Since his hateful comments on the floor of the House that the Republican health plan is, "Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly," freshman Representative Alan Grayson of Orlando has become MSNBC's favorite demagogue.
Grayson is pretty delighted with himself, too. Mistaking being on MSNBC for significant national television coverage, he has upped the ante with every speech on the floor, reveling in the guest shots it wins him on the liberal networks various gabfests. Even he must know that this is, at best, preaching to the choir—but when you consider the tiny audience MSNPC attracts, it could more accurately be described as preaching to the ensemble.
This would seem an odd approach for a guy who just rode Obama's coat tails into office in a district that has been Republican for 34 years. Most Democrats in such districts are moderates who couch their statements and watch their voting records to keep from alienating independents or squishy Republicans.
Grayson, too radical to hide it, is taking the opposite approach—get the base so fired up and get his name ID so high, that it brings in campaign contributions and fends off an effective Republican challenge. This would be such a misguided stretch as a strategy, that I can only think of one reasonable explanation—Alan Grayson is auditioning. He wants Keith Olbermann's $7 million a year gig for himself.
But while Grayson has made a major splash on MSNBC, it's only a ripple in the rest of the media—and generally registers as disapproval. He's so over the top that mainstream media outlets even use him as an example that the overheated rhetoric is on "both sides." Brian Williams, for instance, reported, "There is something about this health care debate that makes some people say the most incendiary things…"
If there were an Alan Grayson (way) off-Broadway show, here are the blurbs that would be included on the poster as positive reviews from the MSNBC unison chorus.
Ed Schultz: You are the most aggressive progressive that is out there!
Chris Matthews: You are a Martin Luther!
Lawrence O'Donnell: "Mr. Grayson goes to Washington… simple but powerful language and unapologetic passion has galvanized much of the Democratic grass roots."
Here are some of Grayson's latest smug lyrics—
"I'm speaking for everyone in the country."
"[Republicans] probably wish there was a Nobel Prize for fear… a Nobel Prize for hatred… a Nobel Prize for racism, then they would have won it."
"The people on the other side are foot-dragging, knuckle-dragging Neanderthals."
On Why Obama Deserves the Nobel Prize: "We're talking about 9 months of accomplishment to change the conversation that people in the world are having about each other. That's why he got the award."
On What a Sage He Is: "When I said on the floor of the house that if he brought about world peace, they would attack him for hurting the defense industry, I didn't know it was going to happen today. I am often proved right, but usually not this quickly."
Wow! Obama brought about world peace! I missed that.
Those notorious partisan Republicans at Saturday Night Live weren't buying this one: