Grayson on “Countdown”: Yeah, he said it


If I had any doubt I would be thoroughly supporting Alan Grayson’s 2012 re-election bid for Congress -- and I hadn’t -- it evaporated last night, when Grayson appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann to discuss the bread-and-circuses air of the previous evening’s Republican debate (with its already infamous “Let him die!” tumult).


Olbermann, despite his progressive bona fides, made the momentary mistake of suggesting that Tea Partiers are simply indifferent to the suffering of others if they feel they’ll have to pay to cure it. And that’s when Grayson pounced, countering masterfully that sickness and death aren’t just byproducts of that party’s boundless selfishness, but rather key components of their agenda.

It’s been a long time since I jabbed my finger excitedly at the TV set and yelled, “Somebody said it! Thank you!” -- I’m too old to expect to connect on a deep philosophical level with anything that spews from that medium. But there was an undeniable catharsis -- a righteousness, even -- in hearing somebody like Grayson finally utter one of those truths that all intelligent people of  good will recognize, but which we’ve become too cowed by the perpetually aggrieved loudmouths of the latter-day Right to verbalize in a public forum.

Interestingly, the first part of Olbermann’s Grayson interview -- which included the former’s brief faux pas -- is omitted from the clip that’s been posted at the Current TV website. I guess Olbermann isn’t thrilled by the prospect of web viewers seeing him be corrected ad infinitum. But the ensuing back-and-forth, which is available, reinforces Grayson’s point that the true motivations of the Tea Party are 180 degrees from their supposedly Christian, “pro-life” orientation.

Grayson just gets their motives in a way Washington and the mainstream media don’t (or at least pretend they don’t). Throughout the health-care debate, the President acted as if all Americans would like to see coverage extended to as many of our citizens as possible, and that we merely differ on the issue of paying for it. And that’s a fundamental misreading. For the Tea Party, the idea of universal coverage is itself anathema; if extraterrestrials came down tomorrow and said they could provide us all with unlimited health services free of charge, the likes of Michelle Bachmann would still reject it.

Why? Because what truly consumes them is the erosion of a social order that’s been preferential to them. Behind their supposedly economically-based rhetoric about the country “slipping away” from them lie simple xenophpobia and class hatred. It’s already been proven to them that they can’t keep the blacks out of the White House, and it’s becoming clearer with each passing day that they can’t keep the queers in the closet. The only comfort they have remaining to them is the belief that, if someone they perceive as their social inferior gets sick, he will die, whereas they would not. And if we take that one last solace away from them -- well, gosh, then how will the world know they’re better than anybody?

These people are, as Grayson calls them, sadists. They’re also nihilists and, yes, genocidalists. They should not be taken seriously, and they cannot -- must not -- be negotiated with. Their seat at the table must be removed. Full stop.

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