Alan Grayson Gets The Liar Of The Week Award

Florida Democrat Alan Grayson has spent most of his first term in Congress making a name for himself as a bombastic, bomb throwing opponent of everything Republican. During the health care reform debate, for example, he said that the GOP health care plan consisted of two points:

That speech, along with Grayson’s frequent appearances on MSNBC bashing the GOP and Fox News have made him a target of the right this year, and he’s facing a strong challenge from Florida legislator Daniel Webster, which has led to Grayson releasing this ad about Webster’s Vietnam-era college years:

It’s really a quite shocking ad, when you watch it. Essentially Grayson, who has never served a day in uniform himself, is accusing Webster of being a draft dodger. And, as says, that’s just a blatant lie:

Records show that Webster was deferred from military service five times due to academic study from 1967 to 1970 (once in high school and four times while he was in college at the Georgia Institute of Technology). Once he completed his undergraduate degree, he was given the classification 1-A  (which means he was available for military service) and was asked to report for a physical examination. The documentation shows that on the date of his physical, July 26, 1971, Webster was rejected and given the classification of 1-Y, which means that he was “qualified for service only in time of war or national emergency.”

But according to the documents, the 1-Y classification was abolished just months later, on December 10, 1971. Local boards were ordered to reclassify all 1-Y registrants. Webster was reclassified on May 16, 1972, as 4-F, or “not qualified for military service.”

So Webster was given deferments from the military in order to complete high school and college — common during the Vietnam War — then upon graduation reported for service and was ultimately disqualified because he failed the physical examination.

Factcheck describes the ad as the nastiest they’ve seen so far this election cycle. Honestly, could it get any worse ?

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, Science & Technology, US Politics, , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held 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 contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Tom Napoles says:

    Man I love Grayson more everyday. There isn’t 1 lie in this ad Doug, bottom line is that Danny boy didn’t serve when asked even if it was legal.

    Want worse Doug? Try an ad when a chicken hawk war monger makes fun of a man that actually went to Nam and get both his legs and 1 arm blown off.

  2. Insinuating that he dodged his responsibility under the law is a lie.

    Not providing complete information in context is a lie.

    Having that come from an idiot blowhard who never put a uniform on himself is just more of the same BS that Grayson must’ve learned in law school.

  3. Michael says:

    Webster’s as big a dodger as DeLay, Cheney and Bush 43. Not that it matters. Grayson still holds the high ground because Webster would like to see the country go all the way back to it’s pre-revolution puritan roots. Or is it good news to the GOP that their candidate wants to force women and girls who are raped (mind you by either a family member or someone else) to have their rapist’s baby?Of course I’m sure Mr. Webster is a deficit hawk so we have no idea how he’d pay for the US Gov’t. to monitor every pregnancy in the country like it was China but ya know, more power to ya. Webster is just like the rest of the GOP this year. A bunch of religious zealots who masquerade as conservatives.

  4. Tano says:

    “Not providing complete information in context is a lie.”

    Thats kind of a self-defeating argument Doug. Because by that standard, every political ad ever made is a lie. Which then would make this ad no worse than any other. Which is not exactly your point.

  5. Michael says:

    It’s worse than that Tano. It would mean that almost everything Georgie Boy said during his 8 years is a lie and I’m somehow doubting the GOP wants to admit that.

    Just one example “Iraq met with Al Quaeda to discuss acquiring nuclear materials from Africa”. Without mentioning Osama and Saddam hated each other and Osama wouldn’t have gotten into bed with Saddam if his life depended on it. Strangely, Saddam’s did….

    Or how about how we’re building democracy in Iraq while also building the largest US embassy on foreign soil, without mentioning the no bid contract for said construction went to a company the VP was formerly part of and still getting deferred payments from? Need I go on?

  6. An Interested Party says:

    I’m sure Republicans hate it when their own playbook from the 2004 presidential election is used against one of their own…

  7. SteveCan says:

    Grayson is an incredible embarrassment to those living within a 50 mile radius of him … And what about the those DNA challenged folks that actually voted for him. As my daughter would say OMFG!

  8. Neil Hudelson says:

    That ad was sickening.


    Republicans use the “They did it first, so we can do it too!” argument against Democrats for awhile now (see: government spending). It makes them look foolish.

    Just as foolish as when you use that argument to defend this ad. Yes, Chamblis’s ad against Cleland was horrible, arguably more so than this ad (like comparing worm-ridden apples to other, slightly less worm-ridden apples), but that doesn’t make it ok for Grayson to stoop to this.

  9. Tom Napoles says:

    I’m sorry that this ad has offended Neil and Doug’s dainty, David Broder-ist sensibilities but I can’t worry too much about it. Politics may be a fun game for you guys but unfortunately for me it’s becoming a matter of life or death and I refuse to have my family destroyed by GOP/Neo-lib policies without a fight.

    Bottom line is Grayson has to connect to enough diaper wearing Fox watching fools to get re-elected in Orlando. If this helps then I’m all for it. If you can convince me otherwise fine, he shouldn’t stretch the truth like this.

    Sadly all this is probably too little too late as the Dems continue to show themselves as cowards no matter what Alan does 🙁

  10. Brummagem Joe says:

    Doug Mataconis says:
    Sunday, September 26, 2010 at 11:11

    “Not providing complete information in context is a lie.”

    You continue to astound me Doug. What planet do you live on. I’ve yet to see a election ad from either side that provides “complete information in context”…Are you seriously telling me that you have?

  11. Joe,

    Grayson called Webster a draft dodger.

    That is not just a lie, it is a vicious personal smear, and it’s typical of the trash that has come out of Grayson’s mouth from the day he arrived in Washington

    If you want to come out and say it’s okay for him to do it because he’s a Democrat and Webster is a Republican, that’s your choice.

    Just don’t pretend you have a sense of superiority the next time a Republican does the same thing.

  12. wr says:

    Doug — What Grayson said about the Republican approach to health care was entirely accurate. The fact the he didn’t play the game of pretending that of course the Rs were deeply concerned about the American people seems to drive you crazy for reasons I can’t understand.

    The Republican health plan boils down to be rich enough to pay for everything or die. What part of this is untrue?

  13. Tim says:

    For those that want to check the record and compare videos:

    Chambliss Cleland Attack Ad

  14. John Burgess says:

    As one who had his 1-Y classification (derived from a military pre-induction physical) converted to a 4-F, I’ll take exception to any inference that it constitutes ‘dodging’. It certainly wasn’t my unwillingness to go; it was the military’s unwillingness to take me.

    I found other ways to serve my country, but I’ll be damned if anyone is going to call me a ‘dodger’.

  15. MarkedMan says:

    It is a sleazy ad. Chambliss is a bigger sleaze. But the fact that a low-life scumbag like Chambliss is worse is hardly a defense of Grayson.

  16. John P says:

    Christ, and we wonder why people give Congress lower marks than used car salesmen. Doug is right, this is slander. Say what you will to make yourself feel better about why or how it was done but any justification just makes you look like an asshat.

    Besides, service in Vietnam? Fantastic counterpoint…next let’s nail the guy to the wall for his freshman comp paper on why Fidel Castro isn’t really such a bad guy.

    And Tom, if you’re on the edge of buying the subsidized farm based on policy decisions made by these jokers you really do have some major issues.