If you've been following US political news in the past week, you are probably already familiar with this story...
Last week, US Representative Alan Grayson (D, Orlando, Florida) responded to the "bitch slap" theory of politics as effectively as I have yet seen it done in the health care debate in Congress--with a one-two punch not only to Republicans, but to Conservative Democrats as well. And A-fucking-men, man. It's about damn time someone did.
The bitch-slap theory of politics (technically the Republican Bitch Slap Theory of Politics) by the by is a theory first written about by Josh Marshall on Talking Points Memo in 2004
, describing what's come to be known as the "Swift-Boating" of Sen. John Kerry's presidential election bid, and it goes something like this--you attack your political opponent, and if they do not defend themselves (and I mean come out swinging), then they look weak in the eyes of both supporters and non-supporters, and you gain political advantage. Historically, the Republican party has done this more effectively than Democrats, as a rule. The attack itself does not even have to be accurate, and often is not--it is the willingness or unwillingness to defend oneself that seems to stand out in the electorate's mind.
This past August and into this fall we have watched (yet again) as the Republican machine has bitch-slapped proponets of health care reform right and left, and many a progressive has watched in frustration as Democrats have taken licks and offered up compromise after compromise on this issue. Last week, instead of compromise, Grayson offered up some fight.
Exhibit A: ( Collapse )
"The Republican health care plan for America: Don't get sick. That's right, don't get sick. If you have insurance, don't get sick. If you don't have insurance, don't get sick. If you're sick, don't get sick....but it's not quite a foolproof plan so the backup plan in case you do get sick, If you do get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly. "
This lead to predictable hand wringing and calls for him to apologize by some members of the Republican party, to which Grayson responded with even more fire, this time targeting not just Republicans but those in his own party who seem to be missing the point.
Exhibit B: ( Collapse )
To wrap up, here's some context on the fellow speaking. From Wikipedia
: Grayson was born in the Bronx, NY, and grew up in tenements. He graduated from Bronx High School of Science
and worked his way through Harvard University
, graduating in three years, summa cum laude
and Phi Beta Kappa
. He then began graduate studies and simultaneously, in the next four years, earned a law degree with honors from Harvard Law School
, a masters in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government
and completed the course work and passed the general exams for a Ph.D in government...
Grayson was employed as a law clerk at the Colorado Supreme Court in 1983, and at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals from 1984 to 1985, where he worked with such judges as Abner Mikva, Robert Bork, and two judges who later joined the U.S. Supreme Court: Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia....
In recent years, Grayson specialized in war profiteer and whistleblower cases aimed at Iraq war contractors that had overbilled the U.S. government by tens of millions of dollars...
He is only the 2nd Democrat to represent his district since it's creation; Orlando and this area of Southern Florida is historically conservative, and Grayson ran as an openly progressive candidate in the last election.
Ah, it's nice to see some real progressive politics in the House once more.