Another week, another documented example of physical violence by a protester, another instance in which the violence is not perpetrated by a conservative.
Outside Democratic Rep. Mel Watt's office in Greensboro, N.C. this week, a lone liberal counter-protester was captured on video approaching a small group of conservative protesters chanting, "No more bailouts!"
At first, the counter-protester calmly disputed the conservative signs and arguments, blaming Bush and deregulation for the financial crisis, occasionally raising his voice. But he turned physical, assaulting a man shooting video of the scene, first by pushing him and later punching him. He also may have had some small amount of physical contact with the victim's wife, who came into the melee on her husband's side once it got physical.
The assailant is shown on video trying to leave the scene, admitting to punching the cameraman, threatening his victim, and eventually being interviewed by police. I'm sure this incendiary clip will lead newscasts about the grave danger to our body politic tonight.
There is certainly room for more context to be revealed, but the video is pretty damning, especially considering the very low-key spirit of the protesters. Even the assault victim is calm after being hit as he tells the assailant to "stick around" because the police are coming.
This guy must be one of those flotilla-style "humanitarians". The assault starts at 1:25.
Update: The Greensboro local news site still has the clip up, and some more facts. Click here to watch.
The assailant is Govenor Spencer and the victim is Nathan Tabor, a North Carolina conservative activist and Republican Party official:
The video shows Spencer and at least one protester arguing. Tabor says he stopped recording as the protest began to conclude and walked over to the sidewalk where his wife and 5-year-old daughter were standing.
"As I walked around the corner this gentleman pushed me. And when he pushed me the first time I turned my camera on and brought my camera up. I said please don't push me. And when I said that he slapped my camera." Tabor said. "He pushes me again. In the video you can see my body fall back. And I did not say anything to him, I didn't engage him. I was going to, until he touched me wife."
Tabor says Spencer pushed his wife and he pushed Spencer back. The video shows Spencer then punching Tabor in the face.
Spencer did not comment, but his lawyer had some big talk for a guy whose client is caught on tape hitting someone twice:
"We are going to deal with this in the courtroom. Mr. Tabor is going to find out that being wealthy doesn't make a difference in a courtroom."