For the last two weeks the media has gorged on a non-stop litany of stories concerning the single most important issue facing our nation. Would that be the “unexpected” reports of almost non-existent private sector job growth and an economy that, despite Obama’s reassurances, may be on the brink of a double-dip recession? No. Is it Obama’s violation of the War Powers Act with our continued “kinetic military action” in Libya? Nuh-uh. Maybe it’s Sixth Circuit’s review of the ObamaCare case (nope) or the Federal Reserve’s warning that the political body must act responsibly in order to stave off an economic collapse? Wrong again.
Based on the 24-hour saturation in the news cycle and the sheer number of stories written and aired, clearly the most important issue facing our nation is that a skinny New Yorker with an incredibly overinflated sense of his own worth had to finally admit, after days of vehement protests to the contrary, that it was indeed he who sent the lewd photographs of his genitalia, as well as sexually charged and explicit texts, to college-aged women. These women, who include a porn star, are young enough to be his daughters.
And so unravels the scandal of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), possibly the most obnoxious and arrogant member of Congress now that former Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) was defeated in the last election. Weiner, considered a rising star in the Democrat Party and a likely candidate to be the next mayor of New York, instead is tearfully admitting to the nation his indiscretions which have been going on for several years, and with at least a half dozen women. Watching his fall from glory, a Brooklyn-born Icarus plummeting towards earth, the proverbial wax of his wings melted by his own flaming ego, it is hard not to feel just a little sorry for him…at least until you remember that these indiscretions occurred both before and after his marriage to his wife Huma, who is now pregnant.
Denial. It’s not a river in Egypt.
Still, as President Obama and D.C.’s majority legislative leadership strain our belief in a rational governing and representative body, it’s difficult to deny that something has gone terribly awry.
Not to belabor a point so many have made over the last year – and in some cases, decade(s) - but these Democrats don’t seem so concerned with my ability to access affordable, adequate health care as they do their ability to decide without me just what exactly defines adequate, affordable and accessible care.
So I’d like to report that their collective voice raised so stridently on my behalf (declaring as they do my “right” to all the government largesse they propose to provide) no longer has the power to shock my libertarian sensibilities. Yet day after day I find myself wondering how these men and women, whose primary attribute seems to indicate an infinite willingness to pretend two and two equals zero, were ever elected in the first place.
And therein lies the rub.
The Alan Graysons, Nancy Pelosis, John Lewises, Charlie Rangels, Harry Reids and other idealogical heirs to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy were all elected by the people and for the people. We may not like what they’re doing but someone voted for them just as they did Obama.
How did it happen? Good question and one with a plethora of philosophical and political answers. But the most important reason is too close to home for comfort. Thus, we can continue to play the blame game, or we can stop denying the unpalatable truth.
Hoping he can manage to get a favorable district during reapportionment, Alan Grayson, who was fired by the voters of Florida’s Eighth Congressional District last year, announced yesterday that he will make another go of it in 2012:
WFTV learned on Monday that former U.S. Congressman Alan Grayson is running for office again.
On Monday, Grayson said he doesn’t plan to do anything different. He said he’s running again because of all the people who have reached out and asked him to. Grayson already raised nearly $100,000 in donations before filing his paperwork on Monday.
“We need somebody who’s gonna stick up for what’s right. Somebody with guts,” Grayson said.
Grayson said his approach this time around depends on the circumstances, but for the sake of supporters who sent him donations before he announced he’s running again, he said he has no plans to hold back.
“We’re fighting for our survival. We’re fighting for our jobs, our homes. We’re fighting for Social Security and Medicare,” said Grayson.
Grayson may not be running for his old seat with redistricting under way right now, he may end up running for a newly created seat for Orlando. It’s still to early to know who he will be running against.
We’re hearing pundits talk about whether or not politicians “get it,” referring to last week’s election results. Well, outgoing Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) apparently didn’t get the message voters in Florida’s Eighth Congressional sent to him:
Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) today left open the possibility of one day running for office again despite being defeated by an 18-point margin last week.
“It’s too early to say,” Grayson said on ABC News’ online show “Top Line.”
“But I do understand that the voters have decided to give someone else a chance for a while, and I’m going to have to find another way to be useful.”
“These are things I don’t want to waste. I don’t want that to atrophy,” he said.
Dude, they’re just not into you.
In the latest poll from Florida’s Eighth Congressional District, Daniel Webster is maintaining a seven point lead over Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, a controversial freshman who has hurt himself by running misleading and false ads about his opponent:
- Webster: 48%
- Grayson: 41%
- Other: 5%
- Undecided: 5%
Webster leads among independents, 48% to 33%, and viewed more favorably, 47/33, than Grayson, who is viewed unfavorably by 55% of voters in the district. But here is the kicker from the poll:
Since the Sunshine State News Poll shows Webster’s margin widening to 11 points among voters who say they are most likely to cast ballots (51-40), [Voter Survey Service President Jim] Lee projected that the Republican could top 50 percent on election night.
The seat has been viewed as a likely GOP pick-up for sometime, but even if the GOP doesn’t take the House and Alan Grayson loses, I’d be happy.
House Republican challengers continue to show impressive fundraising strength in the final stretch of the election, with 34 of the 56 most vulnerable House Democrats getting outraised by their Republican challengers, from October 1-13.
The late fundraising tallies are another sign that the Republican momentum is only growing, and the party’s momentum is being reflected in a surge of grassroots donations to GOP challengers.
As always, some Republican numbers jump off the page. Republican Kristi Noem (S.D.) continued her furious fundraising pace, hauling in $275,000 in her challenge to Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D). Herseth Sandlin only reported raising a mere $59,000. Noem now has double what the congresswoman has in the bank for the final stretch — $502,000 to $225,000, respectively. That’s an ominous sign for Herseth-Sandlin’s re-election prospects.
Democratic firebrand and fundraising dynamo Alan Grayson (Fla). was outraised by former state Sen. Daniel Webster (R), who has been a poor fundraiser thus far. Webster raised $395,000 in the first two weeks of October, while Grayson reported having raised $295,000 — but that included a $95,000 loan. Grayson still has a $814,000 to $340,000 cash on hand advantage.
House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank’s (D-Mass.) challenger, Republican Sean Bielat raised a stunning $654,000 in the two weeks, more than doubling Frank’s tally.
Down in Florida’s Eighth Congressional District, the Orlando Sentinel has endorsed Dan Webster over Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), the truth-challenged, stunningly arrogant freshman:
In only two years in the U.S. House, representing a district that runs north from Celebration into Orange, Lake and Marion counties, Mr. Grayson has become nationally notorious for his over-the-top attacks on Republicans. Who could forget these greatest hits? He declared that the GOP health plan was for Americans to “die quickly” if they get sick. He used a vulgar acronym to say that former Vice President Dick Cheney should shut up. He called Republicans “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.”
He has kept up this scorched-earth approach in his re-election campaign, branding Mr. Webster “Taliban Dan” and “a draft dodger” in a couple of ads. Independent fact-checking organizations have judged those ads as false. So have we.
Mr. Grayson’s antics are not merely an embarrassment to himself and his district. They deepen the partisan divide that has left Congress almost dysfunctional.
In sharp contrast to Mr. Grayson, Mr. Webster was a Republican state legislator for nearly three decades whose civility and statesmanship earned him the admiration of Democrats. He wasn’t just a nice guy; he was effective. He played a leading role in raising education standards, reforming welfare and opening lawmaking to more public scrutiny. During his term as House speaker, Republicans and Democrats agreed to a statewide expansion of Healthy Families, a successful program to prevent child abuse and neglect.
The outright false and negative ads Rep. Alan Grayson is running (D-FL) against Dan Webster aren’t working. According to a Shineshine State News poll, he is trailing his Republican opponent by 7 points.
- Webster: 43%
- Grayson: 36%
- Other: 9%
- Undecided: 9%
The poll also shows that independents are running away from Grayson:
Digging deeper, the numbers look even worse for Grayson as 51 percent of respondents said they had an unfavorable view of the Orlando-area congressman. “Grayson has real problems here,” said Jim Lee, president of Voter Survey Service, which conducted the poll for Sunshine State News.
“He’s even more unpopular than the president, which is not surprising given how controversial he has been with his rhetoric, overall style and TV ads.”
Lee added, “It’s fascinating that both Grayson and the president have virtually the same image (a positive/negative ratio of 34/51), but Grayson is actually disliked more by independents (36/47 favorable/unfavorable) while Obama is only 36/37.”
While giving the commencement speech at the University of Michigan back in May, President Barack Obama discussed the state of political discourse in the country:
Obama was direct in urging both sides in the political debate to tone it down. “Throwing around phrases like ‘socialists’ and ‘Soviet-style takeover,’ ‘fascists’ and ‘right-wing nut’ — that may grab headlines,” he said. But it also “closes the door to the possibility of compromise. It undermines democratic deliberation,” he said.
Passionate rhetoric isn’t new, he acknowledged. Politics in America, he said, “has never been for the thin-skinned or the faint of heart. … If you enter the arena, you should expect to get roughed up.”
Political discourse could be improved, but this is how it has always been in our country, and it has been much worse at various times, such as the Election of 1800 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson and the Civil War.
But if President Obama was serious about raising the level of discourse, he probably shouldn’t say things like this:
Fox News pushes “a point of view that I disagree with. It’s a point of view that I think is ultimately destructive for the long-term growth of a country that has a vibrant middle class and is competitive in the world,” Obama said.
“But as an economic enterprise, it’s been wildly successful. And I suspect that if you ask Mr. Murdoch what his number one concern is, it’s that Fox is very successful.”