Well, it’s official, because the New York Times said it: Rep. Alan Grayson is “the liberal Democrat that Republicans love to hate.”
“The Old Gray Lady,” as the New York Times sometimes is called, imparted that revelation last week, in an article about House Democrats who have been successful in coaxing Republican support for amendments on the Floor of the House. Maybe the entire article should have been about Alan; he has done it far more than anyone else.
And – whoops, there it is! – Alan did it again last week. He passed two amendments in the House: one that seriously punishes federal contractors who commit crimes, and a second that ups the federal appropriation for free tax assistance for seniors by 50%.
Oh, and Alan also held the Republicans’ feet to that clear blue flame by doing something that no one else had figured out how to do for the past four years: force a House vote on a federal minimum wage increase. Every single House Republican voted against the increase. Which reveals the House Republicans to the electorate as the callous corporate tools that they really are. Take THAT, GOP.
RELATED: A Democrat With a Spine.
So how is it that Rep. Alan Grayson is able to win vote after vote for progressive causes in the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party House of Representatives? Is it his charm? No. Is it his good looks? Definitely not.
Nope, what it comes down to is this: Alan Grayson is able to craft progressive amendments that are just enough appealing to just enough Republicans to win. Hence the headline in the New York Timesarticle: “Liberals and Libertarians Find Common Ground in House.”
So why is Alan “the liberal Democrat that Republicans love to hate”? Because he wins, without compromising his progressive principles. Because he wins, without kissing up to them.
Because he wins. God, how they hate that.
What Rep. Alan Grayson is trying to do, what Team Grayson are trying to do, is to demonstrate something very simple: You can be a progressive, and you can win.
In New York, Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s favorable approval rating is approaching two-to-one. (And believe me, New Yorkers are a very tough audience. Fuhgeddaboudit.) Why? Because Mayor DeBlasio promised New Yorkers paid sick leave and universal pre-kindergarten programs, and then . . . DeBlasio delivered paid sick leave and universal pre-kindergarten programs.
Get it? You can be a progressive, and you can win. Not just in elections, but in real life. Which is what it’s all about.
So when a Congressman With Guts hears from the New York Times that he is the liberal Democrat whom the Republicans love to hate, his reaction is the same as FDR’s was: “I welcome their hatred.”
When we win, and the GOP loses, they hate that. So be it. Because our whole future is at stake, and we have to win. We have to win.
“This ain’t no party.
This ain’t no disco.
This ain’t no fooling around.
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey.
I ain’t got time for that now.”
- Talking Heads, “Life During Wartime” (1979).