Democratic Rep. Max Rose of New York wants you to know that he’s so opposed to bullying that he’s introducing a bill to stop it. He also wants you to know that if you’re a young staffer trying to ask him a question on video and he doesn’t like the question, he’s going to make fun of your clothes and say that you need “a girlfriend or something.”
Rose is a young New York City Democrat, but unlike Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, however, he won more than a primary, managing to beat an incumbent Republican in Staten Island to make it into the 115th Congress. And unlike most freshman members, he’s actually done something for America before running for Congress, serving as a platoon leader in the U.S. Army in Afghanistan.
That sounds pretty good, particularly when combined with the fact that he’s sponsoring an anti-bullying bill. Not that the bill, named Danny’s Law after a Staten Island youth who committed suicide because of bullying, does much. It certainly makes for good copy, though.
“We lost Danny as a result of bullying, which tragically, is a story we hear far too often in our community and across the country,” Rep. Rose said at a press conference last week with Maureen Fitzpatrick, Danny’s mother.
“I’m in awe of the strength and courage of his family to turn this tragedy into a movement that is saving lives in Danny’s honor. One out of every five kids are bullied and almost half of the students in our own borough report that students harass, bully, or intimidate other students in their own schools. That’s why I’m proud to announce that this week I introduced Danny’s Law, because this isn’t about politics or partisanship, it’s about being there for our kids — and I urge Congress to swiftly pass this.”
Here’s what the bill would actually accomplish, in Rose’s own words: “The bipartisan legislation would direct the President to establish an ‘Anti-Bullying Roundtable,’ a commission tasked with studying bullying in elementary and secondary schools in the United States. The Roundtable is to consult with State and local educational agencies regarding policies on bullying, stakeholder education, and instances of student violence and self-harm as a result of bullying.”
Nothing is as useless as a government commission on anything. Here’s what the commission will find: bullying is bad and someone ought to do something about it.
If Rose really wants to stop bullying, there’s an easy place to start: with himself.
According to the National Republican Congressional Committee, one of their young staffers tried to ask Rose whether he supported driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants in an undated video taken early this month.
Rose’s response was a string of ad hominem shots at the staffer.
WARNING: The following video contains vulgar language that some viewers may find offensive.
“You know what I particularly like about you today?” Rose says in one part of the video. “You’re not wearing pajamas anymore. The other day you were dressed like a total goon.”
In another clip, he says, “Whoa, you’re back again, man? You’ve got to get a life, dude, oh my God!”
In yet another part of the video, Rose says that the staffer “needs a girlfriend.”
Now, before you fire off that email: yes, President Trump often levels some colorful insults at his political opponents. So do other politicians. But the targets of those attacks tend to be individuals like Hillary Clinton or Joe Biden. Trump doesn’t attack low-level staffers — especially not when he’s introducing an anti-bullying bill that will make him look like a massive hypocrite.
“Does Max consider his demeaning comments about a kid’s wardrobe, social life and not having a girlfriend to be bullying? We’re only asking because he recently introduced anti-bullying legislation,” the NRCC said on its webpage.
“Max Rose should be embarrassed by his comments bullying a kid for the clothes he wears and for making demeaning comments about his relationship status. Staten Island voters will see right through his phony, tough guy act in 2020,” NRCC Spokesman Michael McAdams said.
Rose represents a swing districts the Democrats flipped in 2016. Let’s see if they can repeat the task in 2020 when one of Rose’s signature bits of legislation will only highlight how much of a hypocrite he is.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.