There's never a good time for a messy divorce, but Alan Grayson's -- in a year when Democrats are trying to convince voters it's the Republicans conducting the War on Women ... well, his divorce is fast becoming a major embarrassment.
Perhaps other women won't see the "D" after Grayson's name and think "Despicable." I'm sorry, I can't help it, that's what I see.
It isn't the accusations hurled back and forth and the personal stuff between Grayson and his wife Lolita. That's shades of one of those long CNN daytime trials that go on for weeks and months. You can listen, you can hear the drama, but you can never really sort out the he-saids-she-saids.
Lolita Grayson claims her husband physically abused her. Alan Grayson says she's lying. He claims his wife, originally from thePhilippines,was already married when they tied the knot in 1990. She says she was divorced at the time, had signed divorce papers in 1981. She claims she threw him out of the house in January because he was cheating -- an accusation to which he has not responded publicly.
Let's ignore that for a moment. Let's look instead at what this says about Alan Grayson's character. His moral fiber. How he's handled himself. How he's treated his wife. These things are the real crux of the embarrassment for Democrats -- how their firebrand liberal dealt with adversity inside his own home.
I'll tell you how.
After 24 years of marriage, the millionaire Orlando congressman is looking for a loophole.
He's looking to slick-lawyer his way out ofany obligation to pay a dime of alimony or child support to his wife -- with whom he has five children.
Oh, he's looking for so much more than that: He wants the marriage annulled. He wants his wife tomake an accounting of all of the money and property she has received and establish a trust, providing for their return to (him). He wantsparental responsibility for the four minor children. He wants exclusive use of their six-bedroom home and their seven vehicles, including a 1981 DeLorean. He wants her to pay court costs. And he's suing for damages.
He told his wife point blank: You aren't getting a penny, you are getting nothing.
This is one gem of a man. I don't care how much bitterness is involved. Here is a lawyer-congressman worth more than $32 million talking about turning the mother of his children out on the streets.
His behavior reminds me of RepublicanNewt Gingrich, another train wreck, who in the early 1980s tried to discuss divorce terms with first wife Jackie Battleywhile she was in the hospital battling cancer.And while that was going on, he was cheating on her with his second wife, Marianne Ginther.
Alan Grayson is the same disrespectful Democrat who in 2012 called a female Obama official "a K-Street whore."
He is the same Democrat and father -- the one who today wants the media to keep his children off limits -- who in March 2010 used his daughter Skye's name on a "Send Daddy Money" letter to hustle bucks out of campaign supporters -- written as if it had actually come from Skye, who was still a young child.
In it, Skye tells the story of a special birthday gift she received from her dad, to whom she refers as Congressman Daddy.His present on her 10th birthday was to tell the story of how Skye got her name. Apparently, Grayson read a book once about children born to Vietnamese mothers and American servicemen during the Vietnam War. One of the girls in the book felt too ashamed to look up at the sky.
Grayson and his wife, Lolita, whom the letter mentions is Asian, didnt want their daughter to be embarrassed like the girl in the book, so they tacked on an E and named her Skye. End of story.The e-mail ends with a Thank you from the child to Congressman Daddy, and right below that, a place to contribute to Graysons re-election campaign.
Susan MacManus, a University of South Florida political scientist, said Graysons aggressive approach to the divorce comes as no surprise. The all-out attack is very consistent with his reputation. He has a reputation for pulling out all the stops and going for broke.
I think we've seen that.
It's not easy to say how Grayson's actions during his divorce will affect voters in his congressional district. MacManus believes he has already polarized them, so the divorce probably won't make much of a difference.
I know that in Gingrich's case, polling experts always maintained the callous treatment of his ex-wives cost him votes.
In the end, the issue with Alan Grayson is a matter of character. It's a need to see leaders behave with basic decency. Grayson has failed on both counts. He offends women deeply -- this woman at least. With Grayson in tow, the Democratic Party -- so often calling itself the Party of Women and Children -- fails too.
Reach Nancy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 228-282-2423.