San Diego’s Democratic Congressman Bob Filner chatted with Nancy Cordes on CBS about “political discourse.” He alleges that he was threatened in the last election cycle. “Like many of us across the country – including Gabby (Gabrielle Giffords) – we had, I’ll just lump them together as Tea Party opponents, people who went really beyond the bounds of political discourse,” he said, “They shouted us down in debates. Then he piously stated: “We all have to take responsibility for our remarks,” he ended, speaking to both sides of the aisle, “I do, the Tea Party does, every elected official, every talk show person. These words have consequences and they especially have consequences on unstable people, like apparently this shooter was.”
Apparently the former SDSU history Professor Filner has no memory, and CBS Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes has no internet. Surely if Filner had any memory or Cordes any access to the internet, they might have brought up the times when Filner went well beyond bounds of civil discourse. Indeed, there was the 2007 incident at Dulles Airport in Washington D.C. which resulted in Filner being served court summons on an assault charge. Filner had a hissy fit at Dulles when he decided to no longer wait for his baggage and pushed his way past the outstretched arm of airport personnel into a restricted area. Filner entered a plea and the charges were reduced to trespassing and $100 fine.
Of course this wasn’t the first time Filner got pushier than an excitable and entitled teenage boy on prom night. While Filner, in his CBS interview entreated viewers with non sequiturs, Cordes never saw it fit to question his credibility. If Cordes had internet access, she might have discovered the 2003 incident when Filner was told he could not enter an El Centro detention immigration facility by officers. After officers told him he could not enter the facility, he slipped past them into a secure area and refused to leave when ordered to do so. He then tried unsuccessfully to push his way past detention officers to get farther inside the facility. The report on the incident said Filner asked a detention officer, “Are you going to stop me, big man?” and to another, he asked, “Are you going to shoot me, are you going to arrest me?” A short time later, facility supervisor Juan Ramirez wrote, “I saw Congressman Filner force his way into control area.” Ramirez and seven other officers tried to persuade Filner to return to the foyer. “I am a congressman and can do whatever I want,” Ramirez quoted Filner as saying.
On Thursday, not content to let his foolish conjecture about the murderer’s motives stand, he felt compelled to call LaDona Harvey’s new afternoon talk show on KOGO and compound it, “I think he (Jared Loughner) was influenced by the incredible kind of violent rhetoric that was going around — that all government is bad and evil.”
But wait, there’s more… on “The Last Word” with Lawrence O’Donnell Filner said, “Everybody who tries to put it off on a deranged individual I think is — that’s a political statement in and of itself, because they are absolving themselves of the responsibility of their words and their actions.”
While Filner may bloviate on TV and radio daily, he still leaves us with so many questions. However, only one question is causing me concern:
When Filner has one of his well-documented outbursts, and I just put it off on a self-entitled politician, is it a political statement in and of itself, because I am absolving myself of the responsibility of my words and my actions?