Alan Grayson Leads the Way

Look, Dems, this is how it’s done.

Update: I understand that the “submit to me” line was taken out of context, which is a shame, but please note

In a statement from the campaign Monday afternoon, Webster’s wife and campaign manager derided Grayson’s ad as “shameful” and “ludicrous.”

But the response does not refute any of the charges leveled in the ad – titled “Taliban Dan Webster” – which claimed that Webster, a former state Senate majority leader and state House speaker, wanted to make divorce illegal and deny abused women health care. Grayson’s ad even claims that Webster “tried to prohibit alimony to an ‘adulterous wife’ but not an adulterous husband,’” and that he “wants to force women to stay in abusive marriages.”

Webster’s response also does not address footage in the ad of Webster saying, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husband,” and “She should submit to me – that’s in the Bible.”

As Echidne points out, Webster is associated with a group of men who believe that wives should submit to their husbands.

Susannah Randolph, Grayson’s campaign manager, defended the ad. She pointed to Webster’s ties to the Institute in Basic Life Principles and its founder Bill Gothard, who has taught that women should be subservient to their husbands and not work outside the home. While in the state House in 1990, Webster spent $4,340 of taxpayer money to print and mail a district flier urging constituents to attend one of the group’s seminars.


The campaign spot also criticized Webster because of his opposition to abortion, even in cases of rape or incest; his sponsorship of a bill giving couples the option of entering a “covenant marriage” that would allow divorce only in cases of adultery; and his vote against a measure that would have prohibited insurance companies from treating domestic violence as a pre-existing condition.

30 thoughts on “Alan Grayson Leads the Way

  1. Democrats would never use anything like this. It’s too effective.
    Besides, instead of Grayson, they’d need David Broder to come on at the beginning of the ad and say, “Hi. I’m David Broder, and I approve this message.”

  2. I love the puppies and children at the beginning.

    What? There’s no puppies? I coulda sworn there were.

  3. Calling the man a “Taliban” is a bit much. I think Grayson is little more than a bomb throwing publicity hound in the mold of Michelle Bachman.

  4. What to call mandating women to bear a rapist’s child? “Forced pregnancy?” “Natal enslavement”? Any other suggestions?

  5. “Taliban Dan” is perfectly appropriate, I think, so long as it’s being used metaphorically. And hey, it’s catchy too.

    Grayson may be a “bomb thrower” in the sense of someone who stirs up activity and sometimes trouble, but he’s not using lies or the threat of violence to advance his cause. That’s the difference between him and Michelle Bachmann.

    This attack on Dan Webster seems to be justified, considering his previous statements and his attempts to create laws in the Florida legislature. I don’t see any issue with taking a harsh or overt tone, as long as we’re getting at the truth.

  6. It’s not bomb throwing if it’s the truth, and apparently this guy Webster has a long history of woman-hating positions. If I were a voter in Florida I would certainly want to know this.

  7. “It’s not bomb throwing if it’s the truth”

    Maybe not but associating your political opponent with the Taliban strikes me as a bit extreme, this is what the wing-nuts did to Max Cleland to get Saxby Chambliss elected. While the name calling may be justified in this case (it certainly wasn’t in Cleland’s case) it just seems over the top (unless this guy has come out in favor of stoning and honor killings). I’m not sure what kind of ads Grayson’s opponent is running; maybe this is justified if his opponent has taken a similar low road as well?

  8. I think “Taliban Dan” is perfectly reasonable. Yes it’s over the top, but people need to draw the connection between the various fundamentalisms around the world. Now whether this will work in Orlando is another story.

  9. Not to be a party pooper, but most women already vote democratic, with this being a major reason. And there are lots of males who like the idea of “submit to me”. The burka image is good, though. It’s mostly political junkies who will see this as being too extreme.

    I like the style too. Most swing voters are political fools who want the quick fix and/or fall for the repeated catchy soundbite (Bush ’04?). They’ll read the headline, but need to be enticed to think deeper, into the facts.

    • Not to be a party pooper, but most women already vote democratic,

      And I believe we are a slight majority of the adult population, yet somehow Republicans manage to win elections sometime. I think an ad like this could fire up some women to go to the polls and vote against Webster who might not have bothered to vote otherwise.

  10. I personally like Alan Grayson a lot partially because he can play hardball when it’s required. I don’t watch TV so I may not be well informed, but the last time I checked, Michelle Bachman was the only person I could think of who seemed crazier than Katherine Harris. The clips I’ve seen of Alan Grayson show him making rational, if somewhat impassioned arguments based in reality. i see that as a significant difference.

    I live in the “Bible Belt” and in case you know it, the “”Dominionist”, “Christian Reconstruction” and various other movements have some pretty Old Testament ideas about justice and keeping order.

    Why not take this Bible quiz? it’s a little over the top too.

  11. I was in Grayson’s district recently, and the number of anti-abortion billboards on the highways is amazing. This message is just what the women and girls there need to counteract the dominant Southern Baptist “submit graciously” attitude.
    Thanks for posting it.

  12. Yeah, we should stone to death rebellious children also..It’s in the bible!

    Taliban Dan is a dangerous cretin … Anybody who will deny a woman sovereignty of her own body is an extremely dangerous entity(just like the Taliban). And any guy who has to invoke scripture to get laid by his wife is a pathetic loser. I have no tolerance for creeps like Taliban Dan who beat down women and relegate them to second class status by use of the bible while thinking they are somehow superior in God’s eyes. Arrogant creeps! Pious assholes!

  13. On a recent visit to family in Florida I ran into conservative friends who likened Grayson to Satan. Grayson is a hot button for them.

    Hyerbole is hardly new. Turnabout is fair play. Besides there’s some substance to the burka metaphor.

  14. “It’s not bomb throwing if it’s the truth”

    Alas, it really isn’t the truth.

    The full context of the remarks make clear that Webster is not telling wives to submit to their husbands. Just the opposite.

    Webster: So, write a journal. Second, find a verse. I have a verse for my wife, I have verses for my wife. Don’t pick the ones that say, ‘She should submit to me.’ That’s in the Bible, but pick the ones that you’re supposed to do. So instead, ‘love your wife, even as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it’ as opposed to ‘wives submit to your own husbands.’ She can pray that, if she wants to, but don’t you pray it.

    You know, I want to believe Alan Grayson is a hero. I love the fact that he takes the fight to the GOP. But he’s sloppy. When the right attacks this way, the attacks don’t backfire. This one will, because he didn’t craft it carefully. If you don’t have a noise machine to back you up, you can’t get away with distorting the truth this way, and he should know that.

  15. I kind of like “Forced Labor.”

    Alan Grayson: An ass-kicker, not a boot-licker.

    Both excellent.

    Fourteen years ago, when Margaret Atwood published her masterpiece The Handmaid’s Tale, the Christian Right went nuts denying that they support anything like the nightmare world of the novel. Ever since, all they’ve done is advocate exactly the kind of hell Atwood described. A little reminder every election cycle is important.

  16. Maybe not but associating your political opponent with the Taliban strikes me as a bit extreme, this is what the wing-nuts did to Max Cleland to get Saxby Chambliss elected.

    Chambliss (who used deferments to avoid combat) lied about Cleland (who left most of his limbs in Vietnam) and used garden-variety Southern-Strategy race-baiting to win. Show me where Alan Grayson does either.

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  18. Thanks “Steve M”. I want to believe he’s a hero too. We sorely need one. But, thanks for the links.

    Nonetheless, I still hope he wins.

  19. Echidne of the snakes has a take on this in “Pledge, Broccoli and the Responsibilites of the Media”.

  20. Steve M…. I’m more than familiar with that particular scripture and every twisted interpretation of it. The bottom line is no matter how you flip it or spin or sugar coat with Christian caveats, it still places women subservient to men. It’s pure Taliban. I suspected that Grayson’s ad took Taliban Dan’s words out of context, but Taliban Dan has appointed himself guardian of the womb, and that fact stands above any other consideration, so no matter how he banters scripture it should and can be clearly understood his mind set is certified Taliban.

  21. “I suspected that Grayson’s ad took Taliban Dan’s words out of context, but Taliban Dan has appointed himself guardian of the womb, and that fact stands above any other consideration”

    I agree but Grayson only weakens his position by lowering the debate to dimwitted teabagger level. I just saw him (Grayson) on msnbc and he got called out for using the “submit to me” quote completely out of context. I’m sure this Webster character is a real knuckle dragger so Grayson should just stick to the facts. Using audio out of context and calling your opponent a terrorist or the Taliban, that’s what the wing-nuts do. Hate from the left don’t work in my opinion, as someone posted earlier we don’t have the echo-chamber to keep the lies alive, we should just stick to the truth!

  22. @Steve M:

    Notice something about your links? They talk a lot about what Webster said, and talk very little about what Webster did. How about sponsoring SB 2400, requiring women to undergo ultrasound before she can have an abortion? (It failed the State Senate by just one vote. It’s fortunate for us that we have at least a few sane Republicans in the state legislature.)

    Not good enough? How about something that passed: CS HB 1497. This sets up a 24-hour “waiting period” (stalling) for any woman who seeks an abortion, with an exception only for emergency. Much like the other bill, it requires an ultrasound be done and tries to impose its viewing. Beyond that, it creates a “civil cause” (lawsuit bait) for parents to attempt to sue doctors over abortion-related incidents involving their children. It also codifies third trimester abortions as essentially illegal, but I thought that was already the case federally.

    Daniel Webster has been in the state legislature a long time — 28 years. He has been both speaker of the house and the senate majority leader. So I assure you, there’s plenty more where this came from if you go digging into his voting record.

    Vote Smart has a short list of some of his more recent votes.

    I encourage you to look into who this guy is and what he actually believes, and then determine whether he is at all being misrepresented.

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