Alan Grayson is exiting Congress the same way he spent much of his time in it: excoriating Republicans.
In an interview with the New York Times, the first-term liberal firebrand ousted in November unleashed perhaps his most fiery string of attacks against the party he last year accused of wanting sick people to “die quickly.”
Republicans, he charged, are “a hopeless sellout party that will never do anything constructive for ordinary people in this country.”
Incoming Speaker John Boehner? A “tool of special interest.”
The tea party movement? “[B]ought and paid for by the enormously rich and the selfish.”
Unusually for a freshman, Grayson, who represented Florida’s mildly right-leaning 8th district, quickly became a high-profile figure in the 111th Congress with his ferocious slams against conservative politicians and public figures.
He captured the attention of progressives who frequently gripe that Democrats lack the fighting spirit that characterizes the Republican Party, and lack the determination to pursue their ideals.
Grayson’s aim was to be pugnacious — a Democrat “with guts,” as he put it — for which he earned the wrath of the conservative establishment and was heavily targeted by the GOP for defeat in the November election.
He described his opponent, former Florida state legislator Daniel Webster, as a “bizarre fundamentalist.”
The outgoing congressman also expressed reservations about the Obama administration and his own party, lamenting that they are neglecting core constituencies within their own base.
He questioned the impact of extending the Bush tax cuts on President Barack Obama’s “credibility.”
While he’s likely to remain on the radar of progressives out of office, Grayson did not eliminate the possibility of running for Congress again, he said, “if that’s what people want.”