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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Rep. Grayson, Fire At Will

by Jay Allbritton
In the following clip from The Young Turks, Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson from Florida talks to Cenk Uygur about his fiery rhetoric.

I wish I could say that the only people that seem to be put off by Grayson's rhetoric are Republicans and the media. Fellow Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner, who usually knows his shit, said of Grayson, "Is this news to you that this guy's one fry short of a Happy Meal?"

UPDATE: Weiner apologized to Grayson for saying that. That's right, Grayson's got Democrats apologizing to him.

Even those in the media who didn't think Grayson's initial salvos at the Republicans were worthy of outrage, opined that Grayson went too far when he called former Enron lobbyist and Bernanke advisor Linda Robertson a "K Street whore." Excuse me, but the phrase "K-street whore" is about fifteen minutes from getting into the Oxford dictionary. This is not an offense against gender. If he called a man a "K-street whore" no one would have even blogged about it. And people blog about ANYTHING.

Grayson's bomb throwing s not the equivalent of Republican bomb throwing. It is a response to it. They set the rules. Grayson is just the politician who finally decided to kick their ass at their own game that actually had the ability to do it. As Grayson said in The Young Turks clip, when it comes to the issues that we're currently "debating" there is a right and a wrong answer.

Not only is he fighting fire with fire, but he's doing it where the GOP bomb-throwers--like Republican Rep. Paul Broun, who, in this clip, claims, on the floor of the House, that the public option will kill people--have done the most damage.

Grayson's strategy is to change the tone of the entire debate, which, when it comes to the mess that is the American health care system, never should have gotten away from the Democrats in the first place. Grayson has the Republicans on the defensive, which puts a lot of strain on the flimsy house of lies they've built over the course of this endless debate.

Dave Anthony at the blog Stop All Monsters writes:
The GOP attempted to fight back but they had built their entire health care argument on lies and nonsense. Greyson was cutting through to the meat of the matter: You don't care about people dying or you do. Republicans had no answer because their argument wasn't about people dying, it was about money and big government. The entire debate shifted. Win for Greyson.
So, when Grayson comes along and hoists a lying jerk like Broun on whatever a petard is, it's not only deeply satisfying, it's actually helpful because all the false premises are actually rebutted on television.

The era of the soundbyte has been going on for sometime now, and only one side has been playing. Even elections, which gave Democrats a huge majority in both houses, couldn't generate real health reform. Even though health reform was one of the few defining issues of the endless presidential campaign, real reform died almost immediately in a barrage of untruthful sound bytes (and health industry campaign contributions). We can't do anything about the money in politics yet, but we can at least compete for sound bytes and headlines.

Don't look for Grayson to moderate anytime soon. Not only is he independently wealthy, he seems to think that the best way to get re-elected, even in his traditionally red district, is to get busy doing the people's work. He even has something of a public endorsement from President Obama, who called Florida Reps Grayson, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Kendrick Meek "outstanding members of Congress."

By the way something, Grayson, as one could guess, drives the red bloggers utterly mad.


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