A Pious Bob Filner talks and talks… but not about his own outbursts

Ryan Purdy Ryan Purdy 13 Comments

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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?

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Comments 13

  1. Filner’s attempt to link the attack on Giffords with right-wing rhetoric is of course totally without evidence. He doesn’t know what motivated Loughner any more than the rest of us do.

    That said, I think Filner has a valid point about intimidation by supporters of Nick Popaditch. I was at Golden Hall election night. I saw Filner nearly surrounded by hostile Popaditch supporters, looking isolated and vulnerable as they jeered him. It looked pretty ugly for a brief moment. (I tried to capture it on my cell phone camera, but didn’t get much).

    If Filner stuck to such instances where he can speak with direct knowledge, he’d make a much more powerful case. Extrapolating without evidence makes him look like he’s just exploiting a tragedy, same as the other left-wing and media ghouls.

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    Bradley, thanks for your comment. I was at Golden Hall too that night and the Popaditch supporters were clearly trying to be intimidating. It did not represent a center-right candidate (Popaditch) very well. In the video I found with audio, it was as I remembered, people yelling “Popaditch! Popaditch!” and “Don’t tread on me. Don’t tread on me Bob!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO66Z3Fj7ME
    At the end of the day, Popaditch still lost, and then Filner got an emotional, if not illogical story to insert into a ghoulish argument–blaming center-right folks for an evil person with mental illness. That small but vocal group of Popaditch supporters did us no favors. That being said, if I blow past authorities at airports and detention centers, can I say I was inspired by Representative Filner and get away with it… as he has?

  3. Ya know, why isn’t the country getting an apology from everyone who held office over the last dozen years? What got people worked up into such a froth? The policies (aka mistakes) made that helped ruin our economy and much of our way of life. I do NOT condone violence or dirty intimidation tactics, but frankly, I wish congressmen would vote like they are a little afraid of and intimidated by “we the people”. Look at Filner’s disgusting arrogance while in office.

  4. I was at election night. I didn’t see anything beyond Popaditch’s crew being annoyingly loud. But their language seemed limited to “don’t tread on me!” or just relentlessly yelling Popaditch’s name.

    Contrast that to what the Left used to yell and protest against Bush (see the many example here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2320615/posts). Or when the NJ Teachers’ Union “jokingly” prays for Chris Christie to die (http://www.northjersey.com/news/90330609_Teachers_take_off_the_gloves.html).

    Both are far more disturbing than anything Filner dealt with on election night.

    Trying to pin this shooter on the right is just an insidious effort by Filner and the rest of the left. To say, “I saw this coming” is straight out of Rahm Emanuel’s “Don’t waste a crises” Manual.

    In reality, the shooter appears to be an incoherent crazy person. He showed far more interest in video games, movies, and music as opposed to politics. Should they be to blame? As the Reagan quote says, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.”

    Nice article Ryan, like the references.

  5. I just hope Filner DOES run for mayor. He’s been in a heavily Gerrymandered district for many years, with no serious threat from a Republican opponent — no matter how good that opponent was.

    His arrogance is leading him to run for mayor. Hubris will be his downfall — and by a BIG margin.

    San Diego is not the same as his solid Democrat district. And his GOP opponents (especially Carl DeMaio) are FAR more knowledgeable and politically skilled than Filner. Furthermore, the labor union backing that will support his mayoral run is also a HUGE negative with San Diego voters.

    Bring it on, Bob!

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    “Ya Know”… You have a good point. It seems like a lot of politicians are not “intimidated”, or even guided by their constituents… just Nancy Pelosi. And look where that got them on Nov. 2…
    Steve–you’re right, while chanting an opponent’s name (Popaditch!) and surrounding a politician (Filner) isn’t my thing, at the same time it isn’t too frightening. It is a democratic republic we live in, yes?
    Richard–I think Filner vs. DeMaio would be a dream match up. DeMaio’s common sense would wipe out Filner’s down the line lefty politics which are not a fit for San Diego.

  7. Dave, that was scary and worth pointing out. What I saw wasn’t quite as bad, but still worrying. I was just arriving at Golden Hall after the Tea Party event at 4th & B shut down, and ran into Filner being briefly harassed by Popaditch people. Popaditch himself was there.

    From what I’ve read, Loughner was well known to the authorities for making death threats. Why they didn’t take Loughner more seriously should be investigated.

  8. I was in the middle of the fray that was capture on video, and yeah, it was pretty hideous. Are we talking about the same one–or were you already at our table when I put it on the live blog?

    I think you’re right: It’s becoming more and more clear that there were a lot of red flags in Loughner’s case.

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  10. Dave,
    I got there after the fracas you described. What I saw was a miniature version that didn’t last long. For about half a minute, it looked like it might get vicious.

    Ryan,
    Distasteful is the least thing you could have said about it. It was ugly, and what’s worse, Popaditch to my knowledge never rebuked this behavior.

  11. Decorated War hero Nick Popaditch does not have a background of being crazy like Loughner. What a violation of civil rights it would be to arrest a man like this, cause you big babies are scared of him.

    You act is though you were under the rubble of the Twin Towers in Golden Hall. Grow up!

    Nick Popaditch has honorably served this country, served his community and this was way before his run for congress.

    Heck, look what Filner thought of him before Nick Popaditch had the nerve to run against him.

    Blurb from “Once A Marine” By Filner

    “America has always been blessed by wonderful, patriotic, and often anonymous men and women who have sacrificed so much in defense of liberty and freedom. Once a Marine, Gunny Sergeant Nick Popaditch’s heart-wrenching and inspiring memoir, puts a name and a face on this sacrifice. Every American should read this book to remind them of what these brave warriors of freedom endure on our behalf.”

    – Congressman Bob Filner, Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs

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