Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Obama calls Bernanke assistant a “K Street whore”

Well, maybe not exactly, but when you praise someone who did just that you’re endorsing the sentiment.

Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Fl) recently criticized Linda Robertson, a Congressional affairs assistant to Ben Bernanke, saying "Here I am the only member of Congress who actually worked as an economist, and this lobbyist, this K Street whore, is trying to teach me about economics."

A month ago Grayson said on the House floor that the Republican health care plan was “Don’t get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.” He was praised for this by Keith Olbermann and Arianna Huffington.

It now appears that Grayson’s behavior is up to the standards of President Obama, who last night acknowledged Grayson at a Florida fundraiser as one of Florida’s “outstanding members of Congress."

Grayson’s behavior has been condemned by several Democratic congressmen, but it appears to be ok with the President. Where’s candidate Obama who promised to change the tone of Washington? We miss him.


Steven Dorst said...

Fox is reporting that Grayson apologized - and I think the time line shows Grayson apology BEFORE Obama remarks:
Fox News Report

Judith Ellis said...

Bob - I must say that the title of this post has a bit of the spin and sensationalism of Grayson's words. :-) But I'm not totally against this. In a way it points to the necessity of sometimes bringing a point home in a way that will make others take notice. I do, however, agree that Grayson should have apologized for some of his statements which he seems to have done.

Analogies may be made but they may not always draw just parallels. Because President Obama praised Grayson for his advocacy does not mean that he praises all of his actions. Can one not be an outstanding advocate for various causes and be imperfect? If not, that would exclude many of our founding fathers who, for example, wrote outstanding documents such as our Constitution, yet owned slaves.

Bob said...

The link Steven provided says Grayson's spokesman defended Grayson's remarks on Tuesday, AFTER the Obama remarks. I think Grayson apologized AFTER his spokesman's justification. So no pass for Obama.

To Judith's point, when Obama spoke Grayson was in the news, not for his advocacy but for his foul mouth. Obama professes a different kind of politics: he shouldn't have praised Grayson, certainly not then.

Judith Ellis said...

Bob - I think you make a good relative point just about what politics should and should not be. Grayson has been a strong advocate for health care form and for holding banks accountable. His imperfections do not negate his advocacy, nor does it negate President Obama's or anyone's appreciation. There is always timing to consider (some may even call it politics and others wisdom) when addressing some issues. There is no doubt that Grayson is edgy and a bit out there. (I saw him on Bill Maher and he was telling more jokes than the host, although he was right on.) But President Obama's style is probably not like mine or yours. He does not seem to call people out outright, whether they are on the left or right. He seems to do things in his way and on his time. There are some things that I would like for him to speak out on immediately. But he seems to move on his timing like it or not. Our wishing him to speak out on this or that issue does not make him any less ethical or moral. I will say, however, if there becomes a general perception that his timing is purely politically motivated over time this will have an affect over time. Then again, such was not the case for the past eight years.

Bob said...

My guru of political ethics is Reinhold Niebuhr, and he's also Obama's. Niebuhr said, "The temper of and integrity with which the political fight is waged is more important for the health of our society than the outcome of any issue or campaign."
I believe that. I think Obama believes that. That's why I was so enthusiastically for him. Now I want him to deliver.

Judith Ellis said...

I was introduced to the Reinhold Niebuhr quote here and love it. But I must also say that sometimes various approaches are necessary that may seem to others disrespectful. I am now thinking of the House of Commons in that there is a lot of the "honorable" this and that but beyond those words seem to be some serious disdain for political views. The same can be said here to a large degree. But I receive your last comment and appreciate you.