I’m announcing endorsements for three liberal Democrats running for Congress in Florida. The primary is tomorrow, August 30. The candidates are:
- Representative Alan Grayson, running for U.S. Senate
- Susannah Randolph, running for U.S. House from FL-9
- Tim Canova, running for U.S. House from FL-23
I’m going to follow up by saying that I don’t expect any of these three candidates to win their primaries. Sad, I know.
I have to say something about Alan Grayson specifically. Grayson has long been a progressive champion and he speaks to political issues clearly and from the heart. He’s a loud and proud advocate for the idea of government taking an active role to help those in need. In his own way, he’s one of the best communicators for the liberal cause I’ve ever seen. And his talking about the dangers of drone strikes in the Middle East, when few others in DC will, alone makes him incredibly valuable to have in Congress.
Unfortunately, he does have a tendency to allow himself and his personal life to get in his own way. Late last month he was hit with allegations of physically abusing his ex-wife (which both he and their eldest daughter deny), and to compound that, there was a very tense interaction between him and reporter Edward-Isaac Dovere. The impact of the video has been overblown, I think, but it’s still not a great look for Grayson. I don’t understand why he has to be such an aggressive and confrontational person in demeanor. Being a strong liberal doesn’t mean that you have to be difficult in interpersonal interactions. As much as I love Grayson when it comes to his politics and his rhetoric, these sort of antics make it harder for me to have good feelings about him – and they needlessly take away from what would be his advantage on the actual issues.
In any case, what was once a close race between him and his Democratic opponent, servile corporatist Representative Patrick Murphy, is now looking like a Murphy blowout. Murphy has sided with Wall Street interests in wanting to loosen regulations, and with the fossil fuel industries in supporting the Keystone XL pipeline. His interest in continued service in Congress seems to begin and end with how much he can do for various big corporations. Even if Murphy weren’t such an obviously conservative and pro-business Democrat, I would still think we badly need Grayson to win the primary and stay in elected office, for the aforementioned reasons. But with Murphy being such a terrible Democrat to have around, the need for Grayson to beat him in the primary is even greater.
Unfortunately, it looks like that in one round, we’ll both lose Grayson and get Murphy. If Patrick Murphy is the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate from Florida, I will not support him in the general election, and I’ll be glad to see his political career end, even if it’s at the hands of the Republican nominee.