Tuesday, September 28, 2010

No Gray Area

Alan Grayson isn’t shy about taking on his opponents.

Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson, an Orlando-area lawmaker who has employed flamboyant rhetoric against the GOP since winning office in 2008, is running an ad on broadcast and cable stations in central Florida that highlights state Sen. Dan Webster’s views on social issues. The ad says Webster would force women to carry to term a fetus resulting from rape and would bar abused women from seeking abortions, medical treatment or divorce.

“Daniel Webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us,” the announcer says. “Taliban Dan Webster — hands off our bodies and our laws.”


The ad cites votes from 1990 in favor of covenant marriage, which bars couples from divorcing except in the case of adultery.

The black-and-white ad also includes video of Webster reading a Bible passage: “Wives, submit yourself to your own husband. … She should submit to me. That’s in the Bible.”

Grayson, who won office two years with 52 percent in a district President George W. Bush carried in 2004, is one of the Democrats’ top incumbents to defend. But unlike other endangered House members, Grayson has neither cooled his rhetoric nor focused on the economic issues Democrats hope will help them defend majorities in Congress.

Instead, Grayson has delivered a string of fiery interviews and speeches, including one on the House floor several months ago describing the GOP health care plan as “don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.”

It’s actually not a lot different than some of the ads I saw running in South Florida put up by conservative groups against various candidates, although I have to say that “Taliban Dan” is a bit much. But then, there’s never been much about Alan Grayson to suggest he’d go for the subtle approach. He knows what gets his name out there — and on the blogs — and it works, obviously.