In a piquant fundraising email to supporters Sunday -- hard-edged even for the Democrats' newest quote machine -- Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) went all out on former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
His remarks, which came after Palin criticized him during a trip to Florida, are perhaps the sharpest attack made on the former vice presidential candidate by a member of Congress.
Speaking in Orlando on Friday, Palin said she "got to meet quite a few candidates who are lining up in a contested primary who want to take out Alan Grayson."
She added: "What can you say about Alan Grayson? Piper is with me tonight, so I won't say anything about Alan Grayson that can't be said around children."
Grayson's email reply was straight to the point. He began by referring to Palin as "the former half-term Governor, current-nothing and future-even-less," and snapped, "Atypically, Palin was wearing clothes that she had paid for herself."
The email continues: "In response to Palin's attack on Rep Grayson, Grayson actually complimented Palin. Grayson praised Palin for having a hand large enough to fit Grayson's entire name on it. He thanked Palin for alleviating the growing shortage of platitudes in Central Florida. Grayson added that Palin deserved credit for getting through the entire hour-long program without quitting. Grayson also said that Palin really had mastered Palin's imitation of Tina Fey imitating Palin. Grayson observed that Palin is the most-intelligent leader that the Republican Party has produced since George W. Bush."
The Florida Democrat also introduced a reference to the recently released film, Alice in Wonderland.
What effect might Palin's criticism have? he asked rhetorically.
"As the Knave's horse says in Alice in Wonderland, 'dogs will believe anything,'" he replies. "I'm sure Palin knows all about politics in Central Florida, since from her porch she can see Winter Park," part of Grayson's district.
The email continues:
Grayson said that the Alaskan chillbilly was welcome to return to Central Florida anytime, as long as she brings lots of money with her, and spends it. "I look forward to an honest debate with Governor Palin on the issues, in the unlikely event that she ever learns anything about them," Grayson added, alluding to Politifact's "liar, liar, pants on fire" evaluation of much of what Palin has said .
Scientists are studying Sarah Palin's travel between Alaska and Florida carefully. They hope to learn more about the flight patterns of that elusive migratory species, the wild Alaskan dingbat.
Grayson's comparison of Palin to an elusive bird appears to be part of the congressman's flying animal repertoire: he used a bat as a metaphor for what he asserted was the "bloodthirsty" nature of former Vice President Dick Cheney in a TV appearance last October.
"I have trouble listening to what he says sometimes, because of the blood that drips from his teeth while he's talking," Grayson said on Hardball. "But my response is this: He's just angry because the president doesn't shoot old men in the face. But by the way, when he was done speaking, did he just then turn into a bat and fly away?"
Another memorable Grayson quote came the same month, when he said, "Fox News and their Republican collaborators are the enemy of America. They're the enemy of anybody who cares about health care in this country, the enemy of anybody who cares about educating their children, the enemy of anybody who wants energy independence or anything good for this country. And certainly the enemy of peace, there's no doubt about that. They are the enemy."
Last month, Mother Jones claimed that Grayson was spirited away during a coup in Niger by a Blackwater subsidiary, a company he has railed against, but it didn't stop him from rebuking private US contractors.
"The Congressman does not deny that there is admirable work being done by some employees of private contractors," spokesman Todd Jurkowski said. "However, he stands by his criticism of companies who have been found to cheat the American people, defraud our government, and unnecessarily risk the lives of members of our military, all in the name of making a profit."