#FL09: Grayson attacks Mark Levin’s ‘gullible’ audience, says conservative name-calling could unseat him this year

Written by . Posted in 2014 Campaigns


Published on March 26, 2014

From Grayson's email.

From Grayson’s email.

The guy who called Alberta-born Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Tex. “Canada’s revenge for acid rain” is having a sad over something Mark Levin called him recently.

If you need a good laugh, you should sign up for the email fundraising list of Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla. You just can’t find a more shrill, hackish, email fundraising operation laden with as many gratuitous ad hominem attacks — including last year’s classic “Tea Party = KKK” pitch.

And seriously — I’m signed up for an awful lot of email fundraising lists, and the fact that Grayson’s stands out this way says quite a bit.

It’s not that Grayson is a liberal — in fact, liberals like him, who have at times found common cause with Tea Partiers over NSA powers and war in Syria, can often garner a great deal of respect on the Right. But Grayson has repeatedly gone out of his way to make enemies of conservatives. He seems to enjoy it.

And today, he sent an entire fundraising email whining about it, even invoking the 2004 “Swift Boat Veterans” campaign against presidential nominee John Kerry. Here’s the text:

from:  Rep. Alan Grayson alangrayson@graysonforcongress.com
to: [Redacted]
date:  Wed, Mar 26, 2014
subject:  Radio Host Mark Levin Called Me a “Circus Clown”

Dear Friend:

I understand that you have to have a thick skin to be in politics. But I’m starting to think that I need an elephant’s hide. Or a flak jacket. Or both.

Recently, Tea Party star Joe the Plumber called me a “piece of nose slime.” Former Rep. Allen West revealed on national television that he “prays for my defeat.” Fox News propagandist Bill O’Reilly called me “crazy.” Former Gov. Mike Huckabee called my supporters “sick puppies.” So how long was it going to be, before national radio host Mark Levin chimed in and called me a “circus clown”?

If vicious personal attacks like calling a Member of Congress a “circus clown” make you feel ill, then click here, and give us the support we need to fight back.

For what it’s worth, I like circus clowns. I love the way that dozens of them pop out of those tiny little cars. My kids enjoy the suitcase gags, the juggling, and the magic tricks. But regardless of my affection for circus clowns, I am not one of them. Rather, I am a progressive, and the “most effective Member of Congress,” according to Slate magazine. Which is precisely why Mark Levin is calling me a circus clown. If I weren’t so effective, then they would ignore me.

And Mark Levin has an audience – a gullible audience, but nevertheless, an audience. Each week, 7.5 million people listen to his radio show. That’s the same number as Glenn Beck’s.

Lest you think that this is an isolated instance, an anomaly of some kind, here are some other harsh terms that right-wingers have flung at me during the merry month of March alone:

  • “Chief Maggot of All Liberal Lowlifes” (Downtrend.com)
  • “loudmouthed maverick liberal” (Gawker.com)
  • “pretty big POS” (FireAndreaMitchell.com)
  • “bad caveman” (AngryWhiteDude.com)
  • “loathsome pest” (Downtrend.com again)
  • “Lunatic” (“Jammie Wearing Fools”)
  • “Shrek look-a-like” (SatireWorld.com)

I know what you may be thinking: “Sticks and stones will break Alan’s bones, but names will never hurt him.” Except they will hurt, because the website Gawker.com has over four million visitors each month. Downtrend.com has had over a million. These right-wing TV shows, radio shows and websites are running a conscious and coordinated smear campaign to prevent my reelection.

Do you remember the “Swift Boat” attacks against Presidential candidate John Kerry? Through endless repetition of lies and insults, they took someone who was a genuine war hero, and made him seem like a coward. We can’t let that happen again, to me or to any other victim of what Hillary Clinton called the “vast right-wing conspiracy.”

What if you were the target of these vile, depraved and degrading personal attacks? What if it were you?

I’m willing to stand up in the face of this brutal character assassination, and continue to fight for the common good. But I can’t defeat them all by myself. I need your help, and I need it now. Every dollar counts. Monday marks our FEC report cut-off date. Please contribute today. And the best way to help our campaign is to make monthly contributions.

I’ll do my part. But I need you to do yours. Please support our campaign today.


Rep. Alan Grayson

Grayson’s new district, at D+5, is pretty safe — although he’s certainly not invincible, especially given recent problems in his personal life.