Florida Rep Alan Grayson goes down swinging … at Democrats

alan grayson for congress

Alan Grayson's notorious description of the Republican health care plan was just one of many inflammatory statements that attracted national attention. Image: CC Mike Licht Notionscapital.com/Flickr

Former Democratic Congressman Alan Grayson tried to beat the Republicans at their own game in the midterm election and lost. He made a name for himself in his single term as a U.S. rep from Florida by trying to match right wing extremists with unabashed left wing extremism. Grayson was drubbed after running what some called a dirty campaign and blamed the Republican landslide on Democratic “appeasement.”

Alan Grayson pulls no punches

U.S Rep Alan Grayson was a rich lawyer in Orlando, Fla. when he ran for Congress in 2008. From the beginning of his term as a Democratic congressman he threw rhetorical bombs at the opposition. Some classic “Graysonisms” include a description of proposed Republican alternatives to the health care bill as “don’t get sick and if you do get sick, die quickly.” Grayson was also quoted calling a Federal Reserve adviser a “K street whore” and described Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, as “Bozo the spokesman” for criticizing liberal critics of President Obama.

“Taliban Dan” a gift to Grayson’s opponent

After a term in which he became a fixture for the left on the partisan MSNBC network, Grayson’s unapologetic hyper-liberalism got the better of him. He is remembered most in the 2010 midterm elections for a campaign ad characterizing his Republican opponent, Daniel Webster, a member of the Florida legislature for 28 years, as “Taliban Dan.” Apparently the ad worked better for Webster than Grayson. Grayson was defeated at the polls by a 17 percent margin.

Grayson: bipartisanship is appeasement

A week after his resounding defeat, Webster was still in the national spotlight, throwing more bombs. He contradicted the standard explanation of the Democrats 60-seat setback in the House. While most pundits are saying that the Democrats tried to do too much, Grayson said Democrats weren’t aggressive enough. He called the strategy of trying to reach bipartisan consensus “appeasement,” a term for making concessions that has come to represent weak and cowardly politics.



Miami Herald

Democracy Now

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