It’s not easy for me to criticize a strong progressive like Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), someone who has fought hard for just about everything I believe in (e.g., the Public Option Act). And it’s even more difficult when Grayson’s opponent, Daniel Webster, is about as right-wing as you can get, a true “American Taliban” if there ever was one. Finally, it continues to be the case that I would strongly prefer Grayson to be reelected than Webster to replace him.
We thought Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida reached a low point when he falsely accused his opponent of being a draft dodger during the Vietnam War, and of not loving his country. But now Grayson has lowered the bar even further. He’s using edited video to make his rival appear to be saying the opposite of what he really said.
In a new ad, Grayson accuses his Republican opponent Daniel Webster of being a religious fanatic and dubs him “Taliban Dan.” But to make his case, Grayson manipulates a video clip to make it appear Webster was commanding wives to submit to their husbands, quoting a passage in the Bible. Four times, the ad shows Webster saying wives should submit to their husbands. In fact, Webster was cautioning husbands to avoid taking that passage as their own. The unedited quote is: “Don’t pick the ones [Bible verses] that say, ‘She should submit to me.’“
Watch the ad, then watch the unedited video (see after the “fold”) and decide for yourself. Here are the comments by Webster, which show that he meant the exact opposite of what Grayson’s ad claims he meant.
So, write a journal. Second, find a verse. I have a verse for my wife, I have verses for my wife. Don’t pick the ones that say, ‘She should submit to me.’ That’s in the Bible, but pick the ones that you’re supposed to do. So instead, ‘love your wife, even as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it’ as opposed to ‘wives submit to your own husbands.’ She can pray that, if she wants to, but don’t you pray it.
The Grayson campaign needs to pull this ad immediately, if it hasn’t already done so. As much as Daniel Webster is a heinously extreme, right-wing, member of the “American Taliban,” taking his words and editing them to make them mean the exact opposite of what he said is not acceptable. Actually, what it reminds me of is another incident which we progressives rightly decried. In our zeal to win elections, let’s never become like the Andrew Breitbarts of the world.