2010 Election

Rep. Grayson Launches 'Taliban' Attack on GOP Opponent Webster


Hoping to sway voters their way this November, Democrats are rolling out an aggressive, exceedingly negative campaign strategy to smear their Republican opponents, and the trend's definitely taken hold down in Florida, where Rep. Alan Grayson has launched a hardball at virulently conservative GOP opponent Daniel Webster.

"Democratic candidates across the country are opening a fierce offensive of negative advertisements against Republicans, using lawsuits, tax filings, reports from the Better Business Bureau and even divorce proceedings to try to discredit their opponents and save their Congressional majority," the New York Times reported yesterday.

The offensive clearly includes comparing opponents to religious fanatics, as Grayson does in his commercial, "Taliban Dan Webster."

"Religious fanatics try to take away our freedom in Afghanistan, Iran and right here in central Florida," the female narrator says before the viewer hears audio of Webster saying a wife should "submit" to her husband. "Daniel Webster wants to impose his radical fundamentalism on us... Taliban Dan Webster, hands of our bodies, and our laws."

Webster's campaign website stays away from gay issues, which are roiling in Florida, although he does describe himself as a "family man," so often used as code for anti-equality. Further, Webster's largest campaign contributions com from Christian Nationalist David Barton, whose organization, Providence Foundation, hopes to implement Old Testament law, like the stoning of gay people, a punishment also championed by the Taliban.

So, this leads to the larger question: does Webster deserve to be compared to the Taliban, or is this just "dirty politics?"

Watch Grayson's commercial, AFTER THE JUMP, and decide for yourself...

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  1. I have often thought the Right Wing(nut) Republicans are really no different then the religious radicals that are being fought in Afganistan. During the "W" years they used Gay Americans as a lightening rod to draw crowds to the polls. This year they are using Muslim Americans. It is the same tactic.

    Posted by: daya | Sep 27, 2010 12:20:15 PM

  2. Of course Dan Webster deserves to be compared to the Taliban. Just listen to what he is saying! When are gay people (and Democrats) going to learn to take their own side in a fight? Anyone who sees women as sub-human as Webster clearly does should be cut no slack in public discourse, and especially in the political arena.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 27, 2010 12:26:27 PM

  3. It is high time liberals started calling out these religious extremists for what they are. These guys ARE the American Taliban. Not out of bounds at all. I hope more liberals and Democrats start hitting back and hitting back hard.

    Posted by: Mike | Sep 27, 2010 12:27:26 PM

  4. Fight fire with fire, the people of this country only understand sound bites, it's about time the tables were turned on the right wing nuts.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Sep 27, 2010 12:36:56 PM

  5. This is ridiculous and over-the-top. Grayson is an absolute idiot, and I am mortified and embarrassed to be in the same political party as that fool. Let's not fall into the "they did it first" mentality... it sounds ridiculous when first graders do it, and downright preposterous when adults follow suit. Grayson is a blow-hard and joke. I urge any democrat in his district to challenge him in the next primary... let's dump this guy.

    Posted by: aj | Sep 27, 2010 12:38:34 PM

  6. Totally out of bounds. By making the comparison we minimize the evil of the actual Taliban. You know, those people who actually *execute* gays. Yes, the religious right in America want to deny us basic rights, and we should absolutely fight that. But none of them are calling for stoning us in the streets. Sorry, I'm not a fan of the "my opponent is evil" kind of politics, not when there is *actual* evil out there. I think Grayson's ad could end up costing him.

    Posted by: Yet Another Mike | Sep 27, 2010 12:40:06 PM

  7. "(C)omparing opponents to religious fanatics"? You don't seem to have noticed, but Dan Webster, for instance, IS a religious fanatic. Exactly how fanatical does someone have to be for you to qualify as a fanatic?

    "Smear"? How is telling the truth, even dramatically, a "smear"? It's a smear to use the facts and your own words to define you? Or is it a smear to point out that he has a lot in common with other horrible people who think exactly as he does?

    Alan Grayson is one of the best people in Washington in a long time. If the only way he can stay there is by telling the truth about his opponent (!), I say go for it. Or do you want to see Democrats rolling over and playing dead as usual?

    Posted by: ohplease | Sep 27, 2010 12:42:02 PM

  8. Are we to wait until the maniacs have enough power in this country to start executing gays, or should we stop them now? I know which one I prefer.

    It was only a quarter of a century ago that Republicans had a serious conversation about putting gay men in concentration camps. A deadly serious conversation. Exactly what do you think American religious fanatics WOULDN'T do if they had the political power they wanted?

    Posted by: ohplease | Sep 27, 2010 12:46:53 PM

  9. It would ONLY be over-the-top if the guy were a garden-variety Christian, which he is not. He IS an "American Taliban"—credit to Markos Moulitsas. Grayson is a terrific Democrat who deserves the support of fellow Democrats.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Sep 27, 2010 12:56:42 PM

  10. No mike, they are evil. It's not about denying our rights in concepts liek ENDA or DOMA or DADT. The GOP wants to make our acts, and thus us, illegal. If they could get away with executing us, a lot of them would. I think the parallel is totally justified.

    Posted by: Brian | Sep 27, 2010 1:00:40 PM

  11. Fair game. Advertising is all about speaking to your audience. The first way to do this is to speak the language of that intended audience. We gain nothing by speaking only the language of our peers - save that for rallies and fund-raising. The left in this country stood by for a generation while the right created a fear-based electorate, and now we are in a place to use that same fear-based language to expose them. We are foolish to not use EVERY weapon in our arsenal - we gain NOTHING by being only polite.

    Posted by: RealityCheck | Sep 27, 2010 1:03:34 PM

  12. As usual, Grayson tells the truth, and idiots get their panties in a big wad. Suck on it.

    Webster is a nut.

    Posted by: Jacknasty | Sep 27, 2010 1:05:17 PM

  13. There is nothing inappropriate or inaccurate in this video. Webster and his ilk ARE as bad as the Taliban. Furthermore, I am sick and tired of you pussies tiptoeing around the minority of American religious fanatics who have political power out of proportion to their actual numbers. Grayson is a hero, and you whiners should shut the fuck up and let some leaders lead.

    Posted by: dveej | Sep 27, 2010 1:06:44 PM

  14. I agree with Patrick NYC, fight Fire with Fire. For too long we've taken the high road and that's left us on the defensive.

    Give our opponents a taste of their own medicine!

    Posted by: Secret Identity | Sep 27, 2010 1:08:51 PM

  15. This is what I love about Grayson: he doesn't play with kid gloves.

    Besides, I view these extremist Christians not much better than the extremist Muslims of the Middle East. Quite a few of them do qualify for the ranking of domestic terrorist (guy who killed the abortion doctor, people who commits hate crimes, etc.)

    Posted by: ravewulf | Sep 27, 2010 1:18:45 PM

  16. I've been called worse: "faggot" and "queer" by people. I'm glad Grayson has the balls to go out there and fight for us.

    Posted by: homer | Sep 27, 2010 1:20:37 PM

  17. I love it!

    Grayson is a figher, and I just love how pushes back against the AMERICAN TALIBAN.

    His ad is great. That's the only way to ensure those crazies don't take over our government.


    Posted by: FunMe | Sep 27, 2010 1:21:03 PM

  18. I like the ad. If I were to pick nits, I don't much care for the "Times New Islam" font they use to write out the words "Taliban Dan Webster" at the end. It plays into the kind of Islamophobia that exists to a far greater degree on the right than it does on the left.

    But the content of the ad is terrific. Nothing crazy or outrageous about it, unless you count the Republican wingnut basing civil laws in the 21st century on the written ramblings of Bronze Age nomads. That's pretty out there.

    Posted by: Red Seven | Sep 27, 2010 1:40:01 PM

  19. Grayson ROCKS ! Good for him and calling out a religious fanatic. People in this country fail to realize that there are dangerous religious fundamentalist extremists trying to obtain political positions to impose their will on the people. This is not over the top - this is right on target.

    Posted by: Tre | Sep 27, 2010 1:47:47 PM

  20. Grayson's a fighter and it seems that people respond to that.

    Posted by: Tre | Sep 27, 2010 1:51:55 PM

  21. I'm as progressive as the next guy, and I appreciate Rep. Grayson's advocacy, but his methods contribute to the deficit of dialogue between the left and right.

    Posted by: Jake Orlando | Sep 27, 2010 2:11:07 PM

  22. What's this? A Democrat with a spine? He'll be tossed out of the DNC for that!!!

    Posted by: Roscoe | Sep 27, 2010 2:22:41 PM

  23. Submit to MEEEEE!!!!

    Posted by: Glenn I | Sep 27, 2010 2:22:58 PM

  24. Hopefully the beginning of a trend...

    Posted by: Rocco | Sep 27, 2010 2:41:22 PM

  25. http://www.amazon.com/American-Taliban-Power-Jihadists-Radical/dp/1936227029

    A great book that lays it out there. Authored by Kos the founder of Daily Kos who time an again in his editorial posts there supports gay rights 100%

    His basic premise is that there is no real difference between jihadists and US xtianistas except that modern 21st century criminal law prohibits the xtianistas from going jihadist themselves on women and gays etc in america

    Otherwise they both want theocracy just disagree on which god to submit it to. allah or jesus

    Posted by: mstrozfckslv@yahoo.com | Sep 27, 2010 2:52:50 PM

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