Here's to you, Alan Grayson--A liberal turns her lonely eyes to you
I know I'm not alone in hoping that Florida Congressman Alan Grayson returns to Washington soon. He's been one of the very few Good Guys to ever represent our unique and complicated state, and now he's leaving:
"There's not any doubt about it. The people's business is not being done. There's enormous influence by lobbyists and by special interests," he says. "And the other side has completely sold out to them."
Grayson says he always resisted the influence of those lobbyists.
"A good description of what happened in my case is that they couldn't buy me, so they decided to destroy me with negative ads [during the midterm campaign] that people in my district saw an average of 70 times," he says.
Grayson responded with a controversial ad of his own. It called his opponent "Taliban Dan" and repeated clips in which Webster appeared to say about his wife "she should submit to me." Although the spot was roundly criticized, Grayson says he was justified in running it.
"We had to do it because, in my case, he ducked every debate we were scheduled to have. And the result of that is that we had no way to communicate his record except for the fact that we could run ads that people called negative ads," he says. "And it's unfortunate that the system leaves no other possibility."
Grayson says the ad was a last resort.
"The average voter in Orlando saw that ad twice. The average voter in Orlando saw 70 ads calling me, an incumbent Congressman, a liar, a national embarrassment, a loudmouth, a dog and an evil clown," he says. "So I don't think that my opponents or anyone in the media for that matter — none of whom ever came to my defense — can lecture me on civility in politics."
Let's face it, this whole "civility" argument is a baldfaced joke. It's a silencing technique, really; it's what the entrenched Villagers, aka the White House press corps, call the lefty bloggers--Oooh, they're so foul-mouthed and uncivil!
But why should it be considered uncivilized to speak the plain truth? It should not be thought rude or "conversation-stopping" (ahem, Jon Stewart) to point out that Bush is a war criminal--that's exactly what he, Dick Cheney, and a slew of administration members, not to mention all the unethical (and often thieving, brutal, and/or murderous) independent contractors who profited wildly from the Iraq boondoggle, actually are.
Don't people realize that the lying war criminals who brutalized and murdered others without reproof could, as easily and with as little fear of consequences, harm them?
It's not indelicate to call out the Republicans and Blue Cross Blue Shield Dog Democrats for their pro-insurance-industry stance on health care reform (which is to say, don't reform it at all)--it's dead accurate, and Grayson, in his bold, unflinching, and courageous way, was simply doing his job as one of Florida's elected leaders.
Speaking the truth, and fighting for people instead of plutocrats.
Sadly, those who control the message are, themselves, controlled by corporations--some of which have vast defense industry sectors--who own the majority of media outlets now. It is beyond frightening, and I don't know what we can do to counteract it other than keep speaking out on the fora which remain available to us and informing and encouraging people.
They do eventually come around. Some of them do, anyway.
Minstrel Boy is often writing that democracies are historically short-lived and bloody. I often wonder if human nature, even modern-day human nature, is still not that different from the ethos of our canine brethren in that we fall into packs, each with its leader and attendant hierarchy, as opposed to running governments of the people, by the people.
I wonder if, despite the noble intentions of our more cognitively evolved individual pack members, the group at large will always, inevitably, return to the ways of the wild.
At least wolves don't lie to each other about why they're attacking something or collapse their entire social structure by selling worthless debt instruments en masse and leaving countless numbers of their pack-mates homeless and hungry while they line their own dens with yet more mink and caviar.
Also at litbrit.