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Alan Grayson Returns To Congress

The House of Representatives became a slightly more palatable place after the 2010 elections thanks to the defeat of Alan Grayson, the Florida Democrat best known for bombastic floor speeches where he would accuse Republicans of wanting everyone to die. Unfortunately, he’s returning in January:

Former Rep. Alan Grayson, a Democrat, won his House race in Florida on Tuesday night over his Republican challenger Todd Long. Grayson was first elected in 2008, but lost in the Tea Party wave of 2010.

He noted Tuesday night to HuffPost that his turnaround is the biggest on record in the history of House. No other candidate had lost by 18 points in one year, only to turn around and win the next cycle by 25 — a 43-point swing.

Grayson was aided by the fact that he was running in a heavily Democratic district and I suppose he deserves some credit for the comeback. However, I find his kind of rhetoric as unhelpful to our politics as what we hear from people on the right from people like Michele Bachmann and Louis Gohmert. It’s too bad the people of his District couldn’t find someone more civil to represent them.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Dave Anderson says:

    The quote was a comment on Republican health care policy, and yes, it was in your face, but look at Republican health care policy:

    * If you don’t have continuous coverage, good luck
    * If you can’t afford private insurance, well Medicaid and CHIP are supposed to get cut by 40% or more under the Ryan plan
    * If you need to go to an emergency room, bankruptcy is a deserved consequence

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 5

  2. mantis says:

    Like West, we’d all be better off without this guy in Congress. He belongs on MSNBC ranting and raving, not in a body where a lot of tough decisions and compromises are needed in the near future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  3. Neil Hudelson says:

    I still think Grayson doesn’t actually exist, but is actually John C Reilly in a combover wig, pulling an elaborate prank.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  4. mattb says:

    @mantis:

    Like West, we’d all be better off without this guy in Congress. He belongs on MSNBC ranting and raving, not in a body where a lot of tough decisions and compromises are needed in the near future.

    This!

    Sadly, Democrats and Liberals like him for the same reason Republicans and Conservatives liked Joe Wilson and Allen West — these folks might be S.O.B.’s but their our party’s S.O.B.s. To some degree that’s always the story of the House.

    What’s really bad is when these types of aHoles manage to get in the Senate. Thankfully, that’s pretty rare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  5. Rob in CT says:

    Not a fan of Grayson. He’s a rhetorical bomb-thrower.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  6. Fiona says:

    I was surprised, and not pleasantly, to see Grayson return. We don’t need more bomb throwers.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  7. Hello World! says:

    I love Grayson. He uses colorful metaphors to make valid points. The left needs more fighters like that, lord knows the right has plenty of them!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

  8. gVOR08 says:

    Sounds to me like another case of IOKIYAR. Republicans have plenty of pols whose rhetoric is over the top. One less in Allen West, but Michelle Bachmann, of investigate how many congress people are anti-American fame, is still with us. Grayson’s rhetoric pales before Paul Ryan’s claim that Dems are destroying Judeo Christian society. How about Newt Gingrich’s embrace of D’Souza’s thesis that Obama’s right of Richard Nixon policies are completely inexplicable unless he’s a Kenyan anti-colonialist?

    How come GOPs get to have bomb throwers, but start pearl clutching at the thought of a Dem doing it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 2

  9. stonetools says:

    I’m OK with Grayson. Compared to Michelle Bachmann and many Tea Party folks, he is a model of sweet reasonableness.
    Sometimes, you need an attack dog to fend off their attack dogs. Sad, but true.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  10. Liberty60 says:

    @Rob in CT:
    I am Not a fan of Grayson. He’s a rhetorical bomb-thrower.

    There is a time and place for everything, from polite civil disagreement to bomb throwming combat.

    Congress needs a bit of both.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  11. Geek, Esq. says:

    Why does Florida continuously produce these extreme bombthrowers named Allen/Alan?

    Maybe they should do away with that whole thing where you don’t have to live in a district to represent it in Congress.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  12. mantis says:

    @gVOR08:

    How come GOPs get to have bomb throwers, but start pearl clutching at the thought of a Dem doing it?

    Because we should be better than them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  13. Liberty60 says:

    P.S.
    I remember in 1994 people wore buttons in Congress that said “Speaker Of The House Gingrich. Deal With It.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  14. rudderpedals says:

    I expect congressman Grayson to have more influence than the %.0025 bit of the House he fills and I am very much okay with it (although I’d like to see him as Senator). This sort of thing is called pluralism, and it’s a good thing. The union will survive.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

  15. Ben Wolf says:

    @rudderpedals: Yeah, I’m glad to see Grayson back and hope he hasn’t lost his edge.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Bomb-throwers are wonderful.

    As long as you don’t give them any kind of position of power or responsibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  17. bandit says:

    He’s a lunatic h8r – the reason for his popularity on the left.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  18. Tillman says:

    Alan Grayson was quite impressive the first time I saw him on television, a commanding presence. Definitely had a swagger. He’d mastered all the little cues of body language that make you more receptive to what someone says, and you have to admire that if nothing else.

    Then I listened to what he was saying, and realized he was a hack wearing a different color tie than usual. I agree with mantis here, what’s the point of looking down on Republicans if you don’t build the pedestal first?

    In summary, we’ve traded one Allen for another Alan and I don’t feel any better or worse about it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  19. LC says:

    It isn’t his lunacy that bothers me. With all the Republican bomb-throwers in the House, it is only fair that the Democrats have a couple competitors.

    What bothers me is his stupidity. He was on Barney Frank’s House Committee during the Financial Crisis and his often aggressive, offensive questions were also idiotic. Note: he was not the only member of the committee who appears to have never read a balance sheet, but he is the only one so dumb that he would hold one in front of himself, read from it, and completely, totally misunderstand it – while questioning somebody like Ben Bernanke or a Big Bank CEO. (That not one of the men subjected to endless series of idiotic questions ever said “you are an idiot” gave me a teensy, weensy, tiny bit of respect for them.)

    If I could make one change about our election process, well two changes, it would be that each member would have to pass a basic intelligence test and a basic test on the Constitution before being permitted to run for office. Second, I would not permit mathophobes (like me) to be on a finance committee or a creationist on a science committee. Some basic level of understanding and interest should be a minimum requirement for committee membership.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  20. mattb says:

    @Tillman:

    Then I listened to what he was saying, and realized he was a hack wearing a different color tie than usual.

    I totally agree with you and @LC. When I heard him interviewed I was initially impressed. Then when I started to parse what he was actually saying and look for internal consistency, it was pretty clear that he really didn’t know what he was talking about. And that got worse and worse the more interviews I heard.

    I think he’s very committed to progressive causes and agitates for them well. But to LC’s point, when it comes time to have the rubber meet the road in a panel hearing it’s painful to see him “perform.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. An Interested Party says:

    As long as you don’t give them any kind of position of power or responsibility.

    Oh, you must have been opposed to Newt Gingrich holding the position of Speaker of the House…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Steve Sloan says:

    Grayson was and will be one the most disgusting Demorats in the country.
    Harvard should be embarrased for ever educating this half wit big mouth.
    His reapearance in the House will do the Demorcrat party no good because he is a loose cannon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. ssquared says:

    Grayson redefines nut ball Progessive POS.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0