How To Undermine Your Party’s Most Convincing Argument In Two Easy Steps

Grayson

Congressman Alan Grayson and how to blow a hole through the party line. 

No matter what end of the political spectrum you’re on, there’s at least two truths in 2014. One – time is a flat circle. The second is that the Democratic messaging campaign focusing on the war on women has been one of the most wildly successful  of recent memory. Of course, it’s really easy to make that argument when Republicans are doing most of the work for you: whether they’re giving you DIY soundbites like “legitimate rape” or “God intended rape to happen“, deciding an election year is the perfect time for a massive push to roll back abortion laws, or boasting philandering hypocrites of epic proportions on the ticket like Sen. David Vitter and Congressman Scott DesJarlais, they are forever making it easier and easier to win that key demographic that boosted Obama to the presidency not once, but twice: women.

Florida Congressman Alan Grayson is, by all accounts, an extremely progressive Democrat. Returned to Congress last year, he’s been one of the most forceful populist voices on the left, with a Huey Long-like delivery and a knack for pissing off Republicans that liberals adore. He’s also embraced the war on women message, accepting the political reality that Republicans are throwing away the long game by still pushing issues near and dear to social conservatives.

But Grayson isn’t practicing what he’s preaching. Instead, he’s running a clinic on how to discredit this central and painless part of his party’s platform.

1. Call a high ranking female policy advisor a whore on national radio – In 2009, during his first stint in Congress, Grayson went on the Alex Jones show and called senior Federal Reserve adviser Linda Robertson a “K Street whore”, in reference to her time spent lobbying for legendary trainwreck Enron. This is, of course, pretty repulsive, no matter who the target is. Grayson apologized, but was later defeated in a landslide during the Tea Party wave of 2010. He returned to Congress in 2012.

2. Allegedly push your wife so hard she falls and gets a restraining order. – Grayson and his wife Lolita Grayson are currently going through a nasty divorce after 24 years of marriage. Allegedly, Grayson went to his wife’s house over the weekend in order to see his children and had a domestic dispute with her:

The Sentinel reports that her petition states that Rep. Grayson “showed up, unannounced” to their home and he asked to speak with her. She refused and asked him to leave. She then accuses the congressman of “deliberately and with force” pushing her “very hard against the front door, causing [her] to fall to the ground as a result,” the Sentinel reports.
Photos filed with the petition show bruises to her leg and shoulder, according to the Sentinel.
Grayson and his office completely denied the charges and are insinuating that his wife has gone off the deep end.
Grayson’s spokeswoman Lauren Doney called Lolita Grayson’s allegations “absolutely false, completely unfounded, and clearly designed to vilify and harm Congressman Grayson.”
She added that witnesses reject Lolita Grayson’s story calling it “an outright lie” and said “it was Ms. Grayson who physically attacked the Congressman as he attempted to visit with his children.” Lolita Grayson’s petition did mention that “in order to protect and defend herself,” she pushed the congressman’s face and kneed him in the stomach before calling 911, according to the Sentinel.
“Since filing for divorce, Ms. Grayson’s behavior has become increasingly erratic, and she has demonstrated an alarming disconnect from reality,” Doney’s statement continued.
I don’t generally like to participate in the gossip that the media seems to push every time a politician has something going on in his or her or their life. It’s a fact that everyone has problems and has low points on their lives, and we are all better than our worst moments; for example, I think that the piss poor media treatment of  Troy Radel should have focused on the hypocrisy of voting for drug testing for welfare recipients while using drugs, not shaming him for using them. But there’s a very real and obvious hypocrisy behind arguing that Republicans are waging a war on women while simultaneously putting yourself in positions where you’re subscribing to Don Draper-style misogyny. Yes, rolling back abortion laws and rejecting the idea of equal pay is a very real systemic problem, but being involved in domestic disputes and calling women whores? That’s something straight out of a 1940’s instructional movie. 
It’s incredibly disappointing that progressives can’t seem to find a member of Congress who embodies the conscience of the party without a lot of personal baggage to go along with it. Rep. Grayson, for all of his posturing, seemed to be the one liberal Congressman who was an answer to the Tea Party Caucus, an unabashed liberal with the same firebrand style that made Anthony Weiner a rising star before he saw his #downfall come via @Twitter. It’s a hard line to walk, especially when committed progressives and anti-war politicians like Dennis Kucinich are ostracized by the liberal establishment for being “wacky”, but in order for the Democrats to have a loud voice in the hard right conservative House, they’re going to need to figure it out.
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Photo – Flickr/Pablo Manriquez

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About Paul Blest

Paul Blest is an editor for the Political section of The Good Men Project. He writes about politics, music, culture and sports, and is a contributor to VICE/Noisey. Everything he learned about life, he learned from Howard Zinn, Propagandhi, and The West Wing.

Comments

  1. Wes Carr says:

    This is why I am a Libertarian. Both parties have repeatedly failed this country by ignoring the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights in favor of petty partisan bickering. In my lifetime I have seen 10 Presidents, two major recessions, six wars and numerous “police actions” And despite all the rhetoric from both sides nothing ever really changes.

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