Alan Grayson's KKK-Tea Party Comparison Still Under Fire
Around the State
Republicans continued attacking U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., for comparing the tea party to the Ku Klux Klan but the Florida Democrat tried to shift the conversation by focusing on a banking bill he is launching.
Earlier in the week, Grayson sent out a fundraising email to supporters in which a burning cross was used for the first “t” in “tea party.” Republicans piled on Grayson, with even more GOP leaders and conservatives taking aim at him on Wednesday.
“Florida Democrat and arch-progressive Alan Grayson compared the tea party to the Klu Klux Klan,” FreedomWorks wrote in their call for signatures. “He even used a picture of a burning cross as the “T” in tea party in an email fundraiser. This is outrageous. He must apologize!
“Grayson is mad that tea partiers fought hard to dismantle Obamacare -- a law a majority of Americans oppose,” FreedomWorks continued. “Obama’s health care takeover has been a job destroyer and a disaster for millions of Americans. The website is a mess and the government call centers are no better. Worst of all, hard-working Americans are being kicked off their health insurance plans – despite Obama’s promise that they could keep their coverage.
“Progressives can’t win on the issues,” FreedomWorks concluded. “Grayson is too scared to defend the Obamacare disaster, so he’s attacking regular, hard-working Americans. He needs to apologize for his disgusting and loathsome e-mail.”
Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, who is a favorite of the tea party movement, also called out Grayson on the matter and wondered why Democrats, including President Barack Obama, remained silent on it.
“I woke up this morning sure I would see a statement from the first African-American president condemning Florida Democrat Representative Alan Grayson for his use of a burning cross and Klansmen in a fundraising email,” West noted on Wednesday. “After all, the liberal progressive left and President Obama have made such an issue about the Washington Redskins mascot and the offensive nature of that symbol, wrongly so of course. I just knew that Obama, so beloved by the black community, would make a serious stand against the use of a symbol that represented voter intimidation and lynchings of blacks. I felt that President Obama, the champion of civility in political discourse, would schedule a press event today, or maybe even call tea party leaders, such as he did with Sandra Fluke and Jason Collins, to offer an apology and support. Then I woke up from the dream I was having.
“President Obama, Senator Harry Reid, Representative Nancy Pelosi, and DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz lead the party who gave us the Ku Klux Klan and the burning cross symbol,” West continued. “Their silence is consent and demonstrates that today’s liberal progressives are just as comfortable using these images as their predecessors. The party of Lester Maddox, George Wallace, and Huey Long Jr. is alive and well. Sadly enough, Representative John Lewis and other ‘faux’ black leaders are showing their true colors. Damn glad my parents inspired me to depart the plantation.”
Congressional hopeful Peter Vivaldi also piled on Grayson. Vivaldi is running against Jorge Bonilla and Carol Platt for the Republican nomination to challenge Grayson next year. Both Bonilla and Platt attacked Grayson for the comparison and demanded he apologize on Tuesday.
“Over the past few years, Alan Grayson has been shrewd in using his own version of divide and conquer,” Vivaldi said on Wednesday. “Mr. Grayson has been able to separate minority, religious, conservative and independent groups, but this time he has gone too far in comparing Republicans to the KKK.
“Congress has hit the lowest approval rating in years -- I believe as long as we continue to allow power-hungry politicians like Alan Grayson to use his divide and conquer tactics we will continue to be a divided nation,” Vivaldi added. “We must become bridge builders if we want to reclaim our country.”
Having already refused to apologize for his comparison, Grayson moved on this week to team up with U.S. Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., to send letters to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry and FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg calling for an end to big bank bailouts.
“We write to commend you for tackling a core problem in our financial system: too much gambling with other people’s money, by banks that are often regarded as too big to fail,” the congressmen wrote. “Every financial crisis has one critical ingredient: excess leverage. This is because a financial institution with a lot of equity can absorb unexpected losses, whereas one with too much debt relative to its equity will fail in the face of financial stress.”
Grayson has had a history of making controversial statements regarding Republicans, insisting their health care plan was for people to die and attacking Republican foe Dan Webster’s Christian faith back in 2010. While Webster went on to defeat him, Grayson defeated Republican Todd Long for an open seat to return to Congress in 2012.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.