Every school, club, or company has a loudmouth whose outrageous statements and failed attempts at humor cause his friends to shy away, feigning laughter and everyone to think “what a jackass.”
Congress always has more than its fair share of such people, and suffers them gladly. Well, most of them. But this congress contains a man who rises above the rest, distinguishing himself beyond all others as this session’s “Biggest Jerk In Congress.” He is Representative Alan Grayson, a first-term Democratic Congressman from Florida’s historically Republican 8th Congressional District, which includes Orlando.
Grayson is, like John Edwards, a wealthy trial attorney with a recent Roll Call report showing him to be the 12th richest member of Congress (and the 7th richest member of the House alone.) Unlike John Edwards, who embarrasses himself with different body parts, Grayson’s embarrassing tool is his mouth.
Rep. Grayson’s favorite sport is verbally attacking Republicans, and he seems to hold particular disdain for former Vice President Dick Cheney. In October, Grayson said he has a hard time listening to Cheney “because of the blood that drips from his teeth while he’s talking… But by the way, when he was done speaking, did he just then turn into a bat and fly away?” Even Chris Matthews, the leftist talking head who was interviewing Grayson, said “Oh God. We gotta keep a level here.”
But apparently a vampire metaphor wasn’t in-the-gutter enough for Grayson who last month commented (not surprisingly again on MSNBC) about Dick Cheney’s forthcoming book: “I’m wondering, though, who’s doing the introduction to his book? Is it Mephistopheles? I don’t know – maybe it’s Satan.”
In September, during a late-night speech on the House floor, Grayson said, "If you get sick, America, the Republican health care plan is this: Die quickly."
And when Republicans called on him to apologize, Grayson offered this: “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America.” I’m sure he didn’t see the irony which many pro-life advocates would point out to the loudmouth liberal.
Other Grayson characterizations include calling Republicans “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals”, saying Dick Cheney likes to “shoot old men in the face”, saying that Rush Limbaugh is “a has-been hypocrite loser”, and arguing that “Republicans hate government so much because they’re so bad at it.” Apparently he hasn’t been noticing just how well his own party is doing…well enough to lose a Massachusetts Senate seat to a Republican while failing to pass any of their Dear Leader’s signature agenda items.
Grayson’s clownish rhetoric is unrestrained, and not just aimed at politicians and talk show hosts. Fox News is, naturally, in his sights. He said, “Fox News and their Republican collaborators are the enemy of America.”
The liberal New Republic magazine calls Grayson “the first member to bring the blogosphere’s in-your-face style to Capitol Hill” which makes the blogosphere’s readers’ reactions all the more relevant. Not surprisingly, the gap between comments on liberal blogs versus conservative blogs is as big as the gap between Grayson’s comments and rationality, which is to say insurmountably wide.
On the conservative blog Hotair.com, you can find comments like “Nancy has a new attack puppy, but his 15 minutes of fame are already up,” “I’m a registered Republican with a long history of voting for the person, not the party and this POS is declaring me the enemy???” and “Gotta hand it to the Democrats – they’re truly committed to diversity. They’ve even got space in their caucus for the developmentally challenged, an under-represented… uh… wait, never mind.”
On the far-left (affectionately called “moonbat”) wing of the blogosphere, commenters at the Huffington Post blog say “We need about 100 more of Graysons in Congress,” “Rep. Alan Grayson is this lifelong ardent Democrat’s new hero,” and “Get this guy out in front of the cameras more often” (perhaps the only comment on which Republicans would agree.)
Grayson, who is a reliable vote for every far-left piece of legislation, every tax hike, is often referred to as the “Congressman from ACORN.” One of the few to even try to defend ACORN, Grayson’s lawyerly skills did lead him to one credible argument against the bill aimed at blocking funding to it. He argued that the bill defunding ACORN was written so poorly that it arguably would have ended government payments to any organization that ever filed fraudulent paperwork with the government, including defense contractors.
Grayson, who has made a point of saying that he’s taken a big pay cut to be in Congress seems to care less for getting things done than for grandstanding. According to OpenCongress.org, Grayson, who votes with the Democratic majority 98% of the time, has only sponsored 4 bills, of which only one has been made into law, placing him in the basement of Congressional effectiveness.
Grayson’s recent bill proposals in reaction to the Supreme Court’s pro-free speech ruling in Citizens United v. FEC are appropriate for the court jester. His time-wasting bills include one that would prevent companies which make political contributions and expenditures from having their shares traded on national exchanges. Another would impose a 500% tax on corporate contributions to PACs and to “political advocacy campaigns.” In other words, according to Grayson, the Supreme Court be damned, and corporations’ free speech rights along with them.
As a favorite of the “wingnut” left – as the comments at the left-wing blog show – Grayson has raised plenty of money in recent months for his reelection campaign, with his campaign saying that he has $1 million in his campaign coffers. The race for Florida’s 8th Congressional District is a prime target for a Republican recapture in November. Grayson won the historically Republican district by a 52%-48% margin in the 2008 Democratic tsunami over a four-term Republican who broke a term-limit pledge to run for reelection. There are currently at least eight announced GOP candidates for the seat, including “political novice” Bruce O’Donoghue who owns a traffic signal company, attorney Todd Long, state Representative Kurt Kelly, and Patricia Sullivan, a Tea Party activist who was inspired to run for office by Sarah Palin.
Any of them would be a huge improvement over Alan Grayson, this year’s Biggest Jerk in Congress, and a man who makes you wonder whether Mickey Mouse and Goofy escaped Walt Disney World to vote for him. Actually, that would be most fitting for the “Congressman from ACORN.”