It's no secret that the Democratic "establishment," at both state and national levels, would rather that U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson stay out of the race to replace Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate. Its members have always preferred Rep. Patrick Murphy. He has the backing of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and a host of the state's Democratic who's who, after all. Despite this, Grayson, a longtime darling of progressives and the netroots, does seem to have an advantage over Murphy in some early polls.
An article in the New York Times last week called attention to Grayson's potentially shady business dealings through his hedge fund. And establishment Democrats renewed their call for Grayson to drop out. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid even took the unusual step of demanding that Grayson leave the race, all while calling him a "disgrace" to Congress.
Anyone familiar with Grayson's pugnacious personality could have predicted that he wouldn't go away quietly. He's ready for a fight, and in two fundraising emails sent out this weekend, he's started to pick one. He even called Murphy a "lickspittle pillock."
Yes, a lickspittle pillock. What does that even mean? Thankfully, Google is there to help.
Oh, damn! The guy is like Donald Trump with a dictionary.
("Pillock," by the way, is an obscure insult that seems to have come back into vogue after Helen Mirren dropped it in her anti-drunk-driving Super Bowl ad for Budweiser.)
Grayson's SAT-word insult came after Murphy called on Grayson to close his hedge fund Valentine's Day morning.
The rest of the email wasn't particularly polite either.
"My muck-loving, sewage-spewing primary opponent has decided that the best way to celebrate Valentine's Day is to hold a news conference and dish dirt on me," it began.
"By way of background, this lickspittle pillock wandered into the Democratic Party from the GOP just in time for the 2012 elections, and he brought the GOP's obsession with sleaze with him. He has accomplished 0 + 0 = 0 in the three years that he has served in Congress. He's wrong on virtually every issues that matters to you, and he knows it. He sells his votes, and he buys his endorsements. As more Democrats find out that he gave $2,300 to Mitt Romney, for God's sake, our lead on him in the primary just grows and grows."
Well, damn, Al, tell us how you really feel. The full email is available at Politico.
Thanks in part to the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders, Grayson knows antiestablishment sentiment is high, and he's not afraid to use it to his advantage.
Earlier this past weekend, he dashed out another email bashing the establishment.
"The Democratic Establishment: corrupt, mendacious sellouts," this one begins. Grayson goes on to list common complaints about the "establishment" often cited by Sanders supporters.
"You’ve seen what I’ve seen. Take the Presidential campaign. The Democratic Party schedules Presidential debates during NFL playoff games, to try to ensure that no one takes any interest whatsoever in our Presidential campaign or our issues, so that name-recognition will carry the day. The Democratic Party cuts off one Presidential candidate’s access to the most important tool of campaigning, the voter file, not long before the first primary. The Democratic Party quietly repeals the prohibition against accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists."
Grayson, by the way, sits on Hillary Clinton's Florida Leadership Team but claims that doesn't mean he has endorsed her. He hasn't endorsed Sanders either.
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Grayson does go on to make a good point about the Democrats' fondness for trying to avoid potential primary fights, though:
And the funniest/saddest thing is that the Party Politburo does it with one excuse and one excuse only: that they are choosing “the strongest candidate for November.”
These are the losers who have taken us from +20 to -8 in the Senate, in just six years.
These are the losers who have taken us from +83 to -59 in the House, in just six years. Including the biggest wipeout for the Democratic Party in more than 100 years.
Six years ago, the Democrats controlled 16 state governments (House/Senate/Governor), and the Republicans controlled eight. The party bigwigs – these are the losers who now have left us with control of only seven state governments, while the Republicans control 27. They have taken us from +8 to -20, in just six years.
Our Party Politburo is so deeply incompetent that they shouldn’t even be choosing lottery ticket numbers, much less candidates. Based on their track record, I wouldn’t even trust them with paper vs. plastic. They would screw up a one-car parade.
Democrats have seen their control of the House and Senate disappear in the past six years. Republicans took control even in an era when incumbents were regularly challenged (and often defeated) by Tea Party conservatives. Heck, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio entered their races for governor and senator, respectively, as outsiders facing off against candidates heavily favored by the establishment.
Grayson hasn't officially been charged with any wrongdoing regarding his hedge fund, but the House Committee on Ethics is investigating the matter.