Friday, October 02, 2009

In Support of Alan Grayson

With his audacious remarks about the Republican health care bill calling for a quick death to all Americans who are diagnosed with a cold or a gall bladder infection, Democratic Florida Congressman Alan Grayson has proved several things that I don’t think come as a surprise to anyone:

• that the House Democrats and its leadership continue to demonstrate an unparallel level of hypocrisy;
• that the House democrats participate in as much hate-mongering as the Republicans;
• and that Grayson, like many of his colleagues on the left and the right, makes headlines telling lies.

It doesn’t matter that the Republicans don’t have a heath care bill up for debate, nor does it matter than this imaginary plan to which Grayson refers supports an American “Holocaust.” (Nice word, Mr. Grayson). But so what? Grayson has as much a right to his opinion as Representative Joe Wilson. And in this free country of ours, he is welcome to express it through whatever means are available to him. And in Grayson’s (and Wilson’s) case, those "means" are the floor of the House of Representatives.

And Rep. Grayson is welcome to lie, if so he chooses. That's fine with me. And in Grayson's case I use the word “lie” because I don’t think Grayson is demented enough to actually believe his own statements. But I could be wrong.

Yes, Rep. Grayson's words are incendiary, far more incendiary than Wilson’s. And perhaps they are stupid, poorly chosen and uncalled-for. But that’s what we get in a country with a constitutional protection of speech. It’s up to each of us to determine whether or not Grayson is an insightful political genius or an utter boob. The media can give this idiot airplay, or ignore this savvy orator all together. Regardless, Grayson has a position, an opinion, and has as much right to express that as anyone. If there are consequences, so be it. That’s something else we take on in a free society—the ability to speak our minds and the responsibility to accept any consequences our words may have.

In light of his comments I am left wondering whether the Republicans will respond to Grayson in the manner in which Democrats responded to Wilson. Will the Republicans work as hard as Democrats to stifle and suppress free speech? Will the right go on and on demanding pointless, meaningless apologies while the work of the people is placed on a back burner? Will the Republicans resort to the sort of ad hominem arguments the democrats got elected on, while the important issues linger on without proactive analysis and debate?

I don’t doubt it for a moment.

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