A relatively unknown Democratic Congressman from Florida made his celebrity debut on the House floor and in front of CSPAN cameras this week, and since then it’s become the sound bite everyone’s discussing (video after the jump). Representative Alan Grayson of the ninth district has now reached political celebrity because of his sarcastic rant describing the Republican health care plan, which went a little like this:
Here it is. The Republican health care plan for America: Don’t get sick. That’s right, don’t get sick. If you have insurance don’t get sick. If you don’t have insurance, don’t get sick. If you’re sick, don’t get sick. Just don’t get sick. That’s what Republicans have in mind for you America. That’s the Republicans’ health care plan. But I think that the Republicans understand that that plan isn’t always going to work, it’s not a foolproof plan. So the Republicans have a backup plan in case you do get sick. If you get sick in America, this is what Republicans want you to do. If you get sick America, the Republican health care plan is this: die quickly.
This ballsy address has gotten the attention of Politico, Huffington Post, NY Magazine’s Daily Intel, the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, and even Joe Scarborough on MSNBC yesterday morning, basically ensuring its merit as a lead story for the rest of the day.
Yesterday House Republicans demanded that Grayson apologize and started circulating a resolution of disapproval, the same slap on the wrist that their own Joe Wilson got for his own rambunctious verbal address. Grayson obliged with an apology, though in a very different manner than what the Republicans were expecting. “I apologize to the dead and their families that we haven’t voted sooner to end this holocaust in America,” Grayson said on the house floor.
Media outlets have been quick to draw parallels between the two, and even North Carolina Representative Patrick McHenry is likening Grayson’s passionate, albeit contemptuous, demonstration to the “You lie!” outburst a few weeks ago. Yesterday, the Congressman tweeted:
The problem with this comparison is that the two situations don’t compare at all. Indeed, Grayson was acting in a provocative way, but he was yelling to us through CSPAN. Wilson yelled at the President, to his face. Grayson was making a point, however colorfully, and he had the right to do so with his allotted five minutes. Wilson wasn’t just talking out of turn, but interrupting a televised speech. Being made by the President.
People make confrontational speeches in the House all the time. But shouting like you’re in kindergarten while someone else is talking is something entirely different.
Apples and oranges. Which was part of the point Keith Olbermann made on Countdown last night.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org