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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:26 PM

"If You Make the Voters Your Enemy, They Will Fight Back."

On the day after Election Day, Alan Grayson was back on national TV with Joy Behar, host of "Say Anything." Here is what they said:

JOY BEHAR: My first guest is returning to Congress after beating his opponent by 25 points last night in Florida. Wait, did I read that right? It's Florida. Are we sure he didn't beat the other guy by 25 votes? No? Oh, I read that right. Okay then, please welcome from Florida's 9th District, Congressman Alan Grayson. Thank you for joining me, Congressman. It's lovely to have you here. Congratulations on your win.

ALAN GRAYSON: Thank you. According to the House Historian, it's the biggest turnaround, the biggest comeback in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives.

JOY: It's a beautiful thing.

ALAN: I'm proud.

JOY: How good does it feel to know that Obama gets a second term? I know I'm elated about it. Are you?

ALAN: It gives us a chance to make some progress on solving our problems. I think that if Mitt Romney had been elected, it would have been all over. You would have seen no progress on employment, no progress on healthcare, no progress on housing, no progress on education, just giant steps backwards. So now we have a chance to go - as the President said - "forward."

JOY: It's funny because the Republicans I spoke to, a couple of Republicans I spoke to today were like, "Everything stays the same now, nothing changes." And yet you are saying everything will change.

ALAN: Well, I don't know. I'll tell you this: as much as I can do, things are going to change. We have big problems that need to be solved. We have 25 million people in this country who are looking for full-time work and can't find it. We need full employment. We have 50 million people in this country who can't see a doctor when they are sick. We need universal healthcare. There are all these problems that need to be solved. The fact that the cast of characters may not have changed much is irrelevant. What matters most are, "What are people's needs," and "What are you going to do about them?"

JOY: I was a little worried about the popular vote last night. But Romney ended up losing by almost 3 million. Is that enough to shut the Republicans up now about the popular vote, or are they gonna just kvetch about it still?

ALAN: No, he'll always be the President from Kenya, there's nothing to do about that. They just have this demented desire to try to discount his very existence as a human being. The reason why they're obsessed with his birth certificate is that they wanted to pretend that he wasn't even there, that he was never born, and that's not going to change. It didn't change the first time and it's not going to change the second time. But people now recognize that America wants to move forward. We have to address our real problems. People want justice, they want equality, and they want peace. And only the Democratic Party has any idea about how to deliver on that.

JOY: I agree with that. I want to talk to you, though, about voting in Florida, your state. Let me play a clip of what Vice President Al Gore said last night right here on Current about long lines in Florida, and about voter suppression. Let's watch it.

AL GORE: It is a strategy that is a direct descendant of the racist, Jim Crow tactics that were used in the wake of the Civil War to prevent black people from voting. It's more sophisticated now. It's dressed up in different kinds of language, but it is un-American. It is wrong. It is a disgrace to this country, and there ought to be a bipartisan movement to say, "Enough of this."

JOY: Your response, Congressman? Anything to respond to that?

ALAN: I think it's even worse than that, and far more dangerous. What the Republicans are doing is different from what they normally do. They normally try to vilify groups that can't fight back. They vilify the undocumented because they can't vote, so they can't retaliate. They vilify pregnant teenagers because they can't vote either. Here, they're vilifying the voters. They're attacking the voters. They're pissing the voters off, and that's a very dangerous thing for elected officials to do anywhere.

We had lines as long as six hours here in Central Florida to vote, and it was simply because the Republicans wanted it that way. It's because Rick Scott wanted it that way. It's because the Republican super-majorities in Tallahassee wanted it that way. If you make voters your enemy, the voters know that, and they are going to fight back.

JOY: Well it seems as though it is easier to register for a gun in Florida than it is to register to vote. Something has to be done. It's still up in the air, isn't it, Florida, at the time that we are speaking?

ALAN: Well, it's close, but the President is ahead by a significant margin. What matters here is that the Republicans have established themselves in the voters' minds as the anti-voting party. And it's a very short step to go from the anti-voting party to be the anti-voter party. People now recognize in a very fundamental, direct way that the Republicans do not have their interests at heart. If they won't let you vote, that means they're not going to do anything else for you either.

JOY: Tell me something. What is your prediction for the Tea Party? Because they seem to have taken a bit of a hit, not necessarily in Congress, but just generally. Do you think that they're done, or will they come roaring back? What do you think about that?

ALAN: I think the Tea Party is dead, because they would never talk about solutions to people's problems. You know, what people want to hear about is full employment. They want to hear about universal health care. They want hear about an end to discrimination. They want to hear about progressive, fair taxation for everybody. They want to hear about peace. They want to hear about the things that matter in their lives. Whether it is education or housing or healthcare or jobs, the Tea Party never had an answer for that. As I've said before, the Tea Party's answer when you didn't have health coverage, when you couldn't see a doctor when you're sick, was, "Don't get sick."

JOY: Right.

ALAN: And time and time again, whatever the issue was, it was always the same. They want to talk about some kind of nonsensical fabric that fills only their own heads and no one else's, and not deal with the real problems in people's lives. And that's a dead end. In politics, that's a dead end. You can't ignore the voters and expect support. You can't ignore the problems that people face that are too big for them to solve individually, and expect the voters are going to rally around you. The Tea Party was a Koch Brothers' construct right from the beginning, and now the construct has collapsed, like a house of cards.

JOY: Do you think the Koch Brothers will collapse?

ALAN: Well, you know, I think that their idea that they could manipulate 312 million people to do their bidding for them, that idea is collapsing. People are waking up. Their tools, the Koch Brothers tools, are basically lies repeated endlessly on TV. That tool is becoming ineffective. We're paying a price for it, because now people don't believe what they see on TV, and that's unfortunate. But the fact is the Koch Brothers have proven that you can't fool all the people all the time.

JOY: Thank you. Thank you, Abe Lincoln. Thank you, Alan Grayson. It's really a pleasure to speak to you, and congratulations again on your win.

ALAN: Thank you very much.

To see the video, or to support our campaign, click here.

"I'm back.
I'm back in the saddle again.
I'm riding, I'm loading up my pistol.
I'm riding, I really got a fistful.
I'm riding, I'm shining up my saddle.
I'm riding, this snake is gonna rattle."


- Aerosmith, "Back in the Saddle" (1976).

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply "If You Make the Voters Your Enemy, They Will Fight Back." (Original post)
Alan Grayson Nov 2012 OP
NMDemDist2 Nov 2012 #1
grasswire Nov 2012 #2
prairierose Nov 2012 #3
ProudProgressiveNow Nov 2012 #4
2naSalit Nov 2012 #5
wilsonbooks Nov 2012 #6
virgdem Nov 2012 #7
iemitsu Nov 2012 #8
Royal Sloan 09 Nov 2012 #9
AnotherMother4Peace Nov 2012 #10
jsmirman Nov 2012 #11
LiberalAndProud Nov 2012 #12
bjobotts Nov 2012 #13
Bozita Nov 2012 #14
wake.up.america Nov 2012 #15
wake.up.america Nov 2012 #16
octoberlib Nov 2012 #17
AzDar Nov 2012 #18
tpsbmam Nov 2012 #19
ReRe Nov 2012 #20
SoapBox Nov 2012 #21
flying rabbit Nov 2012 #22
Tsiyu Nov 2012 #23

Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:28 PM

1. happy to see you former/future or is it former/future/current now??



so glad you're headed back to work, thank you!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:36 PM

2. thank you so much for this transcript, Congressman!

It's very heartening. I hope that your clear understanding of the fight and the nature of the foe will be a spark in the House to urge representatives to (as Wellstone said) stand up; keep fighting.

Huge congratulations!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:51 PM

3. I saw that appearance. You were....

great as usual. I am so glad you will be back in Congress and speaking truth to power. Congratulations on your tremendous win.


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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:58 PM

4. Congrat.....

Welcome back....

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:08 PM

5. Welcome back!

Alan Grayson is a true statesman and I'm thrilled to see him return to our government, even though I live way over here in the west.

I am glad to see at least a few credible people who understand what representative government means had the fortitude to run for office and win this election cycle. I wish that my fellow residents and pseudo representatives understood that... in my neck of the woods, I have no representation since I'm not a rancher, oil baron, mining operator or own a paper company.

I saw you on a short clip from CNN (online) the other day and I felt that they were on the attack and hoping for something far different from what they got. And seeing you trying to educate those talking pointy heads about what a clown show the House and their facilitating media had become made me smile. Actually, I think they were demanding an apology from you for telling it like it is, guess the truth inflicts pain they would rather deny than face.

Welcome back, sir, I hope that the freshman guy from my state will find you a worthy example to emulate. I am glad that you chose to run this year, thank you.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:13 PM

6. Thank you Congressman and congratulations. Please keep their feet to the fire.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:16 PM

7. Congratulations on your victory...

We are very happy to have another true progressive voice in the House! Now if only you could do something about that Bachmann woman. Duct tape might work!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:34 PM

8. Thank you Congressman Grayson for being the wise and supportive voice you are.

Congratulations on your comeback. We will need you in congress as MR Obama prepares to deal with recalcitrant republicans. I fear, as do many others, that the president is too willing to bargain with those who would take the last crumbs from our mouths.
If Obama plans to tamper with Social Security he will find himself in the position you describe above, he will piss off the voters and they will fight back.
Now is the time for America to move forward. We won and we won decisively. The voters have rejected the trickle-down, privatization, disaster that has characterized republican policy for the last four decades. Obama does not need to legitimize those goals. They have not, do not, and will not make America better in any way.
Obama needs to use his mandate to renew and re-establish the government's appropriate role, to serve the common good. The government should be our defense against aggressive corporate greed not accessory to it.
We do not need austerity programs, that take from those who have nothing to give, for our country to function.
We can pay our bills and rebuild our country just fine, without having to harm the poor, by simply taxing the rich. They can and have both survived and thrived with much larger tax burdens.
And if the rich don't like being taxed then we need to stop paying the cost of maintaining an empire for their benefit. Average Americans gain nothing from our overseas adventures, that is done for the benefit of the few. Yet working Americans pay the bill.
I'm glad you are returning to congress. Your input and influence will be needed as we try to recover from three and a half years of republican obstructionism.
Good luck and thank you again.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:38 PM

9. K-&-R, Congrats on the Victory, Congressman Grayson!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:40 PM

10. I very much admire you, Sir. Congratulations! Thank you for fighting the good fight for us. nt

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:46 PM

11. Congratulations, from one of your donors - anything you can do to fight

for voting rights through improvements like a paper ballot trail, nationwide standards for all federal elections, etc. would be a service to this country.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:05 PM

12. Welcome back!

Happy happy joy joy!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:27 PM

13. Redistricting should be re-done by non-partisans

So glad Grayson is back. We need his strong and intelligent voice. The man who stood up for the truth about ACORN.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:27 PM

14. Congrats, ... and welcome back! We've really missed your voice in Congress!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:30 PM

15. Nice to have you back Congressman Grayson. Nice to have someone back who will fight back the ...

selfish, self righteous elements of Congress.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:32 PM

16. By the way, the election process is a disgrace. Can't we do something about it?

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:57 PM

17. Congratulations, Congressman!

So glad you're back!

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 11:58 PM

18. K & R

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:17 AM

19. Your pride is well deserved! Congrats to out and the USA!

You're back and I couldn't be more thrilled. I've so missed your bold voice in Congress -- does the House ever need you! Seems like the voters gave YOU a mandate!



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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:23 AM

20. Happy belated Veterans Day...

... and Congratulations on getting your seat back in the House! I think all democrats across this nation look at you as their representative. You have the backbone to get up there and say what needs to be said and the courage that comes with such deep convictions for the REAL principles of democracy.

Yes, I seen you on Joy Behar and also on Elliot Spitzer. Was so glad to see and hear your voice again! See you on C-Span and whatever news show I can catch you on. Thank you so much for being you! Best regards always

ReRe

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 12:36 AM

21. Congratulations, I'm glad you are back!

We've needed you in D.C.

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 01:12 AM

22. Kicking 4 sanity

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Response to Alan Grayson (Original post)

Mon Nov 12, 2012, 02:12 AM

23. K&R



Your victory almost makes up for Tennessee's results sucking so bad.

I know you'll help us all out and we thank you in advance.




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