With all of the breathless reporting around allegations against probable 2020 candidate Joe Biden being too “affectionate” with people, the problem of impropriety between politicians and literally everyone else is in high contrast these days. Like rock stars or actors or famous athletes, politicians are in a world of different standards than the rest of us, just in terms of how careful they should be with the way they act around others.
I’m kidding, of course. Everyone should stop being such selfish jerks who don’t treat others with respect. But famous people get a lot more scrutiny for it, usually — oddly enough, unless they’re Republican politicians. Standards seem to have air quotes around them for the GOP, and that’s only gotten worse since the election of Donald Trump.
I’m old enough to remember that there was a Senator from Louisiana who ordered prostitutes from the Senate Floor and served out his term. But you don’t actually have to go back far to find lousy behavior from Republicans and nothing being done about it — or worse yet, their lousy behavior actually helping them, the way Greg Gianforte got elected by a wider margin than was even expected, after having body-slammed Ben Jacobs of the Guardian newspaper and even being arrested for it.
Some Republicans, however, have taken it to the ultimate level, and simply made egregiously bad antics part of their personality. In honor of the recent passage of a renewed Violence Against Women Act, we present to you Alaska’s Don Young, an octogenarian currently nearing his fifth decade in the House of Representatives, and by all accounts an asshole of the first order.
Just a month ago, reporter Melanie Zanona of Politico tweeted that Young had assaulted her:
Rep. @DonYoungAK just physically shoved me and told me to get out of his way “damnit” as I was trying to interview another lawmaker outside the door of the House chamber.
— Melanie Zanona (@MZanona) April 4, 2019
Camera crews are not allowed to film in the gallery in which the altercation took place, but Zanona indicated in another tweet that she has audio footage of the entire incident. It’s not like we should have a hard time believing her even without that audio, however, because there are plenty of accounts of Young doing the same to others:
He once did this to me, too. https://t.co/ZVww4rTe8j
— Rebecca Shabad (@RebeccaShabad) April 4, 2019
I’ve seen him do stuff like this multiple times, even to people half his size.
— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) April 4, 2019
In fact, the Washington Post even has a video interview with Rep. Young in which he describes having berated a “nice looking blonde” Congresswoman for sitting in his chair.
The response to Melanie’s tweet was pretty universal — it’s time to file charges against him:
Sound like textbook battery to me. I really hope you report it to authorities.
A lawyer who worked on the Hill back when our representatives still had some sense of decorum
— Danielle (@DanielleVEsq) April 4, 2019
The decorum may be gone for now, but at least we could bring back a little accountability.
Featured image is a screen capture.