It’s difficult to overstate the degree of insanity coming from Alan Grayson in Florida’s eighth Congressional district.
Grayson has used his Congressional office as a platform for extremist demagoguery, insulting his own constituents when they tried to organize against him and actually characterizing Republicans as murderers. He has remained totally unresponsive to his constituents by sneaking up on them in town hall meetings. He has gotten away with it by self-funding his campaigns from his $31 million net worth, which he made by prosecuting American contractors serving in the Iraq war.
The biggest question is why Grayson got elected in the first place, and why it seems that he actually has a chance to get re-elected this coming November. The answer to the first question is easy: he was first elected as a freshman Congressman two years ago because his constituents didn’t know his true colors, and enjoyed the fruits of the Obama electoral wave of 2008. The Republican that ran against him in 2008 was underfunded and suffered from a massive Democratic voter registration advantage.
Perhaps the answer to why Grayson still has a chance to get re-elected is that Grayson is still planning to use his massive war chest to steam roll his eventual Republican opponent. It’s also that his extremism attracts a dedicated wingnut Democrat following – consisting of many supporters outside the district – who prop him up, and as a result inspires too many Republicans to take him on. In other words, the opposition to Grayson is so massive and sprawling it’s hard to organize – and Grayson might get to enjoy the spoils.
That situation is clearly illustrated by the half dozen competitive opponents in the GOP primary, which doesn’t take place until August 24. The late primary date means there will be a brutally long internal Republican battle all summer for Grayson to mount attacks on each possible candidate. And when that candidate is decided upon, it’s not going to be pretty. Here’s how blogger Mike Thomas at the local Orlando Sentinal put it in July of 2009.
“I'd take on Hannibal Lecter at dinner before I'd take [Grayson] on in a political race,” wrote Thomas. “I can see him peeling Crotty's thin skin off ever so slowly, and then enjoying his liver with fava beans and a nice Chianti.”
Jordan Rayor, a Republican political consultant in the Sunshine State, breaks it down a little more clearly.