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To be clear, Mr. Etheridge’s “reaction” to the congressman-on-the-street interview is called “assault” in the District of Columbia and every other jurisdiction in the United States.

As hokey as it sounds, the thousands of college students who have descended upon the nation’s capital — reflecting all political points of view — represent the future of our country.

The disrespect exhibited by Mr. Etheridge, not only for the young men involved in the incident, but for all young people who passionately engage in civics, is a pathetic glimpse into the real world that is Washington.

Maybe, given that he’s running for re-election, Mr. Etheridge didn’t want to go on record as supporting the president’s agenda.

Then again, maybe he does, and he was just out looking to kick someone’s … er … well, you know.

Civil public discourse sure is taking a beating lately.

*Visit Marybeth Hicks at