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“They got rid of me for two years, but now I’m back,” Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson said with a wide grin. To clarify, the Alan Grayson — the insult-dishing, left-wing lightning rod, cable TV mainstay — is back.
Grayson lost re-election in the GOP wave of 2010, in a district no Democrat had won for 34 years before him. In 2012, Grayson was elected in a different district — one drawn to safely elect a Democrat. He won by 25 points, making him no longer an enticing target for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Grayson said the House historian informed him the victory, a 43-point swing from his 2010 loss, was the biggest comeback in history of the House.
His lesson from the experience is to press on, full steam ahead. In an interview in his office in the Cannon Building, he ticked off accomplishments from his first term including passage of a major bipartisan bill to audit the Federal Reserve.
“There’s every reason to think that, if people want to see results, that we should continue,” he concluded.
And so he does, taking a nasty shot at the GOP a few minutes later.
Asked whether Democrats, who fiercely protested George W. Bush’s aggressive use of executive power to fight terrorism, should be protesting President Barack Obama’s similar policies, Grayson quickly pivots to an attack on Republicans.
“They love the taste of blood,” Grayson said. “They’re consistently pro-war, consistently pro-killing foreigners. They view the entire world as either a massive inconvenience or something they feel is a personal threat. One or the other. They don’t recognize the world as full of human beings.”
According to Grayson, he’s just saying what other Democrats think but don’t say out loud.
“I’m just honest! OK?” he said, later adding, “Honestly, I get all sorts of atta boys from people because I have the chance to appear on TV frequently, and they don’t, and I say the things that everyone else is thinking here but nobody else has the chance to say.”
Grayson compares himself to Huey Long, the Great Depression-era Louisiana governor who proposed aggressive wealth redistribution policies, challenged President Franklin D. Roosevelt from the left and was assassinated in 1933.
“You know, the change campaign that the president ran four years ago was in essence the same campaign that Huey Long ran time after time after time. The difference is that things actually did change when Huey Long was elected. They got free roads, free bridges, free school books. The beginning of having free health care. A magnificent state university system, the best in the country at the time.