.” If that had been true, did it justify Etheridge’s treatment of the young men? It’s not like they said anything disrespectful to him, or about his mama.
There was no videotape of Funderburk, and he got crucified. Anyone else caught on tape doing what Etheridge did would have been charged with assault.
So, in 2012, if we follow the logic set forth by the 1996 Etheridge for Congress campaign, Bob Etheridge’s “poor response” to that incident on a DC sidewalk in 2010 disqualifies him for public office.