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Footage of the Sherman Berman Rumble

A sad moment for all of us

Adam Chandler
October 12, 2012

As we posted in Daybreak, last night’s debate between Representatives Howard Berman and Brad Sherman got a little heated. JTA provided the blow-by-blow.

Sherman insisted that Berman did not lead on sponsoring the DREAM Act, the legislation that would have created a path to citizenship to immigrants who came to the United States illegally as children. Sherman instead attributed the initiative to Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.). (The bill ultimately failed, although President Obama issued orders this year including some of its elements.)

Congressional records show Berman as the lead sponsor on the U.S. House of Representatives version of the Act; Sherman later clarified that he was referring to a Gutierrez initiative that got wrapped into the final version.

Berman, incensed, called Sherman a liar and said he was “delusional” for denying Berman’s lead role in advancing the bill.

Sherman stood up, although he was out of turn, and shouted that Gutierrez introduced the bill.

Berman, 71, said “you are wrong,” and appeared to approach Sherman, 57.

Sherman shouted: “Don’t you dare stand up her[e] in the west San Fernando Valley and get in my face! Get away from me!”

He put his arm around Berman and said: “You want to get into this? You want to put your face in mine?”

A sheriff separated the men.

It reads more menacing in print than it looked on screen, but in case you’re wondering what two older Jewish men look like when they are not really about to mix it up, here’s the video. My favorite part may be the smirking sheriff.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.