I know, choosing America’s worst columnist when there are so many recipients of wingnut welfare putting their income to work hammering out ridiculous screeds in support of politicians who wish to return our country to the stone age is a nearly impossible task, but when George Will decided to hand out the title of America’s Worst Politician to Alan Grayson, well he really seemed to be angling for the prize.
Alan Grayson managed to be elected to Congress as a liberal Democrat from central Florida. That is no mean feat in itself. Grayson has adhered to his liberal roots and has not hesitated to point out right wing corruption and deceit while in office. He earned scorn from Will and other right-wingers when he famously described the Republican health care plan as “If you get sick, die quickly”. [Sadly, Jon Stewart is also using this rare moment of truth in American politics as the single example he can find of Democrats being over the line and a part of the need to "restore sanity" to the political scene.] Grayson cut his teeth on rooting out fraud in Iraq, but since he has attacked a fundamentalist politician who is opposing him for re-election, Grayson has especially earned the ire of Will and his ilk.
Yes, Grayson went over the top in editing the video of Dan Webster used for the Taliban Dan ad, but as Howie points out, there is a considerable amount of true evidence to point out Webster’s alliances with Christianist extremist views:
Digby turned me on to some of the writings of Daniel Webster’s guru, Bill Gothard, who he used to brag about but is now strangely silent about. And, as I pointed out yesterday, part of Gothard’s vision that Webster takes so much inspiration from includes “stoning as a form of capital punishment for rape, kidnapping, murder, heresy, blasphemy, witchcraft, astrology, adultery, ‘sodomy or homosexuality,’ incest, striking a parent, extreme juvenile delinquency, and ‘unchastity before marriage’.”
Webster has used Gothard’s hateful fanaticism as an inspiration for legislation in the past. The media should be writing about his Covenant Marriage bill and his attempts to outlaw divorce in Florida instead of whining about Alan Grayson being mean in his ad. That aside– and I’ll let astrologers, people who have sex outside of wedlock and blasphemers, heretics and juvenile delinquents deal with the idea of being stoned to death on their own– I want to focus on the age-old drive on the far right inhabited by creatures like Taliban Dan and Bill Gothard to exterminate gay people– and to do it in the name of Christ, God, religion, the Bible, the Koran… whatever. Gothard wants to stone us to death. When Taliban Dan was singing his praises– before the campaign– he didn’t say he was inspired by him except in the case of stoning gays to death. There were no exceptions.
And if we need further evidence for Will’s nomination as America’s Worst Columnist, then consider the flip-side of his attack today on Alan Grayson. Who rates as an admirable politician in Will’s book? How about Michele Bachmann, whom he praises for bringing on the crazy:
For example, appearing on MSNBC’s “Hardball” 18 days before last year’s election, she made the mistake of taking Chris Matthews’s bait and speculating about whether Barack Obama and some other Democrats have “anti-American” views. In the ensuing uproar — fueled by people who were not comparably scandalized when George W. Bush was sulfurously vilified — her opponent raised nearly $2 million and her lead shrank from 13 points to her winning margin of three.
Some of her supposed excesses are, however, not merely defensible, they are admirable. For example, her June 9 statement on the House floor in which she spoke of “gangster government” has been viewed on the Internet about 2 million times. She noted that, during the federal takeover of General Motors, a Democratic senator and one of her Democratic House colleagues each successfully intervened with GM to save a constituent’s dealership from forced closure. One of her constituents, whose dealership had been in the family for 90 years, told her that the $15 million dealership had been rendered worthless overnight, and, Bachmann said, “GM is demanding that she hand over her customer list,” probably to give it to surviving GM dealerships that once were competitors.
Better check those pants one more time, George, it smells like your next column is just about ready.