By the time we reach the dog days of a major election year such as we’re suffering through now, doesn’t the political arena become utterly nauseating?
Will Ferrell’s August 2012 movie “The Campaign” did a pretty good job of depicting the slimy underbelly of politics, in the character of Cam Brady for Congress. Here’s a sample:
If I had to guess who Ferrell’s real-life inspiration was, I would say Alan Grayson, the reprehensible, hit-below-the-belt Congressman that represented Florida’s 8th Congressional District from 2008 – 2010. Most notorious for saying on the House floor on 9/29/2009 that Republicans’ health care plan was “Don’t get sick…and if you do, die quickly.” This guy would say anything, do anything, as long as it was in bad taste – or worse. Check out as much of this highlight reel as you can stomach:
When Grayson was roundly defeated by an 18% margin in Nov 2010 by Republican Daniel Webster, I thought we were rid of this unprincipled progressive thug. I’ll bet you did too. So imagine my surprise about a week ago when I saw this ad pop up in the right-hand margin of my Gmail inbox:
Turns out he’s running in the newly-formed 9th Florida Congressional District that spans the rural areas like a bent horseshoe around the eastern/northern/western outskirts of Tampa/St. Petersburg, including the good city of Clearwater which I’ve visited many times on business. The previous version of the 9th district has been represented by Republican Gus Bilirakis since 2006. Bilirakis had most recently been re-elected in 2010 by a 43% margin, but with the redistricting Bilirakis’s incumbency moved to the new version of the 12th district.
Now brace yourself: Grayson leads his Republican opponent Todd Long by about 3-4% in the local polls. Huh?
I don’t understand how the great state of Florida can be able to elect both Alan Grayson and Allen West. These guys are about as far opposite on the political spectrum as you can possibly get.
I hope one my fellow bloggers, Laura Barnes-Miller, a former political reporter in southern Florida, will favor us with some commentary to help us fathom the mysteries of Florida politics. Laura, perhaps you can also tell us where to send donated bottles of Pepto-Bismol if Grayson wins.