This one's a keeper!
November 5, 2009 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Representative Alan Grayson (Dem- Florida) has recently been supporting the Democrats health care plan. Well, 'support' is an understatement. His first speech on the subject outlined the Republicans plan: "Don't get sick. And if you do, die quickly." After mass outrage from the GOP, Grayson made an apology, but not to the GOP. Instead, he apologized to the 44,000 Americans who die each year due to lack of insurance. Yesterday, Grayson took the floor and named the number of people expected to die in each Republican representative district. This time, the Republicans tried to stop him.
posted by Taft (169 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
This guy is a douche bag.

This does nothing to further any reasonable debate. He's doing it so he can raise funds from outside his conservative-leaning district and have a fighting chance at re-election.

Might as well be screaming "you lie" at a joint session of congress..
posted by rulethirty at 3:31 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


That was pretty anticlimactic, actually. Grayson is the only person miked, so he has a brief back-and-forth with a mumbling voice from off-camera. I'd like to know exactly what procedure was invoked to cut him off. Is there a transcript anywhere?
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:33 PM on November 5, 2009


He seems to be only member of the Democratic Party willing to stand up to lying right-wingers. It's a shame that Republicans keep gaming the system to keep folks like him from being able to represent his constituents.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:33 PM on November 5, 2009 [25 favorites]


He should apologize for that comb-forward.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:33 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Reasonable debate? The Republicans just encouraged a bunch of teabaggers to invade Capitol Hill today and intimidate members of congress into voting against reform. Some of them were arrested after breaking into Nancy Pelosi's office, others were arrested for screaming at reps and senators in the halls.
posted by stavrogin at 3:35 PM on November 5, 2009 [37 favorites]


This guy is a douche bag.

Eh.. I disagree, and it's a bit ironic that your way of communicating that Grayson isn't furthering any debate is by calling him a douche bag.

Here's a nytimes article that explains Grayson's style.
posted by pwally at 3:36 PM on November 5, 2009 [37 favorites]


Might as well be screaming "you lie" at a joint session of congress..

No, Grayson gave a speech, Joe Wilson was being a heckler.
posted by Taft at 3:36 PM on November 5, 2009 [37 favorites]


This does nothing to further any reasonable debate.

As everyone in the Congress knows, it's wholly unreasonable to bring up the impact of legislation on anyone who isn't incorporated in Delaware. That way lies the dread spectre of populism, which is bad because people might get to thinking the government ought to do things for them — see, totally unreasonable!
posted by enn at 3:41 PM on November 5, 2009 [29 favorites]


I'm all for what his position and angle, but I can't help but wonder if it is serving any purpose at this point. Do we even need to play this game at this stage of the debate?
posted by Think_Long at 3:41 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seems to me to be just about the only democrat with the balls to stand up to the nut jobs that have taken control of the Republican party. If all the dems had his huevos, a lot more would get done.
posted by conifer at 3:41 PM on November 5, 2009 [24 favorites]


We could use a few more douche bags like that.
posted by brundlefly at 3:47 PM on November 5, 2009 [61 favorites]


He's doing it so he can raise funds from outside his conservative-leaning district and have a fighting chance at re-election.

Isn't he the twelfth wealthisest congressman?

I enjoy watching the guy, more so because there's now a scholar with some balls in the house, but what legislation if any has he sponsored that has been enacted, aside from 167 co-sponsorships?

H.R. 2245: New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act


To authorize the President, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the historic and first lunar landing by humans in 1969, to award gold medals on behalf of the United States Congress to Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon; Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., the pilot of the lunar module and second person to walk on the moon; Michael Collins, the pilot of their Apollo 11 mission's command module; and, the first American to orbit the Earth, John Herschel Glenn, Jr.

And here are the four enacted bills he's co-sponsored:

H.R. 1271: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2351 West Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach, Florida, as the "Elijah Pat Larkins Post Office Building".

H.R. 2470: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 19190 Cochran Boulevard FRNT in Port Charlotte, Florida, as the "Lieutenant Commander Roy H. Boehm Post Office Building".

H.R. 621: Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act

H.R. 1243: To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf.

Big hat. No cattle, Mr. Grayson.
posted by jsavimbi at 3:47 PM on November 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


He might need to moderate his style a little bit, but since he's one of the few Democrats with enough spine to but the Republicans on the defensive for a change, I tend to applaud him a lot more than I wince. As long as he's staying close to the facts, I'm cool with it.

The folks outside the capitol today comparing Healthcare Reform to Dachau really have no room to complain about Grayson's tactics.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:48 PM on November 5, 2009 [21 favorites]


I'd like to know exactly what procedure was invoked to cut him off. Is there a transcript anywhere?

From the House rules [pdf]:

"12. (a) To suspend the business of the House for a short time when no question is pending before the House, the Speaker may declare a recess subject to the call of the Chair."

Basically, there was no actual voting or debate going on, and whoever was standing in for the Speaker (I didn't recognize him) used Rule 12(a) to declare a recess, effectively ending Grayson's speech.
posted by jedicus at 3:50 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


stav, I went down to that rally during lunch today. Craziness--lots of angry, angry people, though I did get a few Dunkin' Donuts jelly-filled doughnut holes.
posted by MrMoonPie at 3:50 PM on November 5, 2009


It's about time a democrat brought a gun to the gunfight. I applaud him.
posted by thedanimal at 3:51 PM on November 5, 2009 [18 favorites]


I like him, just for having the right amount of contempt in his speeches for the people trying to tell him he's being rude. Speaking the truth is rude? Well, count me out of the polite party.

The comment about the "K street whore"? Completely justified. I swear the revolving door between private and public needs to have a light shone on it 24/7. I really don't think people get that having people who used to work as special interest lobbyists in positions of power in public service is not exactly a winning combination. It calls into question the purpose of government. They're supposed to be enemies, duking it out, not chums, trading name cards and glad-handng legislation to help out their old officemates. Would Elliot Ness go work for Halliburton? Seriously. There has to be a separation there.

It's like journalism. It's supposed to be a loss leader. It's boring, staid and monotonous. It's not flash and sizzle and gotcha's. Watergate wasn't broken by Wolf Blitzer, it was by 2 guys in the news room of the Washington Post, who didn't really have name recognition until it blew the lid off a Presidency.

Sigh. The world is backwards and all fucked up, and the only thing people can think to say to someone who is actually fighting for something worth fighting for is "don't be so rude".

Sorry, I'm going to go find a nice mountain to sit on for a few years.
posted by daq at 3:51 PM on November 5, 2009 [23 favorites]


H.R. 1243: To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his amazing iced tea.

FTFY
posted by Taft at 3:52 PM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


jsavimbi:
He's a junior congressman, in his first term. He took his seat this year. Meaning he just got to Washington. You can't exactly expect him to have a record if he's been there for only a few months.
posted by daq at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


Grayson is the Democrats' answer to Michelle Bachmann and I can't say I approve. Now I know most of us agree with Grayson's sentiments, I know I do, but he is a Congressman. He was elected to take care of business and antics like this turn what should be business into personal fights.

It could be argued that the Republicans are doing it and so should the Democrats to keep an even playing field. But this doesn't work in the long run. All Grayson will end up doing is legitimizing the wingnuts by giving them something to play against. Look at the example of O'Reilly and Olbermann. Before Olbermann it was difficult for a Republican to argue about O'Reilly. They really had to defend his actions. After Olbermann all they had to do was say that the left and the right both do it so its not a big deal.

Granted, Grayson's over the top comments are NO WHERE near as crazy as Bachmann's and the rest of the right wing nut jobs out there but no one on the right and possibly the center will see it that way. Now everyone has two different sides to look at and say, "All politicians are children. Government will never solve any problems with people like that." Which of course is what the right wants everyone to think.
posted by Glibpaxman at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


He deserves your support for calling out these Republicans out as disingenuous hucksters. More Dems need to take the gloves off and call a duck a duck.
posted by porn in the woods at 3:55 PM on November 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


in recognition of his amazing iced tea

Amazing it is not. I don't drink it, neither homemade nor the humongous $.99 48oz. Arizona Iced Tea cans. Just give me the Southern Iced Tea flavor, please. I'm talking to you, Ted's Market.
posted by jsavimbi at 3:58 PM on November 5, 2009


Might as well be screaming "you lie" at a joint session of congress..

This is not the case. First, as Taft pointed out, when Joe Wilson yelled "you lie" during the joint session of congress he was interrupting someone whose turn it was to speak. In contrast, when Alan Grayson makes his incendiary comments it is always during his own turn to speak. This is an important difference. Second, when Joe Wilson yelled "you lie" during the joint session of congress he was, if not lying himself, at least being fundamentally dishonest. The degree to which the proposed health care reforms might or might not provide coverage to illegal immigrants is a matter on which reasonable minds could differ, but Obama's statement was not a lie and Wilson knew it. In contrast, Grayson is being fundamentally honest with his arguments. They may be made in an impolite way, but the fact is that the Republican stonewalling of reform is killing people. Furthermore, their proposed plan does basically amount to the "don't get sick or at least die quickly" proposal that Grayson is talking about.

It's not wrong to call an asshole out when they're actually behaving like an asshole. Or in this case, a group of assholes.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 3:58 PM on November 5, 2009 [29 favorites]


Here is his website. He's got a .doc file with the list of deaths by congress district.
posted by oddman at 3:59 PM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


I really can't see where people are comfortable equating Grayson with Bachmann. Bachmann spouts off extremely looney tunes lies. Grayson argues facts. Provable facts.

1) the Republicans have not submitted a single bill or proposal for healthcare reform.
2) the Republicans have lied about what healthcare reform would mean (see anything Bachmann has said publicly for the past several months)
3) Grayson sited statistical figures of how many people would die in each Republican district due to lack of health insurance.

It's not like he's making some kind of outlandish claim here. It's not outlandish that the Republicans don't have any answers for health care reform. The Republicans have pretty much stated "things are just fine the way they are". 1 + 1 = 2, doesn't it?

How is that the same? How is that at all even remotely related? Great, he goes on TV and repeats what he's said on the floor. Nifty, some of the left leaning journalist and pundits applaud him. How does that make him a wingnut again?
posted by daq at 4:04 PM on November 5, 2009 [35 favorites]


The facts make me look like an asshole! STOP TELLING THE TRUTH ABOUT ME GODDAMMIT!
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:07 PM on November 5, 2009 [23 favorites]


You can't exactly expect him to have a record if he's been there for only a few months.

Well, he sure is on a self-promotional roll for the short time he's been there. Again, I appreciate the effort he's put into confronting the clowns that permeate the place, but handing out shiny trinkets is one thing, enacting legislation is another. And when a man draws attention to himself with little to back it up, he's going to be labeled an attention whore, and that doesn't help the people in the long run.
posted by jsavimbi at 4:08 PM on November 5, 2009


Granted, Grayson's over the top comments are NO WHERE near as crazy as Bachmann's and the rest of the right wing nut jobs out there but no one on the right and possibly the center will see it that way.

No, that's not the difference. The difference is that his comments are not even a little bit crazy. It is not crazy to draw attention to the cost in lives of a particular health care policy. If it's incendiary, it's only because the situation is incendiary.
posted by enn at 4:08 PM on November 5, 2009 [19 favorites]


Grayson is the Democrats' answer to Michelle Bachmann and I can't say I approve.

Your comment was the falses answer to equivalency, and you yourself seem to admit it in your second paragraph. I'm sort of tired of people comparing a liberal apple to a rotten Republican orange because both have dramatic speaking styles. Bachmann is wrong on issues -- and I don't mean her viewpoint is wrong, I mean she has her facts demonstratively wrong. She's also a recolutionary who earnestly believes liberals are the enemy and is actively trying to incite full-scale rebellion against them, as demonstrated by her March on Washington today.

Unless Grayson is anything like that, please try to compare him to something he is actually like. Because, unless his facts were wrong today, he was making a point that needs making -- people are dying from lack of health care, and they are dying in the districts of the people who are supposed to represent them.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:09 PM on November 5, 2009 [31 favorites]


It is about goddamn time that we finally started hitting the GOP back. I only wish that Harry Reid would call it the "Healthcare for Patriotic Americans who live in the Greatest Country in the World Act".
posted by mark242 at 4:10 PM on November 5, 2009 [11 favorites]


Not speaking of Grayson in particular - but it's refreshing to have someone on your side who knows how to kick shins. As long as s/he doesn't lie, I can't say I'm opposed. This turning the other cheek is fine in Sunday School (as long as you don't turn the wrong cheek to the wrong priest), but it hasn't worked for shit in politics. Instead, what has worked is a bit of a bite - FDR, Johnson etc. Not Carter - wonderful man though he was/is. You are in a fight for your life. The other guy has a gun, and he's proven he'll use it. Now what? You are welcome to turn your cheek. Me - I'm shootin' with both barrels. The Dems have soft shoed long enough, and what did it get them? Looks like it didn't take long, and the Repubs are back winning elections. Time to get some steel in your spine.
posted by VikingSword at 4:12 PM on November 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


Grayson is also an End The Fed conspiracy theory guy. I don't like him, and his fans are making it hard to read dailykos.
posted by empath at 4:18 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the "Don't get sick, or die quickly" shtick was a bit tacky. Intelligent debate is that the Republicans do have at least the outlines of a plan, but their plan just isn't very good. They think deregulation will bring down prices, although it probably wouldn't work, as health care is an oligarchy under the current system. It's not like he was lying, but you're not going to really change anyone's mind with that tactic.

However, I do like how he said how many people will die in the Republican districts. Gives the people against reform something tangible to answer to, and it's the kind of thing we need more of in politics. With so much NIMBYism and me-first in this country, it's good to show how national issues do hit home.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:21 PM on November 5, 2009


And when a man draws attention to himself with little to back it up, he's going to be labeled an attention whore, and that doesn't help the people in the long run.

You know this is Congress we're talking about, right? Filled with politicians? Calling a congressman an attention whore is like saying water is wet.

And this congressman is backing it up, with actual facts instead of made-up rhetorical scaremongering.
posted by rtha at 4:22 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


He's an attention whore. He's found out that lobbing bombs gets him headlines, love from the netroots, and (most importantly) donations. He's just going to keep ramping up the incendiary dialogue until he finally sticks his foot in it and the House leadership has to tell him to sit down and shut up. He's like Keith Olbermann or Glenn Greenwald, only he's not a pundit, he's an elected representative. He ought to act like it.
posted by EarBucket at 4:24 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, he sure is on a self-promotional roll for the short time he's been there. Again, I appreciate the effort he's put into confronting the clowns that permeate the place, but handing out shiny trinkets is one thing, enacting legislation is another. And when a man draws attention to himself with little to back it up, he's going to be labeled an attention whore, and that doesn't help the people in the long run.


This smacks of concern trolling to me... sorry...

Fact is, he's taking the gloves off... for too long, Dems have hidden behind the apron of politeness, while the GOP has roughed 'em up for their milk money. Glad to see someone willing to throw down.
posted by stenseng at 4:25 PM on November 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


Did he just divide by the number of people in the district, or did he actually do some analysis to determine the number. It would be a lot lower for a district in MA then it would for one in Mississippi, even with an equal number of people.

As far as Grayson goes, he is a bit of a loudmouth. I don't think referring to deaths due to a lack of insurance as a 'holocaust' is very effective as a rhetoric. Pro-lifers use that term too and I don't think its really working for them either. There's a difference between not helping someone who's sick and gassing them.

On the other hand, calling former Enron lobbyist and current advisory to Ben Bernanke Linda Robertson a K-Street Whore is actually pretty funny.
posted by delmoi at 4:29 PM on November 5, 2009


Yeah, casual misogyny is hilarious.
posted by EarBucket at 4:30 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Anyway right-wingers have plenty of bomb throwers among their ranks, like Steve King, Virginia Foxx and of course Michelle Bachman.
posted by delmoi at 4:32 PM on November 5, 2009


What he has done is make concrete the madness that is our health care industry--it has for too long remained an abstraction--a public option, overall costs and so forth. When you talk about daily deaths because of lack of health care, you are bringing the discussion down to eearth. One comment badmouthed him for raising money for reelection. Well what he is doing is better that, say, Lieberman, who gets money from insurance industry and his wife, who gets money as Phar lobbyist.

When conservatives rant and rave, that seems acceptable. Now though...
posted by Postroad at 4:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


And when a man draws attention to himself with little to back it up, he's going to be labeled an attention whore, and that doesn't help the people in the long run.

He's got a law degree from Harvard , a masters in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Ph.D. in government. He can back it up. He's knowledgeable and eloquent. Grayson is a breath of fresh air. We need more Dems like him.
posted by wsg at 4:33 PM on November 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


I think I see why the Dems are such losers every time a debate comes up: by all appearances, even "lefty liberal MeFi socialists" don't want anyone to aggressively speak the truth or demand accountability.

Meanwhile, the Republicans can pull any amount of nasty shit, including flat out lying and get a pass.

Fuck that noise. Rip 'em all a new one, Grayson: fight their fire with fire, and leave no survivors. It's time to put a stop to right-wing idiocy.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:34 PM on November 5, 2009 [46 favorites]


Its fine to speak facts when others will actually listen to them. I predict that Grayson will soon become a caricature. Grayson is going to be an excellent fundraising machine and base booster for the Dems but he will not alter the frame of the debate at all. In fact he will probably reinforce it.
posted by Glibpaxman at 4:38 PM on November 5, 2009


Anyway right-wingers have plenty of bomb throwers among their ranks, like Steve King, Virginia Foxx and of course Michelle Bachman.

Of course they do. I'm just not sure that the solution is to become just like them. Barack Obama won a sweeping victory a year ago by being measured, rational, and intelligent, not by using ridiculous hyperbole. The American people aren't idiots, and you don't have to talk to them like they are in order to win elections.
posted by EarBucket at 4:39 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Act like an elected representative? Pray tell, what does that entail? I certainly hope you have a specific, very dignified archetype in mind. Otherwise you are throwing up a huge strawman. Do you mean the Buchanan model of a politician? Someone who can be bought? Or perhaps a zealot, one with a mission and a true agenda? Or perhaps you mean a "proper statesman", like they have in the history books. You know, like Thomas Jefferson or perhaps James Madison. Or Abraham Lincoln. Those guys never said things that were deemed controversial.

I swear, sometimes we really do get what we deserve. And sadly, it's being fucked over by the status quo.
posted by daq at 4:39 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


He's like Keith Olbermann or Glenn Greenwald, only he's not a pundit, he's an elected representative. He ought to act like it.

I'm sorry, but what do these men have in common, besides being liberal and unapologetic about things you apparently disagree with?
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:40 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


Rachel Maddow interviews Rep. Grayson. (09/30/09)
posted by netbros at 4:40 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, but what do these men have in common, besides being liberal and unapologetic about things you apparently disagree with?

Oh, come on. My liberal bona fides on Metafilter are as good as anybody's. What they have in common is absurd, smug hyperbole that makes it impossible for me to listen to them for more than a few minutes at a stretch, despite the fact that I agree with them on almost every issue.
posted by EarBucket at 4:43 PM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Grayson's tactics may be incendiary, but that's what we need right now.

Yesterday I was picking up a prescription at my local pharmacy. I couldn't help but overhear a conversation between the pharmacist and an elderly man:

Pharmacist: Do you know you're in your coverage gap right now?
Elderly man: What's that?
Pharmacist: Your insurance only pays up to a certain amount, and you're over it. You have to pay out of pocket until January.

The man's prescription was two hundred dollars. He didn't fill it. I don't know what he needed, but considering his age, he probably really needed it. But he didn't have an extra two hundred bucks lying around.

This is the kind of thing that shouldn't happen, ever, to anyone. But who's going to pay him any mind, other than me? The pharmacist was just doing her job. The insurance company won't pay. Since he has coverage, he doesn't qualify for the programs that allow pharmacies to sell prescription drugs at a discount.

Right now we need people like Grayson to tell us the truth, whether we want to hear it or not.
posted by brina at 4:43 PM on November 5, 2009 [21 favorites]


Only in a lunatic right-wing dominated, corporate controlled nuthatch of a country would pointing out that people are dying for lack of insurance be called "incendiary" and "doing nothing to further the debate [on health insurance reform, for crying out loud]".

Which leads us to this thread.
posted by DU at 4:43 PM on November 5, 2009 [31 favorites]


His presentation was also featured in the latest Auto-tune the News.
posted by knave at 4:44 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


“Big hat. No cattle, Mr. Grayson.”

Are you even aware, sirrah, of Mr. Arnold Palmer’s contribution to the field of hybrid beverage creation resulting in 1/2 iced tea and 1/2 lemonade? (I won’t even go into the sacrifice of launching his bleeding head.) The man deserves medals aplenty. About time someone had the balls to (co-co-co-co-co-co-co-sponsor a bill) give him one.

Grayson, meh.

Sometimes I see parents argue with their petulant kids. Saying ‘no, you can’t have this toy’ or ‘you have to come here now’ and cajole them, threaten, whatever.
I don’t do that. And my kids have found it’s pointless to dissemble, unless they have some tangible realistic contrasting issue (have to go potty, etc.) which I do give validation to. Can’t go to the doctor right now if you have to pee, sure. So let’s go pee. But we ARE going.
I find this situation somewhat analogous. There can be a fine line between clarifying in order to achieve a goal and arguing with petulant children.

The GOP at this point has no core cause. I suspect the dems would be better served illustrating that, rather than taking the child on at their own level.

/rant
(I eschewed counterinsurgency analogies there – but right now that’s where the GOP is – they have a weak insurgency style platform predicated on creating artificial problems. This can be successful, e.g. the Chinese communists ‘land to the tiller’ all that. But they have no national consensus, which is why they co-opted so much of the bureaucracy in the last administration. And, although ‘land reform’ worked for the communists in china, it completely failed for the Hukbalahaps (Nenitas aside) when the government said ‘ok, howzabout some land?’ the fighting went on of course, but from that point on the cause was gone and so public support drained (the excesses and crimes in the COIN campaign, all the more unnecessary and wrong for that) or the MCP in Malaysia, once the British left (defeated) they had no cause and since independence it’s been the UMNO pretty much running things. The GOP is headed the same way. Hell, look at Gingrich. Guy’s a doofus, but … well, I can’t think of anything there. Still – the obstructionism, shutting down the government whining b.s. went seriously awry for him (if Tom frikkin DeLay gets to rank on you for blowing it – yeah, you screwed the pooch there) and pretty much stalled the Republican revolution. And then he gets censured for ethics (plus a $300k fine…) Unless there’s a radical change in the GOP, they’re on their way out. I’d favor governing well and giving them enough rope to hang themselves. If your opponent is making a mistake, don’t interrupt them. )
/end rant
posted by Smedleyman at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


What they have in common is absurd, smug hyperbole that makes it impossible for me to listen to them for more than a few minutes at a stretch, despite the fact that I agree with them on almost every issue.

Pray tell, bona fide liberal, what exactly should we be doing? We tried niceness and it didn't work. There are a lot of good reasons to be angry and loud.

I read Greenwald every day. His logic is impeccable, and brutal. You don't change the status quo politely...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Big hat. No cattle, Mr. Grayson.

Mr. Grayson, what have you done for me latelypreviously?
posted by davejay at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


What they have in common is absurd, smug hyperbole that makes it impossible for me to listen to them for more than a few minutes at a stretch

What was the hyperbole here?

posted by Astro Zombie at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


This guy is a douche bag. This does nothing to further any reasonable debate.

Oh? Oh, really? What reasonable debate would that be? There is no reasonable debate right now to further.

There's no reasonable debate because the Republicans know they have nothing to offer in a reasonable debate, and have decided the thing to do is to shriek at the top of their lungs and obstruct everyone else. So far it's worked because the Democrats are too afraid of looking undignified. They're just standing around going, "see here, that hardly seems proper."

There's not going to be anything like a reasonable debate until someone kicks the Republicans hard in the balls and puts them on the ground. Then you can ask them if they'd like you to do that again, or if they'd prefer to have a reasonable debate. And maybe some up or down votes.
posted by Naberius at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


is absurd, smug hyperbole

Wait, are we talking about FOX?
posted by davejay at 4:49 PM on November 5, 2009


he's an elected representative. He ought to act like it.

Why you gotta wish ill on a man's wife?
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 4:51 PM on November 5, 2009 [19 favorites]


Every single one of you railing against Grayson are incorrect.

It's really that simple.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:51 PM on November 5, 2009 [12 favorites]


What was the hyperbole here?

His claiming that Republicans want sick people to die, for one. I don't think that's much better than Sarah Palin talking about death panels. Then, too, his talking about blood dripping from Dick Cheney's teeth is quite literally hyperbole.
posted by EarBucket at 4:52 PM on November 5, 2009


A simple observation:

A lot of countries have parliamentary systems where bipartisanship isn't practiced, and progressive politicians can be rowdy, vicious, argumentative and willing to attack the opposition and call out shameless lies.

A lot of countries have universal healthcare.
posted by Jimbob at 4:52 PM on November 5, 2009 [19 favorites]


On MetaFilter everyday is False Equivalency Day.
posted by tkchrist at 4:54 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


And I apologize for making assumptions about your politics, but let me explain why I did: The rhetorical trick of saying "Oh, this guy is just like this other guy" and then listing liberals who people sort of think are obnoxious, or, even more insidiously, conservatives who people think are crazy -- well, that's a trick I almost exclusively see brought out by right wingers nowadays. But obviously its not limited to conservatives, although it should be limited to nobody, as ad hominem attacks on people's style probably do more to squander debate than their style itself could ever do.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:54 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


(Not to mention referring to a female lobbyist as a "whore." Seriously not okay.)
posted by EarBucket at 4:55 PM on November 5, 2009


Big hat. No cattle, Mr. Grayson.

You know what, I don't really care if he's an effective legislator or not. We've got plenty of effective legislators in Congress who can't do a damn thing right now because one side is trying to legislate while the other is having a monkey shit flinging war.

Grayson is the guy on the hockey team who's not there because he's an elegant goal scorer. He's the enforcer who's there because he loves to mix it up. He's the bruiser who takes out the guys who would otherwise fuck up your excellent technical players and keep them from scoring. You need one of those or you're just going to get checked into the boards all night.
posted by Naberius at 4:56 PM on November 5, 2009 [15 favorites]


His claiming that Republicans want sick people to die, for one. I don't think that's much better than Sarah Palin talking about death panels.

He didn't say that. He said that was their plan. And that doesn't strike me as hyperbole but instead a dramatic restatement of the fact that their plan offers nothing to people who have no health care.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:58 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


Fair enough. But I really do think there's an unfortunate tendency in some areas on the right to embrace a rhetorical style that does more to appeal to emotion and indignation than to rational argument, and I think it's a bad trend. The three names I mentioned all seem to me to be the more egregious examples of that style, as well as striking me as being over the top more for the sake of being over the top than anything.

Reasonable minds can disagree about this, of course, and there's always some room for some people out on the fringe of polite debate, pushing the edge of the Overton Window. I do think, though, that Grayson's going to do nothing to convince people who aren't already reading Daily Kos.
posted by EarBucket at 4:59 PM on November 5, 2009


His claiming that Republicans want sick people to die, for one.

Two Republicans across the hall from me yesterday.

Repub #1: We can't keep these people alive. It costs too much.
Repub #2: I agree.

How is that not wanting them to die (as an alternative to spending some money)?
posted by DU at 5:00 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


His claiming that Republicans want sick people to die, for one.

So what's your take on it? That they're simply unaware of the consequences of their actions?

And let's be honest here. Republicans do, indeed, want to have sick people die, particularly if they are poor or "minorities". Listen to the Becks and Limbaughs or look at LGF or Red State and you see people expressing exactly this sentiment every day. Even the GOP Senators and Congresspeople are expressing sentiments that are much the same, just in more flowery terms.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:01 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


But I really do think there's an unfortunate tendency in some areas on the right to embrace a rhetorical style that does more to appeal to emotion and indignation than to rational argument, and I think it's a bad trend.

Unless it's unfactual, I am not concerned about the rhetorical style, and the worst your complaining about is that he appeals to emotions. I would be upset if he did that exclusively, but I have no problem if that's a component of rhetoric. It always has been, and is damned effective.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:01 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ok, but we can all agree that Hit Somebody! is a great song.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 5:02 PM on November 5, 2009


Not to mention referring to a female lobbyist as a "whore." Seriously not okay.

Yeah. She would be a John. The congresspeople who take her filthy money would be the whores.
Though in the cycle of politics and lobbyists she could also be a whore since she is doing something unsavory just for the money.

Anyway. If he'd have said "John", McCain would've looked up from his TV Guide "Matlock Special Edition" and asked 'What?" And then you'd get this whole "Who's on first" thing going.
posted by tkchrist at 5:02 PM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


It takes all kinds of people
It doesn't matter where they come from
Yes it takes all kinds of people
It may take some time
But each man will find
That he needs all kinds of people
That he must believe in people
Yes it takes all kinds of people
To make a world
posted by muddgirl at 5:02 PM on November 5, 2009


BTW. I find this new knee-jerk reality where a woman can somehow never deserve to be called a gendered pejorative nearly as disturbing as the old reality where that's all they were called if they deserved it or not.
posted by tkchrist at 5:05 PM on November 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


(Not to mention referring to a female lobbyist as a "whore." Seriously not okay.)

To be precise, a "K Street whore." Everyone understands that he meant by that "a person who whores for K Street" (i.e., sells themselves without integrity for whoever is paying them.) It's pretty common parlance, and if it had been said of a male, would have passed without notice. Republicans who act like he intended to besmirch her sexual character are the same folks who pretended that Obama was insulting Palin when he used the old expression "lipstick on a pig" and the same folks who aren't troubled by Limbaugh's comments that Scozzafava (a Republican!) was committing bestiality.

Yeah, it wasn't pretty language and I wish he had chosen other words. But I'm sick of the gotcha game where folks who, you know, bomb the innocent and torture detainees act like they are deeply, deeply offended that a lobbyist was called a "K Street whore" in passing. They just want to distract from the real issues.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:06 PM on November 5, 2009 [32 favorites]


Generally speaking, I behave fantastically well in public and display wonderful etiquette and manners. This is the likely result of growing up in a family and neighborhood where such things were expected. I tend to expect it from others; especially those who, in some way or another have connections to me, or act as my representative some way. This includes politicians.

On the other hand, I'm shocked nearly every day by America's conservatives. As a group, they're quite sad. The lies and distortions and misrepresentations they propagate are simply unbelievable. I realize this is "just politics," but it's now to the point that time, money and energy are expended "debating" ridiculous assertions such as the "fact" that Barack Obama was not born in the United States or whether or not he will declare the USA an Islamic Republic sometime soon. And millions of Americans take it all seriously!

The rhetoric - and blind allegiance to it - has become so strong that it *more* than reminds me of the sort of bullshit talk that started being taken seriously in Sarajevo after the break-up of Yugoslavia. The choice of most good and decent people was to ignore all this nonsense, because - we believed - most people were also good and decent and, well, there's no point in legitimizing something patently absurd by bothering to refute it.

We good and decent people made a mistake in underestimating just how far certain parties were willing to go to push the envelope in distorting reality for their own ends. And at a certain point, it was too late for many of us, who ended up being shot, shelled, starved, frozen, gang-raped and even killed - all things that had seemed as insanely unlikely to us a year earlier as they would to most Americans today. We compounded the mistake by believing that the good and decent people "outside" would come to our rescue when they heard what was happening. But despite widespread film footage of villages emptied by genocide, rape camps and the brutal destruction of cities, this didn't happen either. It's up to one's own self, is the message I learned. The very hard way.

So I find it sad that anyone wants to shut this guy - who's telling the truth (!) - up. Many Americans will die - or end up in inescapable debt and poverty - because of America's completely fucked up health care system. It's that fucking simple.

And more of us should be screaming about it. - acting "classy" gets you nowhere when you're up against savages.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 5:14 PM on November 5, 2009 [66 favorites]


I'd like to take this moment to say that I voted for Grayson solely because his (incumbent) opponent sent out a mailer decrying the fact that Grayson owned a DeLorean "sports car".

Alan Grayson rocks. He's like the Michelle Bachmann of the left only with less crazy.
posted by kableh at 5:14 PM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


He owns a DeLorean? Holy fuck, this guy is awesome.
posted by brundlefly at 5:16 PM on November 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


And I want to officially state for the record that Alan Grayson is right fucking on. I dig his flair for the dramatic, his straight-to-the-heart-of-the-matter style, and his use of clear headed facts as truncheons.

Representative Grayson your check is in the mail.
posted by tkchrist at 5:17 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


This guy is a douche bag.

"Hear my voice! Hear my voice! Hear my voice!"

You don't want to hear the truth, so you call him names. People are dying because we don't have universal health coverage, and that's a fact that belongs in the public record.
I'd like to see people who have gone bankrupt because of health crises show up at these hearings.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:21 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


We need to figure out a way to get this man into Joe Lieberman's Senate seat. Bonus points if we can somehow make it happen before Joe's even up for re-election.
posted by mullingitover at 5:25 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


> I do think, though, that Grayson's going to do nothing to convince people who aren't already reading Daily Kos.

To the extent that the Dems, over the last twenty years, have lost fairly consistently, those losses haven't really come about based policy specifics. Really, most people don't know the major factors in any policy decision, let alone the details.

The GOP has tended to win because a) they frame their issues in the most simplistic, black-and-white, good-vs-evil, easily understood fashion possible, and b) they fight like hell to back up even doomed positions.

Conversely, the Dems cave routinely... which means that, irrespective of policy details, independents rarely trust them, on a gut level.

Almost paradoxically, the Dems could earn many more independent votes by not striving for scrupulous accuracy, but instead, using much more hyperbolic rhetoric and giving the impression that they will fight to the last on every argument.

It's a gut level thing: Who's going to protect your kids against Bin-Laden-- the accurate guy who throws in the towel and whines about rules and regulations... or the loudmouth who'll fight with his fists and teeth, once he runs out of bullets?

The Dems need more Graysons.
posted by darth_tedious at 5:28 PM on November 5, 2009 [9 favorites]


Look at the example of O'Reilly and Olbermann. Before Olbermann it was difficult for a Republican to argue about O'Reilly. They really had to defend his actions. After Olbermann all they had to do was say that the left and the right both do it so its not a big deal.

Crap. That old "both sides do it" argument was always there. And the difference between Olbermann and O'Reilly is that Olbermann doesn't make it up out of whole cloth.

You seem to think that sitting quietly in the corner is an effective strategy. It isn't. When you concede the floor to the opposition, they get their way and you get nothing. On the other hand, pushing them to new heights of crazy helps demonstrate just how crazy they are.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:29 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


MAN IN CROWD: Give 'em hell, Harry!
HARRY TRUMAN: I never give 'em hell. I just tell the truth, and it sounds like hell to them.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:32 PM on November 5, 2009 [24 favorites]


I didn't watch the videos, so maybe his tone or presentation is over-the-top, but how is stating statistical facts - this many people will die for lack of insurance - equivalent to Michelle Bachman's lunacy? At some point, politeness is what's indecent. At some point, the situation demands anger from a moral person.

I don't know if there is a name for it, but I feel like it's been a very real Republican strategy: behave in a way so evil that any decent person would be outraged, then deride that person for being "unreasonable" and "angry."
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:36 PM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


His claiming that Republicans want sick people to die

True, they don't give a crap one way or the other, as long as they get theirs. The people that elected them should think about that for a minute.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:37 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


On the other hand, pushing them to new heights of crazy helps demonstrate just how crazy they are.

This is precisely the myth that hardcore leftists are touting when speaking of Obama's win in '08. And it's just that: a myth. You think the radical right, or even the moderate right, started to listen to loony leftists as they became louder, more obnoxious, and a potential Achille's heal to true reform (which always lies in the middle)? No. It's the fact that Republicans ran out of steam, and the economy completely derailed, which gave Obama, and the Dems in general, a chance to maintain power for an extended period. One thing's for certain: the Republican party is a shell of its former self and has definitely run out of ideas. THAT'S why Obama and the Dems won. Not because a bunch of loony leftists started yelling louder. Prop 8, the vote in Maine, and the two governors' elections are proof of that. Democrats have a small window of opportunity to deliver, because sooner than you think, Republicans will have some decent ideas again.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:38 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


To the extent that the Dems, over the last twenty years, have lost fairly consistently

I think they've sometimes lost due to defeatist attitudes and bizarre self-fulfilling perceptions of "always losing":

'88 Bush I
'92 Clinton
'96 Clinton
00 Bush (Gore gets more votes)
04 Bush
08 Obama

That's 3-3, and 4-2 of democrats getting more votes. And '04 was a historical fluke because of 9/11.
posted by drjimmy11 at 5:39 PM on November 5, 2009


Progressive Democrats like Grayson shouldn't be targeting Republicans as it will only contribute to legitimizing them. They should be attacking the conservative Democrats who are the real roadblocks to legislation. Anyone else notice that Democrats do not need any Republicans to accomplish anything anymore? In fact they probably shouldn't listen to them or address them at all. I am reminded of whining children when I see Republicans and the best way to deal with them is to ignore them. We are in the majority! We are powerful! Lets not pretend like we have to engage them anymore. We dont.
posted by Glibpaxman at 5:40 PM on November 5, 2009


(Not to mention referring to a female lobbyist as a "whore." Seriously not okay.)

Politically correct speech code trumps truth.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, uh....fyi? People die in countries with universal health coverage too. And there *are* significant problems associated with universal (and, therefore, probably under-funded) healthcare. They're not worse than the problems caused by the lack of universal care, but they do exist.
posted by Fraxas at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2009


Seriously, what is with all the pearl-clutching? "Oh no, he's so..so...UNCOUTH!" I mean, Jesus, the fact that people are dying for lack of healthcare, and that even more of them will die because the Republicans are assclowns? Deserves some uncouthness.

Being progressive does not equal being "nice" to those who want to shit on you. How hard is this to grasp?
posted by emjaybee at 5:42 PM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


People die in countries with universal health coverage too.

Straw man. No one is claiming that universal health care ends death. What they are saying is that there are 44,000 preventable deaths in the US every year, due to the lack of access to health care.

Problems with universal health care would have to be awfully bad to outweigh that death toll.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:46 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


...because sooner than you think, Republicans will have some decent ideas again.

Sooner than the day that Hell freezes over?
posted by jabo at 5:48 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, casual misogyny is hilarious.

That's the typical asinine Republican talking point. Grayson calling Linda Robertson a "K Street whore" had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH HER BEING A WOMAN, and any and every intelligent person knows that. It had absolutely everything to do with being a hired-gun lobbyist available to anyone with the scratch to hire her. "Whore" referred to "lobbyist", not "woman".

English is a bitch; sometimes words convey ideas more complex than the words themselves.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 5:48 PM on November 5, 2009 [13 favorites]


I saw Grayson on Hardball a few weeks ago. First time I'd seen him, I really enjoyed how annoyed he was making Chris Matthews. That guy does not like to be the straight man. At all. He was finally so fed up with Grayson's irreverence and frank honesty that he asked, "Don't you have any Republican friends?"

I have Republican friends, sure, but poor friends? Heavens no.
posted by birdie birdington at 5:50 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


this is bad because the argument shouldn't be 'x people are going to die because they don't have health insurance' it should be 'we can spend z dollars to give x people y extra years and this is worth it at the margin'. grayson's argument ultimately encourages massive overspending in health care because you can always spend an extra dollar to get some marginal increase in life expectancy (or at least people will make convincing argument that you can).
posted by drscroogemcduck at 5:55 PM on November 5, 2009


'88 Bush I
'92 Clinton
'96 Clinton
00 Bush (Gore gets more votes)
04 Bush
08 Obama
That's 3-3, and 4-2 of democrats getting more votes.


I'm talking less about political campaigns than I am about the actual process of legislating, and the media battles that surround legislation. That said,

'88 Bush I
--Bush I was unburdened by any charisma whatsoever; Bush and Atwater ran a savage campaign; Dukakis went for the high-minded approach, and got his clock cleaned. A more aggressive campaign from Dukakis could well have had a different result.

'92 Clinton
'96 Clinton
--hey, Clinton ran and won.

00 Bush (Gore gets more votes)
--Gore was certainly aggressive enough; he just wasn't all that great at the subtleties of political campaigning. And Lieberman? It was obvious even then that Lieberman had no real desire to fight the GOP.

04 Bush
--Kerry was aggressive... sometimes. And resolute... sometimes. And apparently steady and non-flip-flopping... not often enough.

08 Obama
--It's worth remembering that there were three things that lined up just right for the Dem nominee, specifically, the public's desire to end the Iraq war, the Wall Street collapse, and eight years of what was generally perceived as remarkably incompetent governance from the GOP. Absent any one of those, and Obama might not have won.
posted by darth_tedious at 6:00 PM on November 5, 2009


the argument shouldn't be ... it should be ...

So glad we have the argument police here to set us straight.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey, uh....fyi? People die in countries with universal health coverage too. And there *are* significant problems associated with universal (and, therefore, probably under-funded) healthcare.

There's a difference between dying from medical reasons and dying because their credit card was declined at the front desk.
posted by Talez at 6:04 PM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


Progressive Democrats like Grayson shouldn't be targeting Republicans as it will only contribute to legitimizing them.

I think a lot of people are missing the point of what Grayson is doing. He's providing an important (and fact-based) counterpoint to the decidedly non fact-based right wing nonsense that had been getting endless airtime from a stupid and conflict mongering media. He's essentially giving the party aircover to do the backroom arm-twisting with the "blue dogs" and get the legislation done, while keeping the the bullshit arguments out of Congress and the media.

Take a look at Grayson's credentials: Bronx Science, Harvard Undergrad (Summa), Harvard Law, Kennedy School, stints with Robert Bork and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. This guy is an incredibly high powered for a freshman congressman. Anyone that thinks he's just doing it for the attention, I suspect there is much, much more to the story than that.
posted by psmealey at 6:25 PM on November 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


There's a difference between dying from medical reasons and dying because their credit card was declined at the front desk.

This new legislation is going to be put on our collective credit card, and it's looking like we're close to hitting its limit.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:29 PM on November 5, 2009


This new legislation is going to be put on our collective credit card, and it's looking like we're close to hitting its limit.

Poetic, but you're missing the fact that we already have socialized health care. It's a right-wing lie that we don't.

Who do you think pays for all those people who go to the ER (verrrrry expensive) without money or insurance?
posted by muddgirl at 6:36 PM on November 5, 2009 [7 favorites]


We (The Democrats) control the House, the Senate and the White House. The failure to pass healthcare reform sits on our shoulders.

Uncooperative conservatives are red herrings and in the current political landscape, completely irrelevant. They're not going to vote for this... get over it. Bashing them is partisan masturbation.

It would be far more effective for Grayson to point out the stats on who will die in moderate fence-sitting Democrat districts. But he won't do that, will he...
posted by LakesideOrion at 6:40 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: what is with all the pearl-clutching?
posted by benzenedream at 6:48 PM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Then, too, his talking about blood dripping from Dick Cheney's teeth is quite literally hyperbole.

You clearly haven't been to the guy's cave on a Friday night...
posted by darkstar at 6:49 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, what is with all the pearl-clutching? "Oh no, he's so..so...UNCOUTH!"

You really want to know? It's pretty straightforward: if you can attack a message, you do so; if you cannot do that, you attack the credentials of the person stating the message; if you cannot do that, you attack the manner in which the message was stated; if you cannot do that, you find ways to confuse the message.

I mean, it's all very la-la-la-la-i'm-not-listening-to-you 101.
posted by davejay at 6:52 PM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, Jesus Christ. I agree with his message. What I disagree with is the idea that this is in any way an effective way to deliver that message.
posted by EarBucket at 6:54 PM on November 5, 2009


This new legislation is going to be put on our collective credit card

I don't know about you, but all the public figures I've heard making this argument were remarkably silent when those wars were charged to the same credit card. But that's different, it's killin', and killin' is always worth whatever you pay for it.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 6:57 PM on November 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


This new legislation is going to be put on our collective credit card
The Congressional Budget Office has said that the bill as proposed by the Senate Finance Committee will reduce the budget deficit by $81 billion over a decade, and that the bill as proposed by the House of Representatives will reduce the budget deficit by $104 billion over a decade.
posted by Flunkie at 7:03 PM on November 5, 2009 [8 favorites]


RobotVoodooPower: This new legislation is going to be put on our collective credit card, and it's looking like we're close to hitting its limit.

European countries have weaker economies than we do and seem to afford it ok. Maybe we should consider selling some of the gun collection.
posted by Mitrovarr at 7:08 PM on November 5, 2009 [4 favorites]


What is wrong with this guy?! Can't he give speeches that put me to sleep like everyone else?!
posted by Brocktoon at 7:10 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, Jesus Christ. I agree with his message. What I disagree with is the idea that this is in any way an effective way to deliver that message.

Uh. WE'RE talking about it.
posted by tkchrist at 7:11 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Republicans just encouraged a bunch of teabaggers to invade Capitol Hill today and intimidate members of congress into voting against reform.

Scenes From a Tea Party
posted by homunculus at 7:19 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Show them no mercy... for you shall receive none!" -Aragorn

Thank you Alan Grayson.
posted by JoeXIII007 at 7:30 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, just in case anyone's interested in where the numbers come from, they're from a Harvard study:
Deaths associated with lack of health insurance now exceed those caused by many common killers such as kidney disease. An increase in the number of uninsured and an eroding medical safety net for the disadvantaged likely explain the substantial increase in the number of deaths, as the uninsured are more likely to go without needed care. Another factor contributing to the widening gap in the risk of death between those who have insurance and those who do not is the improved quality of care for those who can get it.
THIS is the sickening thing, folks. Focus, please.
posted by lysdexic at 7:44 PM on November 5, 2009 [14 favorites]


I am really shocked that anyone thinks he's out of line. Lives are on the line, Republicans have no plans.

I actually feel a little sick that anyone thinks telling uncomfortable facts is a bad thing. Stating inflammatory truths during sessions of Congress should be limited, because the job of Congress is to legislate, but I think the right needs a rhetorical punch in the jaw.

Who are you people that think the debate is damaged by letting the right scream insanities at America for months? How is it okay to let the debate get this far away from real?

I mean, for crissakes, for the first time in my life I wish I lived in Florida. (Not really, but damn I'm proud of this guy).
posted by wires at 7:47 PM on November 5, 2009 [6 favorites]


The Democrats need a few populists these days. Not every Dem in Congress needs to be an axe-maniac, but it helps to have at least a few. On the Senate side, Al Franken is kicking ass and taking names... and doing so in a measured, intelligent way, as befits the Senate. In the House of Representatives, which is well known for its lunatic populism, a staunch, true-blue progressive Democrat from a Southern state who's also a bomb thrower is not just a good thing, but a fantastic thing.

The GOP is terrified of the dude... the only one who'll run against him is a carpet bagger from Coral Gables, 300 miles to the south, and it's a sure thing he'll lose, as Grayson is an old-school pound-the-pavement politician who also has his name in the news every other day. (As a former Floridian, I can attest: the place is huge. It only looks small because of mercator projection... I mean, this place is Texas big, if only because it doesn't have any empty desert. Just inpenetrable swamp and jungle and UFO cults.)

Now, it's also important to remember he's a freshman representative... he hasn't sponsored or co-sponsored any significant bills, because he's a Party-Line Democrat. When Democrats don't dare follow the Party line for fear of being seen as "wish washy", it's refreshing to see someone who is utterly unafraid of Republican pundits that works for the party's larger agenda rather than against it. (Fuck you, too, Joe-Mentum Lieberman.)

So, staunch progressive-liberal, Southern state, is more of a Democratic Party team player than even Pelosi, can whip the tar out of any and all comers, and help other Dems with their campaigns... what's not to like?
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:52 PM on November 5, 2009 [16 favorites]


We (The Democrats) control the House, the Senate and the White House. The failure to pass healthcare reform sits on our shoulders.

Uncooperative conservatives are red herrings and in the current political landscape, completely irrelevant. They're not going to vote for this... get over it. Bashing them is partisan masturbation.

It would be far more effective for Grayson to point out the stats on who will die in moderate fence-sitting Democrat districts. But he won't do that, will he...


Maybe he doesn't want to follow the example of the Republican party and movement conservatives, who, outside a bare handful, seem more interested in naked obstructionism and policing for ideological purity. Instead of ripping his own party to shreds in the desperate attempt to drive anyone away who is "unmutual,", he is attacking those who seem to desire nothing more than to push the margins of the debate to the point where people comparing health care reform to death camps have a nationwide voice. Those in is own party who, for ideological or political reasons might not support a given policy, but they can possibly be persuaded or cajoled or bargained with.
posted by Snyder at 7:54 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don’t do that. And my kids have found it’s pointless to dissemble, unless they have some tangible realistic contrasting issue (have to go potty, etc.) which I do give validation to. Can’t go to the doctor right now if you have to pee, sure. So let’s go pee. But we ARE going.
I find this situation somewhat analogous. There can be a fine line between clarifying in order to achieve a goal and arguing with petulant children.
You can't go to the doctor if you need to pee? I honestly have no idea what you're trying to communicate here.

Anyway, while I feel Grayson and guys like Micheal Moore and Keith Olberman are somewhat hyperbolic and a little annoying, I really don't get the outrage about them. It's really insane. It's like an inability to separate an aesthetic judgment from morality. The situation out there with respect to healthcare is objectively horrible. People are literally dying. And you're sitting here complaining about people who point that out for being impolite? Impolite to whom? Those who choose their own personal wealth over the lives and suffering of others? Why shouldn't we be impolite to people like that? they are bad people and they should feel bad.
But I really do think there's an unfortunate tendency in some areas on the right to embrace a rhetorical style that does more to appeal to emotion and indignation than to rational argument, and I think it's a bad trend.
Right, we should be talking about cost curves and reimbursement rates because most people are really able to follow all these technical arguments. Tell me, what's your take on a public option with a Medicare + 5% reimbursement rate vs. negotiated prices? Should medical loss ratios be regulated? How about state by state opt-outs vs. triggers?
Yeah. She would be a John. The congresspeople who take her filthy money would be the whores.
Actually the pimp.
This new legislation is going to be put on our collective credit card, and it's looking like we're close to hitting its limit.
That's a lie, of course. The proposed legislation will profit the government about $100 billion dollars over the next ten years.
posted by delmoi at 8:03 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


More Democrats with balls please.

Thank you.
posted by bardic at 8:28 PM on November 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


My favorite Grayson clip has him grilling Paul Broun (R) about bills of attainder (context is the Defund ACORN Act).
posted by scatter gather at 8:42 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


Barack Obama won a sweeping victory a year ago by being measured, rational, and intelligent, not by using ridiculous hyperbole.

Facts are hyperbolic? I was under the impression that Grayson's unique quality is that he is aggressively factual about the real consequences of political indifference to the social welfare of the country's citizens.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:45 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


lysdexic's comment. To reiterate, focus please.
posted by JHarris at 8:45 PM on November 5, 2009


Alan Grayson: "We should care about people even after they're born."

<3
posted by whimsicalnymph at 8:48 PM on November 5, 2009 [13 favorites]


You know, the problem is that there are not enough of loud truth-sayers. People let the people around them spew the most astoundingly asinine opinions on the social structures that ensure citizens have a chance of getting a leg up in society — these idiots don't seem to have a frigging clue how much their lives have depended on exactly the same thing as they are denying to others: safety, shelter, nutrition, health, education, transportation.

We can not have a quality society if we do not start speaking out in support of our common good.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:53 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


this is bad because the argument shouldn't be 'x people are going to die because they don't have health insurance' it should be 'we can spend z dollars to give x people y extra years and this is worth it at the margin'.

I forgot what I was going to say because I fell asleep about halfway through that.

Seriously, this is not about crafting policy. This is about getting the issue out in front of people to energize them, and scaring the hell out of politicians who are opposing the will of the people. You can't expect to scare anyone with what you said there.

grayson's argument ultimately encourages massive overspending in health care because you can always spend an extra dollar to get some marginal increase in life expectancy (or at least people will make convincing argument that you can).

He's not really talking about that.

This is pretty much how the House was designed to work. The Representatives are supposed to represent the will of the people in their district, which means they'll be pretty far outside the mainstream some of the time, and other times they'll be really in it to fight for their district tooth and nail. Senators don't represent districts and didn't even used to be elected by direct vote, and their role is much more tempered, so you don't get the firey rhetoric you do in the House. The House is supposed to produce somewhat explosive and contentious debate. Greyson's just the first Democrat to be really good at it in quite a while. Historically, some of the best bombthrowers were also the most outwardly corrupt, such as Jim Traficant (though he was hilarious). Good thing Greyson's not like that.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:09 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sorry, spelled Grayson.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:10 PM on November 5, 2009


And, many people have said it, but it bears repeating, politics is a blood sport. Having people like Grayson in the Democratic Party is absolutely essential to winning elections and getting shit done. His heart is in the right place, and his credentials are astonishing, so he should be encouraged. We also need people like Franken and Obama, who are honest and sharp but much more about big picture visions and policy. But we need people like Grayson.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:33 PM on November 5, 2009 [3 favorites]


This new legislation is going to be put on our collective credit card,

Why are you worried about the pennies on our card for our goddamned health when every day we're spending countless dollars on killing random dark-skinned people in the Middle East and Asia for no apparent reason?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:41 PM on November 5, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'm with Grayson.

The problem with the debate isn't that some congressmen are using strong words, or expressing facts to support their positions in stark terms that make some uncomfortable. That's just the effective, persuasive use of rhetoric to propagate the truth.

No, the problem is that the participants on one side of the debate are deliberately misrepresenting facts and attempting to agitate their supporters to acts of political violence.

Today, at the Tea Bagger health care protests at the capitol, the protesters at one point began reciting the pledge of allegiance in chorus, saying their intent was "to drive the liberals crazy."

Does it even matter to any of them that the pledge of allegiance was written by a Christian Socialist named Francis Bellamy, who no doubt would have supported nationalized health care with as much fervor as they now wallow in their own ahistorical ignorance, paranoia, and misplaced feelings of self-satisfaction?

Of course not. Because facts, reality and even the origins of the very patriotic traditions they mock in their half-assed observances don't matter to these people. They're living out a fantasy in which they alone are the heroes, they alone have the wherewithal to save America from the hidden hand of The Other.

This isn't about policy; it's about the delusions of grandeur of a certain sadly misled subset of the electorate, and the cynical willingness of certain political operators to exploit those delusions. If it were about policy, we could have an honest debate.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:45 PM on November 5, 2009 [10 favorites]


"End the Fed" conspiracy guy or not, at least he's asking questions about the ~$2 trillion the Federal Reserve's given to settle CDOs.
posted by anthill at 10:00 PM on November 5, 2009


this is bad because the argument shouldn't be 'x people are going to die because they don't have health insurance' it should be 'we can spend z dollars to give x people y extra years and this is worth it at the margin'.

WTF? 1% of the population has 60% of the wealth; 10% of the population have 90% of the wealth. How on earth can you imagine that you can not provide full, modern, amazing universal healthcare for your nation?

Good god.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:17 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Big hat, no cattle.

Oh man, I've been accused of concern trolling. I actually had to look that up, the concern part, not the trolling. Yeah, no. You can look at some of my comments over the past xx years and decide for yourself where I stand.

As far as Mr. Grayson is concerned, I enjoy watching the videos of him pulling the Repubs apart as much as the next person, but I'd like to point out that acting obstinate and difficult in front of the camera for props is very different from legislating, and should he be planning a [long] career in politics, he's going to have to learn how to make friends when in a majority in order to get legislation passed when he's not. With the crazies.

Yes, the Dems need an attack dog to counter the crazy right, but right now he comes across as a petulant hall monitor without any adult supervision. Just look at his resume: clerking, lawyering, lecturing and a weird stint as president of IDT (wtf?). Unanswerable appointments mostly. Oh, but we need more Harvard PhD's in congress. Making sure those post offices are named correctly and Arnie gets his medal.

Oh, and any non-hippie that names his kids like that is cause for concern.

(oh, counter the crazy right? Make Fox register as a political party and abide by the FEC rules. Christ, 50% of our country is being mind-controlled by an aging Aussie hipster)
posted by jsavimbi at 10:49 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hmmm, rudefilter made obsolete years ago... very little has come out of the REST of the democrats that has been seen or heard at all ABOVE the din of the tea-partying (which is fox is demonstrably involved in as organizers, and promoters )
It is sad that all the BULL is getting the sexy coverage... while REAL discourse is shouted down (or worse, only allowed to be explained by people, and in the TERMS of people who are shouting loudest at these "tea parties"!
I cannot count the number of times I have seen media participants explain why "some people" are "against socialized medicine"... and nothing but "critical journalism" (thanks'only8years late) for the people who are advocates for those dying daily.
Boo to the way we so often demand our PUBLIC figures sit down, and not enter the arena unless they are polite to the point of letting people demonstrably LIE ABOUT THEM, many times, in public, and LOUDER, yeah. well.. I am much more disturbed by the Previously; (^) mentioned Blue Dogs. ( any form of letting people die will be remembered LONG after the history book has made a footnote that Mr. Grayson was "rude").
Why should sane ideas be shouted down by (relatively tiny) movements of people like these tea parties.. I see WAY more people walking in support of little issues like getting civil rights for homosexual people... yet never seen THAT one get hyped and promoted by ANY network. This is (must be?) a public discourse... there ARE ideas on all sides, but none get heard when the debate is "sponsored" by networks with an agenda.. go, go, young turk Greyson.
Why are we all forgetting that "getting a guy elected" is NOT the end of the game... NOW is when people who are SANE have to not hide from these teaparties, but get out and SHOW our support... forget the cliche, but this IS about REAL AMERICANS.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:07 PM on November 5, 2009


Yes, the Dems need an attack dog to counter the crazy right, but right now he comes across as a petulant hall monitor without any adult supervision.

I honestly have no bone to pick with the guy. I am more concerned that the Blue Dog coalition has fully embraced the idea that fiscally conservative = support the insurance industry at all costs.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:33 PM on November 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I hear Republicans talk I can't help but think of women that defend their lying, cheating, physically abusive husbands.

If you can't support universal health care at this point, you're either too stupid to realize that we can already afford it, too greedy and invested in insurance company stock to want to take the hit to your balance sheet, too myopic and afraid of teh socialism (ignoring Medicare at home and every other first world nation on the planet), or too pigheaded to see that Yes, Virginia, you were wrong this whole time and millions of people might still be alive if it weren't for you.

Or some combination of the above.

And in that group, the only ones demonstrating any kind of intelligence or reasoning skills are the greedy motherfuckers. And I can understand that, to a certain extent. But then, they're also morally bankrupt. So, you either have a brain and you have no soul, or you're an idiot. That's the bulk of their constituency.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 2:02 AM on November 6, 2009 [8 favorites]


hero tag? please!
posted by jeffburdges at 4:16 AM on November 6, 2009


But the House Republican plan basically does say that people who get sick should hope they die quickly because the chronically ill will never be able to afford health insurance:

Republicans wouldn't bar insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, as Democratic legislation would, but they'd provide financial incentives for the private marketplace to create high-risk pools.

House Republican leaders fear that putting sicker consumers in with lesser risks could make coverage more expensive for the better risks. By encouraging high-risk pools, people with long medical histories would still be able to get coverage.


It's all well and good to say that financial incentives will be provided that will attempt to force the marketplace to offer health insurance to everybody. That even sounds like they're doing something. But what there will be will be the same as now--desperate, chronically ill people who can't get health insurance and suffer and are disabled, who live off of what free samples their doctors get from the pharmaceutical industry and Walmart $4 generics, when many of them could be perfectly functional and happy if they could just get the medical treatment they need.

As Rep Grayson says, it's much better to die quickly under the Republican plan.
posted by hydropsyche at 4:32 AM on November 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


H.R. 2245: New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal Act

To authorize the President, in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the historic and first lunar landing by humans in 1969, to award gold medals on behalf of the United States Congress to Neil A. Armstrong, the first human to walk on the moon; Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., the pilot of the lunar module and second person to walk on the moon; Michael Collins, the pilot of their Apollo 11 mission's command module; and, the first American to orbit the Earth, John Herschel Glenn, Jr.

And here are the four enacted bills he's co-sponsored:

H.R. 1271: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 2351 West Atlantic Boulevard in Pompano Beach, Florida, as the "Elijah Pat Larkins Post Office Building".

H.R. 2470: To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 19190 Cochran Boulevard FRNT in Port Charlotte, Florida, as the "Lieutenant Commander Roy H. Boehm Post Office Building".

H.R. 621: Girl Scouts USA Centennial Commemorative Coin Act

H.R. 1243: To provide for the award of a gold medal on behalf of Congress to Arnold Palmer in recognition of his service to the Nation in promoting excellence and good sportsmanship in golf.


This man is clearly a collectibles aficionado.
posted by grubi at 5:26 AM on November 6, 2009


"I wanted to explain what happened and why, because this is not the first time the GOP tried to push me around and failed. And it won't be the last time, either."
How to Get the Republicans to Back Down, by Alan Grayson.
posted by nathan_teske at 5:40 AM on November 6, 2009 [4 favorites]


Grayson is the only person miked, so he has a brief back-and-forth with a mumbling voice from off-camera. I'd like to know exactly what procedure was invoked to cut him off.

The other guy first asks "will the gentleman yield," requesting that Grayson give up some of his allotted time for a proper back-and-forth discussion. Grayson declines. Later, someone asks for Grayson's words to be taken down. The chair begins a recess instead, as jedicus explains.
posted by grouse at 6:34 AM on November 6, 2009


I think this approach works politically precisely because of the position it puts the blue dog Democrats in. He is not attacking them directly, he's attacking the Republicans. But every Democrat that is sitting on the fence knows that what Grayson has done here applies to them as well. They also know it will be inevitable that if they vote against health care reform, the number of avoidable deaths for their district will be front and center in their opponents' campaigns come next summer's primary.

Naberius' hockey analogy is a good one. Not every politician needs to be a coalition builder. Grayson's taken on the role of enforcer, and based on scatter gather's and anthill's clips above he'll be a good one. It's a political niche. The Democratic leadership will occasionally need to publicly distance themselves from him. But they'll also be knocking on his door when they need to apply pressure.
posted by Killick at 6:45 AM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


A whorehouse.

Looks kind of like a government building, huh?

But it belongs to the Edison Electric Institute. In 1990-92 I worked for a small company that abstracted industry news for the EEI, AGA, RIMS. One thing I maintained was a database of every Senator & Rep., their spouse's & children's names, religious affiliation and names of power plants and nuke plants in their district.

I didn't really get it until one of the writers pointed out that the building was paid for by the ratepayers.
posted by morganw at 7:49 AM on November 6, 2009


The Republicans just encouraged a bunch of teabaggers to invade Capitol Hill today and intimidate members of congress into voting against reform.

Oh, my.
"But, as with a similar rally by Democrats a week before, unpredictable things tend to happen in the wide-open spaces of the Capitol's West Front. Minutes into the rally, a breeze toppled the American flag from the stage.

More ominously, a man standing just beyond the TV cameras apparently suffered a heart attack 20 minutes after event began. Medical personnel from the Capitol physician's office -- an entity that could, quite accurately, be labeled government-run health care -- rushed over, attaching electrodes to his chest and giving him oxygen and an IV drip.

This turned into an unwanted visual for the speakers, as a D.C. ambulance and firetruck, lights flashing, pulled in just behind the lawmakers. A path was made through the media section, and the patient, attended to by about 10 government medical personnel, was being wheeled away on a stretcher just as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped to the microphone. 'Join us in defeating Pelosi care!' he exhorted. A few members stole a glance at the stretcher. Boehner may have been distracted as well. He told the crowd he would read from the Constitution, then read the 'we hold these truths' bit from the Declaration of Independence.

As you'd expect at a political protest, the messages on signs and buttons were provocative: 'Waterboard Congress,' 'A Commie Is in the House.'

But this protest was unusual because it was an official House GOP event, and because some of the remarks on the stage were as outrageous as those in the crowd. The actor Jon Voight, standing with the lawmakers, said of Obama: 'Could it be he has had 20 years of subconscious programming by Reverend Wright to damn America?'

Even the Rev. Stephen Broden, at the microphone to deliver the closing prayer, fumed about 'death panels inside this death care,' adding: 'It is tyranny! It is socialism!'"
posted by ericb at 8:46 AM on November 6, 2009 [3 favorites]


The most disturbing thing about the modern Republican party is that the fringe has become the mainstream.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:51 AM on November 6, 2009


seems like Mr. Grayson is or was also "the attorney on record on every case against war profiteers in Iraq"

In January of 2008, Staff Sgt. Ryan Maseth, 24, was electrocuted while showering in his Baghdad barracks. His death prompted last week's congressional report concluding that defense contractor KBR, (until a year ago a subsidiary of the oil services giant Halliburton) was well aware that the electrical system in Maseth's complex was faulty. An accident like this, the report found, was bound to happen. But this report also now raises a larger and thornier question about military defense contractors: can they be held legally liable for their actions - or inactions?


"Under the False Claims Act, the Attorney General is supposed to join with whistleblowers to prosecute and punish war profiteers. The sad truth is that the Bush administration has not even tried to do this, on the contrary, it's done all it could to prevent this."
(Alan Grayson, attorney for whistleblowers, DPC Hearing, 09/21/2007)

"No one in the government rose up to help us or provided any protection for us in this endeavor. Not only did we have to spend our own funds and time to prosecute this case, we also had to endure the unrelenting attacks and slander from our opponents. We were sued repeatedly. We have been the subject of anonymous blogs and lies on the Internet and anonymous fraudulent e-mails and documents." (Robert Isakson, former CPA contractor, DPC Hearing, 9/21/2007)
with private armies like 'ours'; who needs enemies?
posted by infinite intimation at 8:51 AM on November 6, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd be extremely proud if he were my representative.
posted by haveanicesummer at 9:28 AM on November 6, 2009


And in that group, the only ones demonstrating any kind of intelligence or reasoning skills are the greedy motherfuckers. And I can understand that, to a certain extent. But then, they're also morally bankrupt. So, you either have a brain and you have no soul, or you're an idiot. That's the bulk of their constituency.


I remember saying that before the election and the MeFi fairness equivelency brigade came down like shit bricks about how untrue that was. Why. Those GOPer's their just folk like you and me. But with "low information is all."

Bullshit. They have access to all the facts they need. They're proud of their ignorance and hate. They are either stupid as shit, paranoid fantasists, or totally self-interested immoral manipulators. That's your GOP base constituency.

Now look. Now look what those just folk are doing. Not many people saying that "just folk" bullshit these days.

Civil_Disobedient I'm glad you're on board. Well come to the team.
posted by tkchrist at 10:13 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm so pleased that a post on Mefi with Florida as the subject actually makes my state look good for a change!

And I am indeed proud of Grayson for standing up against the nutjobs on the far right in the healthcare debate. We really need to wade in and get dirty (unfortunately) if we are going to make universal healthcare a reality in this country.
posted by misha at 10:13 AM on November 6, 2009


The most disturbing dangerous thing about the modern Republican party is that the fringe has become the mainstream.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:16 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


for those interested, there is a nice little 15 minute interview with Mr. Grayson recently done by The Young Turks; who deserve their own post sometime {soon maybe?}, based on their level handed, yet progressive (the main host, a former republican, seeing the cognitive disconnects and shouting down of logical thought processes |see treatment of Colin Powell| that modern Republicans are forced to face, fled the absurdity and hypocrisy, further, he is not afraid to criticize weakness, flipflopping, and bad judgement by Democrats) coverage of last years election alone, or maybe on how a YOUTUBE/Online community can compare to mainstream media ratings, or hey, maybe on the Young Turk mentality bringing PRO-healthcare reform Americans out to protest for THEIR* side. (Americans without a billion dollar spin/astroturf machine*)
posted by infinite intimation at 10:20 AM on November 6, 2009


As an aside, what does "Young Turks" mean? Is there some sort of special quality of Turkish youth? How come it's an acceptable term? Is there truly no unhealthy stereotype, prejudice, history, or other socially unacceptable/politically incorrect twist to the term?
posted by five fresh fish at 11:37 AM on November 6, 2009


a)Young Turks originally refers to a reform movement in Turkey at the end of the Ottoman Empire. The term has come to refer to a young ambitious, impatient group challenging an older, established leadership within an organization, political party or government, also known as the "Old Guard"
b)not that I know of.
c)convention?
d)perhaps, maybe, perhaps, & yes, but then, isn't everyone who would be a revolutionary in some way socially unacceptable/politically incorrect.
posted by infinite intimation at 11:57 AM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


Young Turks:

The Young Turks (Turkish: Jön Türkler or Genç Osmanlılar Young Ottomans (plural), from French: Jeunes Turcs) were a coalition of various groups favoring reformation of the administration of the Ottoman Empire.... The term Young Turks referred to the members of the Ottoman society who were progressive, modernist and opposed to the status quo. The movement built a rich tradition of dissent that shaped the intellectual, political and artistic life of the late Ottoman period generally transcendent the decline and dissolution periods.... The term "Young Turks" has subsequently come to signify any groups or individuals inside an organization who are progressive and seek prominence and power.

Worth reading about, they were pretty awesome dudes, although with an unfortunate love of state power. But basically, it means "the aggressive, progressive new breed" and invokes a group of young Turkish politicians operating in what is now Turkey (and in fact laying the foundations for modern Turkey), so no, not a racist term, although one may or may not prefer to be associated with their movement politically.
posted by Errant at 12:04 PM on November 6, 2009 [1 favorite]


English is a bitch

Woah woah woah there. I'd call English a hussy before I'd call her a bitch.
posted by yeti at 12:12 PM on November 6, 2009


The phrase 'Young Turks' was invented by Rod Stewart.
posted by box at 12:53 PM on November 6, 2009


Wow, yes. What he did was just horribly rude.

A spreadsheet in a Word document? I mean, really.

Here, I'll post it as a Google Spreadsheet instead.
posted by Pronoiac at 2:05 PM on November 6, 2009


You guys can't possibly think that these antics have changed one persons mind on health care.. I mean.. really.

All he does it get folks riled up and even more pissed off, which dissuades any chance of actual conversation over the subject. That's not, at all -- not even remotely -- what's needed on this.

The whole screw-em-all-dems-have-super-duper-majority thinking is so short sighted. Not even from a political stand point, it's short sighted in terms of bringing people back together so we can operate on a level of decency again.

That decency, by the way, was the "change" outlined in audacity of hope.

But hey, Grayson's on the blue team, so he can act/do/say what he wants as long as he doesn't put on the red jersey..
posted by rulethirty at 4:10 PM on November 6, 2009


"But hey, Grayson's on the blue team, so he can act/do/say what he wants as long as he doesn't put on the red jersey."

You missed the whole part of the thread about truth vs lies.
posted by psyche7 at 4:38 PM on November 6, 2009 [6 favorites]


Michele Bachmann was speaking before the House just now, wearing a Hawaiian lei one of her supporters had given her for some reason. She claimed "The same one who made this lei made our freedom." I'm skeptical of that.
posted by EarBucket at 4:12 PM on November 7, 2009


The problem with democracy is that its founders/inventors never accounted for the likes of batshitinsane Michelle Bachmann types.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:52 PM on November 7, 2009


Turns out John Boehner thinks "hyperbole" is pronounced "hyperboll."
posted by EarBucket at 6:34 PM on November 7, 2009


Now Boehner's complaining about the administration wanting to set up a program to immunize schoolchildren against the flu. Christ.
posted by EarBucket at 6:43 PM on November 7, 2009


Geez, EarBucket, it's spelled "hyperbowl." You know, like the Superbowl, only hyper.
posted by Pronoiac at 7:08 PM on November 7, 2009


Metafilter:The same one who made this lei made our freedom.

amidoingthisrite?
posted by infinite intimation at 10:20 PM on November 7, 2009


Oh for Pete's sake rulethirty, decency doesn't have to include mollycoddling. And I do think Grayson has changed people's minds. Maybe not Boehner's but Boehner's a moron so screw him. I do think that people who found themselves on the fence about the prudence of healthcare reform would be swayed by what Grayson has to say.

Grayson can't "act/do/say what he wants" either. He has to stay in bounds of THE TRUTH, which he has done. It's the difference between being impolite and being impolite and also lying.
posted by Doublewhiskeycokenoice at 2:54 PM on November 8, 2009


THE TRUTH: A New Idea in Politics!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:55 PM on November 8, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought a hyperbowl is when you realize you're running late and you have to finish smoking in a hurry.
posted by dephlogisticated at 7:59 PM on November 10, 2009


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