The Fightin’ Backbencher

Goatee not shown.While Alan Grayson become America’s Hero overnight for his slam against the Republican health care plan, which we’ll paraphrase as “Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse,” he’s no stranger to punching back:

Shortly after his election, the 51-year-old responded to radio host Rush Limbaugh’s remark that he hoped President Obama would fail by calling Limbaugh a “has-been hypocrite loser,” adding for good measure that “Limbaugh actually was more lucid when he was a drug addict.” Mocking Republicans who apologized after criticizing Limbaugh, Grayson issued an “apology” of his own: “I’m sorry that Limbaugh is one sorry excuse for a human being.”

And he’s using his newfound popularity to raise some quick cash:

Congressman Grayson’s re-election campaign wishes to thank all of the Republican hypocrites who attacked Grayson for summarizing the Republican’s health care plan as follows: “Don’t get sick. And if you do get sick, die quickly.” As soon as the Republican hissy fits began, contributions began to pour in to Grayson’s campaign. Thousands of new contributors joined Alan’s Army overnight.

Rep. Tom Price (R-GA) demanded an apology. The Grayson re-election campaign would like to usher in a new era of bipartisanship by inviting Rep. Price to serve as the campaign’s Finance Director. The campaign would also like to invite the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Pete Sessions (R-TX), to serve as Chairman of the Campaign’s Fundraising Committee.

Keep up the good work, gentlemen! The Grayson campaign thanks you for your support.

But before you get too excited, one caveat: His kids are named Skye, Star, Sage, Storm and Stone.


@SanFranLefty: Sure, but in the end the only fashion accessory we like is the sac he’s swinging on the floor of the house. He could wear a girl scout’s sash and name his next child Sliver as long as he keeps flinging Rethuglican shit back in their faces.

I love the distressed hand wringing around left blogistan over this.

OMG. I want to have more of his babies.

@Capt Howdy: Who’s doing the hand-wringing? Is it because of the “Holocaust” remark? Rachel felt compelled to ask him about it three times last night.

fair amount at TalkLeft. with some pushback as in “what the hell are you talking about, every word is true”.

some other usual suspects.

last night for some unknown reason I caught LardBall.
it was pretty good. Damn Lundgren from cali was on being all righteous and offended so tweety played a few republican greatest hits for him.

I will see if I can find the clip.

got it

I called his DC office this am and had a perfectly lovely chat with Skipper, his aide. Skipper was over the moon that I called to offer my congratulations on the congressman’s plainspokenness. He seems to be a perfectly lovely young man who is into long walks on the beach and candlelight suppers. He is a Virgo with Capricorn rising and is consequently more than usually caring. Upon my inquiring if he had ever considered a career in show-business, Skip confessed that ever since he was Dream Curly in the Ann Arbor high-school production of Oklamobama! he has harbored, shall we say, proclivities? Naturally I gave him my number to call upon for private coaching in Shakespearean monologues, wrestling and back rubs.

I feel that I have made my contribution to democracy today.

Can we get a movement going for Grayson to get a serious leadership position? Screw seniority rules. We need a spine infusion, stat.

@Capt Howdy: I thought lefties were pining for somebody to hit back. Is there a Harry Reid Fan Club I don’t know about?


only Scooter would be better.

beats the hell outta me.
fight back! fight back!

ooooo not so hhhhaaaarrrd!

@nojo: ‘Bend like the willow, but snap on demand’ is their motto.

@Capt Howdy: Also, when I saw the video yesterday, it looked like one of those C-Span After Dark specials — speaking to an empty House, with the camera zoomed in close enough to crop out the void. Would anyone have even noticed if the Repugs didn’t make an issue out of it?

It’s interesting that as much as it’s been ingrained into us by parents, authority figures, even Jeebus that we should take the high road, walk away from the bully, turn the other cheek, not sink to their level, etc etc–the minute we see someone punch back, we’re filled with glee. In fact, it feels right. My dour calvinist ancestors would say this is proof of the depravity of humankind. I say it’s a hunger for justice, even if it comes at the cost of goodness sometimes.

@nojo: Demtards tend to be walking sacks of greivance and victimhood just waiting to fall into a paralyzed mess of internecine bickering over political correctness and identity politics. Or over who gets credit and who gets funding, and of course the Sierrra Club will reconsider its opposition to the offshore windfarm if the builder would care to fund a $10 million, 3 year research project to study its impact, said project to be performed by the Sierra Club, and Jesse Jackson will broker a deal which will allow the project to go forward in exchange for a $500,000 donation and a commitment to employ 15% minority workers in the construction.

Oh, wait, you do all know how democratic politics works, right?

But anyway, we’re not like that, not us strong, bold, united progressives, of course. This is a WarBlog, isn’t it?

@flippin eck: It is sweet and proper to righteously kick some ass at times.

@Prommie: Oh, wait, you do all know how democratic politics works, right?

I’m still clinging to the fantasy that there was a difference between Swampsow and Unicorn.

@flippin eck:
Not everyone can be Gandhi.

Not all progressive organizations are that craven or cynical.

@flippin eck:
Your comment is leading to a rant (not directed at you, flippin, just in general.)

As someone who was a yellow skinned little kid in a small country town, I learned that turning the other cheek isn’t always the best option when bullies want to kick your ass.

Sometimes turning the other cheek is the best policy. Sometimes, no. Usually that’s when they’re trying to shoot you with a BB gun, kicking sand in your face in your own sandbox or beating up your sister. Fortunately for me, it ended with said kids screaming in terror and bleeding from various orifices or nursing a nasty concussion.

To be honest, that’s what annoys me about liberal types all over. What’s with this bullshit we’re above it all. We’re not. We have to be able to fight any place any time any level.

One thing to remember. The human brain has times as many connections for emotion as it does intellect. This tells me that we need to get “alpha” from time to time. People (even us) respond to that. Most GOPers are like Biff Tannen (from Back To the Future) loathsome to you until one makes a stand and belt him.

@Prommie: Such is my job.

@Benedick: My greatest, and only, foray into show biz was when I was in stage crew in high school for a production of Oklahoma. I failed in my attempt to boff Ado Annie even though she couldn’t say “no.”

@Dodgerblue: They all say they ‘cain’t say no.’ But out ’em out back of the gym and they’re singin’ a different tune.

@everyone: It all comes back to my favorite example of where you draw the line between pacifism and righteous justice: Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Lutheran pastor, theologian, pacifist…and a man who was executed for attempting to assassinate Hitler.

@Benedick: Tell Skipper the legendary freelance diplomat FlyingChainSaw is offering his skills as a Press Liaison. I can help the Congressman sharpen up his messaging.

@SanFranLefty: They may not be craven or cynical, but they make sure they get their funding. Funding is important, maximizing funding surely is not craven or cynical.

@flippin eck: My favorite part of that bio:

He raised the first and virtually lone voice for church resistance to Hitler’s persecution of Jews when he declared that church must not simply “bandage the victims under the wheel, but jam the spoke in the wheel itself.”

Well put.

@Prommie: Not all of them maximize their funding by compromising their principles. Believe me.

@nojo: I think there is, I would say its in the cynicism. I am sorry, but most politics tends to come in two flavors, the “how many votes you got, how much money you want,” which is the enviro-minority-cause variety of dem politics, and the social-family values variety of republican politics, and the “how much money you give me, how much favorable legislation and/or government contracts you want” variety. But still and all, someone’s gonna get the contracts, and the legislations gonna pass, so why not get some? Seriously, that quid pro quo is everything in politics doesn’t mean you can’t horsetrade in good faith for good purposes. Its a question of limits.

Some whores don’t do anal, most don’t swallow, many don’t kiss, for example, or so I am told.

When a constituent calls, first thing everyone does is check elec, to see if they gave to you, or maybe more importantly, to see if they gave to your opponent.

@SanFranLefty: Nothing wrong with doing that impact study, and whoa, that $10 million will be handy too. And the environment was protected. Who compromised their principles? And a big projects, with jobs to pass out, win win.

Stuck in my craw they jacked up a fucking wind power installation. Way to show your concern for greenhouse gasses, Jeff.

oh my god I so agree with you.
this is why demmecrats get their ass handed to them three times a week.

@Prommie: that quid pro quo is everything in politics doesn’t mean you can’t horsetrade in good faith for good purposes.

There’s an early-LBJ Feiffer cartoon that makes the very point. How will he accomplish the Great Society? “I shall wheel and deal.”

Obama, alas, is just a gloss on contemporary Demrat politics as usual: they had power after 2006, but were too frightened to use it. Why should now be any different?

@nojo: Every time I think of LBJ, I see the Pogo character.

@Capt Howdy:

I swear he stole that bit from a play I read. Benedick, do you recall anything like that? It is driving me crazy…it would have been from like Durang or Wasserstein. Somebody like that.

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches:
I remember it from somewhere else as well.
I was about to google. got it
“ABSTRACT: In this dream, which the writer has had on the night of the full moon for the past 3 months, he is giving a cocktail party in honor of Yma Sumac, the Peruvian singer. Since all of his guests seem to know him rather intimately & do not know one another, Miss Sumac suggests that he introduce the guests only by their first name. The guests are: Ava Gardner, Abba Eban, Oona O’Neill, Ugo Betti, Ona Munson, Ida Lupino, the young Aga Khan, Ira Wolfert, Ilya Ehrenburg, Eva Gabor, & Uta Hagen. Complications arise when he has to make the introductions. “Yma, Uta; Yma, Ava; Yma, Oona; Yma, Ona; Yma, Ida; Yma, Ugo; Yma, Abba; Yma, Ilya; Yma, Ira; Yma, Aga; Yma, Eva.” Miss Sumac becomes annoyed. The circle of guests move menacingly toward the writer. When the bell rings & it is the Polish concert pianist, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, the dream ends.”


@Capt Howdy: I think you give the writers of the Oscars too much credit. It was just Funny Holywood Name Syndrome. Remember; they’re all 15. Unless…

I knew before I cliqued the linque it pointed to the New Yorker, that bastion of smugness for those who think they are English by inclination. I could believe that Letterman reads said publication: god knows he’s got the smugs for it. On the other hand, see note re riters of oscurs.

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches: Though I’m no admirer of Wasserstein I do admire some of Mr. Durang’s work. I could only hope that no playwright could write such muck. It wouldn’t even fly at Friends.

@Benedick: I have to agree — Bruce Vilanch doesn’t strike me as a New Yorker reader.

@Capt Howdy: HA! That is it! Genius.


Remember how popular she was though? Weird.

I find Durang doesn’t age well… too solipsistic, in a way. Too impressed with it’s own cleverness to be funny. Kind of proto-snark… I do like Sister Mary Ignatious…, but stuff like Baby with the Bathwater just falls flat for me now. I was in love with it at the time, but hey, I also thought M. Butterfly was brilliant, which shows what kind of taste I had back then.

Passing thought: Shouldn’t it be Senator Franken who comes up with the good lines?


Frankin’s just happy to be there. The funny stuff will come out if he wins another term and starts feeling safe.


yeah, i don’t get that either. if you’ve read his books, you know he hit the ground running. something in the water?

as for flight v fight? it is perfectly normal and healthy to express anger, what with these reptilian brain stems we’re stuck with for another million years of evolution. as if…..

woody: “i don’t know how to express anger, i grow tumors instead”

funnily, today i joined the neighborhood watch of silly creek. there has been a rash of robberies of late, what with the developers running out of money, creating an economic crash for the legions now unemployed.
but breaking into houses and stealing other peoples shit is asking to be punished. i’m so excited at the prospect of foiling a burglar and beating the shit out of him.

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches: Wasserstein was a creation of The New York Times. She was Jean Kerr without the craft. Uncommon Women has the freshness of naiveté but works like Isn’t It Romantic are merely putrid and had they not been written by a woman (that everyone who worked with her plus Frank Bitch adored) would not have fared so well.

I am a big fan of Beyond Therapy. He was praised too much too soon which stunted his growth. But “I hope I’m not too butch for you”, remains a classic moment. Note to Chris – Please rite moar. Here in the US of Asshole the pricks who rite revyoos for the fishwrap have no clue about comedy (or anything else) (see Frank Bitch on economics: Oh wait! Wait! I have an opinion! Let’s print it!!!!!). They think it a mere Simonesque drizzle of one-liners. They don’t understand that comedy, in the real sense, has only been in the world since – say – 1650 – (forget the Romans, Greeks, Satyricon: the long dismal march of Christianity stifled that too human tradition). Now it’s how we try to understand each other before bombing ourselves into oblivion.

Comedy searches the soul, sniffs at its underwear, then lofts it across the net to its mother-in-law..

On the other hand: Durang should get such laughs at his plays as I do at mine. And yes I will travel to Vienna in Jan ’10 to see my play in a theatre built in 1787. Oh – and yes, I will go visit Mr. Mozart’s grave.

@Benedick: Careful, Wasserstein is an alum of my daughter’s college. And you do not want my daughter (who, btw, is an aficionado/a of musical theater) mad at you. Trust me on this one.

@Jamie bar the door: Maybe it’s all this musical theatre talk here, because after reading your comment I have an earworm of “What the world needs now is love” going through. Dammit!

@Benedick: Oh Benedick, the riters might have rit much of what Letterman said that night, but Uma, Oprah, Oprah, Uma, is pure Dave, he really is silly. Its so sad he seems to hate himself, it does not appear to be schtick, he seems a sad man. It was just a silly little bit, but oh no, people thought it awkward and weird, like he was making fun of their names, but I don’t sense malice in it. Poor dave.

ps, I don’t see Dave reading the New Yorker, or trying to appeal to New Yorker readers. Of course, I have not watched him since he was the later late night guy, maybe he changed. I am thinking of the dave of wearing velcro and throwing himself at a velcro wall, he seems to be one who is not fond of pretension.

Now here is a strange flight, a connection, Dave had “the guy under the bleachers,” and he is the son of half of that great radio comedy duo I forget the name of, thats cool, to me, a connection there.

@Promnight: I remember a morning show he had, it was cancelled almost immediately. I was only a kid but he was hysterical.

@Promnight: Chris Elliot, son of Bob Elliot of Bob and Ray. Chris Elliot sucked. What an entitled sack of shit. He thought that people should laugh at him just for showing up.

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches: That early Letterman show was one of the strangest things I’ve ever seen.

@Tommmcatt is hunkered down in the trenches: His late late night show began when I was in college, early 80s, he was hysterical.

He was less damaged, then, it seems, mental illness seems to come out in the mid-30s. He was a comedian who loved the silly, just stupid silly stuff. He was like his idol, Carson. As he got older, his insecurity seemed to grow, his self-loathing, which is evident, and he plays off a lot more now with his own awkwardness and insecurity. I usually hate that schtick, comics who make it all about their own quirkiness and insecurity and awkwardness and nueroses, like Ellen and Richard Lewis and even Woody, they use their flaws as excuses for being, often, assholes, but with Dave, I just sense it as genuine pain coming out.

Are most famous people narcissists with an over-developed ego? I sense that in some, and it turns me off when they passive-aggressively hide it with a “I am such a wreck” schtick, thats Woody Allen. But as I said, with Dave it seems real, he hates himself, for some reason, he can never be satisfied with himself.

@redmanlaw: Oh, RML, his show, Get a Life, is one of my favorite shows of all time. Zoo Animals on Rollerskates, Spewy the alien, and Bill Murray’s hilarious brother as the next door “Mr. Wilson” character, I loved it.

@redmanlaw: And for the record, SNL’s Abby Elliott is the third generation.

I have the vaguest memory of Letterman’s morning show. But since it appeared in the same era as the Gong Show, I’m not sure what qualifies as strange.

@nojo: Gene, gene, the dancing machine, Jay P Morgan, I loved it.

@Promnight: Are any of us ever really satisfied with ourselves? It has to take a toll on your ability to understand yourself at all when you live in a world where an hour of your life is nailed down for posterity five nights a week for more than 20 years.

I have been watching Dave since 1982, and I am still a big fan, although at this point I think Craig Ferguson is funnier. For my money, the funniest guy in late night.

Letterman: SNL: Python.

Darlings, it’s about age. About what we watched in college dorms. No one could look at anything put out by SNL and think it funny unless bewitched by youth. It’s trash. Talentless and boring. Ditto Python. Apart from three or four sketches over the course of umpteen series. And all the performers, apart from Cleese, are terrible.

You see, I didn’t go to college. I honestly don’t know what a bong is. I left skool at 15 and never went back. Like any self-respecting gay man I skipped the country when drafted. No gay man has any reason to join the forces, period. If he does he should shut up about his persecution because he knew going in what his life would be. And if it’s a case of getting an education, then he is a hypocrite and deserves not one ounce of my interest. Military men are the most vain and inconsequential men it’s ever been my misfortune to come across. That anyone could take them seriously boggles my mind.

However, Skipper seems to be quite interested in a theatre career, I’ve got him reading Little Eyeolf. Ibsen is so good for tyros. No one else gives quite such a sense of doom.

Letterman? Huh?

Speaking of Letterman – $2 mil extortion?!? My money is on Paul…

@Benedick: Actually, my youthful comedic judgment was pretty good. It’s my youthful musical judgment that sucks.

the smartest people i know either never went to college or dropped out early. if a person reads and has a brain, thats edumacation. teachers may cause more harm than good.
ratbastards father and brother are lawyers. his father didn’t talk to him for 3 years when he dropped out. fast forward 20 years…they both went to work for HIM.
also a very dear old friend who is insanely successful dropped out of penn and he had to file a suit to get them to stop calling him an alumn.

ADD: i will tell you everything there is to know about the sacred BONG.


i neglected to say that YOU, dearest benedick, prove my point *uite nicely. and i second jamie: COTD

i think nojo STILL plays “the partridge family”
now i’ll have that playing in my head all day…
“come on world, there’s a song we’ll be singinn….”
sorry, if your head is now playing it

@baked: It’s so touching that you call your dear husband ‘ratbastard’. He must be so proud.

oh yes, he is amused and sheepishly owns it.
phyllis had her fang, and i have my ratbastard.

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