Only Real Congressmen Assault Reporters
By William Boardman -- Reader Supported News
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." -- Mark Twain, circa 1890
"Let me be clear to you, you ever do that to me again I'll throw you off this f**king balcony." -- Congressman Michael Grimm , R-NY, January 28, 2014
Let's grant that Mark Twain was using hyperbole while committing a verbal insult against a widely despised class of American citizens. But that's not a crime. At least not yet.
Republican Grimm , by contrast was using hyperbole (presumably) while committing a verbal assault against a lone, non-threatening American citizen. That is a crime . It's a threat of harm that constitutes simple assault, usually a misdemeanor. Grimm was not arrested, of course, for his illegal, thuggish behavior. As a Congressman, he may even be immune from accountability for such criminal assault as long as he commits it in Congress.
To be more than fair to Rep. Grimm, 44, he made his threat in circumstances when he himself felt threate ned by a question from the younger, smaller man he threatened. As a former Marine and a former FBI agent, he also managed to personify the negative Hollywood stereotype of both.