Rep. Alan Grayson blasted party leaders and President Barack Obama on Thursday for pursuing a “policy of appeasement” over the past two years that he said led to House Democrats getting trounced in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
The Florida liberal was among 49 House Democrats to lose their seats — 10 more races are outstanding — and he blamed the losses on low voter turnout tied to the lack of “a fighting leadership” that stands up for the base.
“Democrats are saddened and demoralized by this policy of appeasement,” he said on MSNBC, calling the elections “a national disaster.”
Whereas Republicans had a clear strategy of “no” over the past two years, Democrats’ strategy “has been appeasement. And look where it got us,” Grayson said.
The Florida Democrat specifically took aim at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) for compromising too much with Republicans to pass bills. He recommended that Reid read William Butler Yeats’ “The Second Coming,” which contains the line, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst/Are full of passionate intensity.”
The lesson for Reid is that “under certain circumstances, ‘the center cannot hold.’ This is one of those times. The center cannot hold. There is no center. Either you deliver for the people on your side or you’re gone. It’s that simple,” Grayson said, referencing the Yeats poem.
The freshman also called it “a mistake” that Obama is now signaling that he is open to temporarily extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts across the board as part of a compromise with Republicans. The issue is expected to dominate debate in the lame-duck session this month.
Asked if he will run for Congress again, Grayson said he will just wait and see for now. “If that’s what the people want, then I’ll be back,” he said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.