[the blog firedoglake is having a fundraiser for progressive candidates. Florida Rep. Alan Grayson is in second place, and has written an essay there, articulating some of his thoughts]
--- by Rep. Alan Grayson
Please vote to make me one of your FDL Firedogs. If there’s one thing you know about me, it’s that I don’t back down.
The story that everyone wants to tell is that the Democratic Party is disheartened and disintegrating. Teabagger Republicans are juiced up and on top. Or so the media says, over and over again.
But the House candidate who raised the most money in the entire country during the last FEC reporting period — $860,000 in three months — is not a teabagger. He is not boosted relentlessly by Fox News. He’s not even a Republican. He doesn’t think that the Earth was created 6000 years ago, that President Obama was born in Kenya, or that global warming is a hoax.
This House candidate also, remarkably, had the largest number of contributors. Over 15,000 individuals contributed, many of whom have given time after time, whatever they could. The House candidate who raised the most money did so without French-kissing lobbyists, without flattering the idle rich, and without reaching into his own pocket.
The House candidate who raised the most money, from the most people, is an outspoken populist who tells it like it is on the war, on jobs, and on health care. His website is called CongressmanWithGuts.com. In the 100,000 e-mails that he has received this year, the most common refrain is, "You are saying what I’ve been thinking."
I know who he is. Because he’s me.
But no one has reported that the House candidate who raised the most money, from the most people, is a proud Democratic populist. No one.
There are something like ten thousand political reporters in this country, maybe more. The information above is readily available. Anyone could have visited an official government website, www.fec.gov, any time this past week, and seen it for themselves. We did our part — we sent out two news releases, both local and nationwide. But in lieu of any actual reporting in the media, there is instead what Simon & Garfunkel vividly described as the "Sounds of Silence":
And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dared
Disturb the sound of silence.
The political reporters camped out in D.C. often act like a giant Xerox machine for the fib factory known as the national Republican Party. Recently, they saw fit to report (and repeat, and repeat) the Republican Party’s crackpot claim that we are withholding a secret poll with bad news in it for us. (We aren’t; there is no such poll, but the Republican Party is soooo good at manufacturing plausible lies.) Not one word from those reporters, though, about what would seem to be an irresistible "feel good" story — that thanks to People Power, that brash, plain-spoken Democratic Congressman from Orlando is the Number One fundraiser in the country. Nothing about that.
The fact that an unapologetic progressive Democrat could amass such support, not by trading favors for money, but by striking a chord with so many ordinary people, refutes the pervasive meme of Democrats divided and despondent. Particularly when it’s a Democrat who says that "you can’t beat a Republican by being one." Particularly a Democrat who quotes Harry Truman and Howard Dean: "If you run a fake Republican against a real Republican, the real Republican will win every time."
Freshman Democrat Alan Grayson, number one in the country. The story that no one will tell. It doesn’t fit their preconceptions. So you’re just not going to hear about it.
Please help me continue this momentum, and make me one of your FDL Firedogs.