A few weeks ago, the Intercept reported on shitty Democrat Rep. Josh Gottheimer and his ineffectual bids to derail both Nancy Pelosi’s speakership and the Democrats’ vote to end U.S. support for the war in Yemen. The story painted a picture of a congressman both very bad and very incompetent—except at fundraising, which he excels at.
Today, the Intercept followed up with a story about how Gottheimer is reportedly a very bad boss. I know—who could have guessed?
Former Gottheimer staffers told the Intercept that the congressman is aggressive and abusive, with descriptors like “narcissistic,” “a terror” and “sociopath.” Unsurprisingly, his staff has high turnover; so high, in fact, that when I emailed a person whose LinkedIn still lists them as communications director for Gottheimer for comment, I received an automated reply saying he no longer works there.
But perhaps the best—or worst, depending on your perspective—part of this story is an anecdote from a town meeting Gottheimer attended in Teaneck, NJ, in May 2017, which he only did with strict conditions: No press, no unexpected questions.
But then, disaster struck: An old guy turned up with a notepad.
The event was going well until Gottheimer’s staff noticed an elderly Teaneck resident in the audience taking notes. The man, Jim Norman, had been thinking of starting a community newspaper, a weekly that he planned to call the Teaneck Independent. As it was, he occasionally posted his community dispatches online. Gottheimer’s aides tried to get the representative’s attention to warn him that a potential member of the Fourth Estate was in the audience. They also told Norman that no press was allowed at the event, but he told them that it was a public event, and the press couldn’t be barred.
Go read the Intercept’s piece for a full breakdown of how poorly Gottheimer responded to this extremely banal situation, but the most important part is this (emphasis added):
Gottheimer’s aides, Norman said, told him that they would need to review anything he wrote before it was published, a condition Norman rejected.
Furious, Gottheimer spotted the car of the staffer who had driven him to the event and channeled all of his rage on it, raining blow after blow down upon its roof.
Yes, according to the Intercept, Gottheimer got so mad that an older dude with a notepad took notes at his public meeting that he started just absolutely whaling on a car. He went full Basil Fawlty on that car, for much worse reasons than Basil did.
Men are too emotional and can’t be trusted with political office.
We have reached out to Gottheimer’s (current) staff for comment, and will update if we get a response.
Do you work in Congress? Has your boss ever tried to beat up a car, or yelled at a train, or maybe tried to have a motorbike arrested? Or, do they just treat you like shit? Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.