Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Orlando Sentinel and Barry University Congressional Debate

In Uncategorized on October 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm

I want to lead off, first and foremost saying that the Orlando Sentinel and Barry University put on a great event last night, at the Winter Park Civic Center. The host Greg Fox and the panel consisting of Lauren Rowe (WKMG 6), Scott Maxwell (Orlando Sentinel), and a third panelist who’s name I missed (if someone caught it let me know!), were all terrific. The venue was great and despite the fact that a major candidate was missing, the showdown on I4 was entertaining.

I lead off with that info, because the rest of this post is just a mess!

Despite drastic philosophical differences between myself and Congressman Alan Grayson, he whooped up on Independent candidate George Metcalfe and Florida TEA Party* candidate Peg Dunmire. It was bad, we’re talking Gator football this season bad. Alan Grayson put on a clinic against the kind of candidates, he insists represents everyone who is not a Democrat. Daniel Webster sat out the debate (more on that later), which cleared the runway for Grayson to destroy his two opponents and attack an empty podium.

This simply would not be a responsible post if I didn’t say that.

Alan Grayson was not at any point stumped, threatened or prompted to attack anytime last night. The two candidates that were there last night, never put him in a position where he had to. Here are a couple of the sound bytes.

“If your not tough enough to show up and debate, then your not tough enough to do the job”

“Webster would cut entitlements”

“Webster wants to make women 2nd class citizens”- He also stood behind the Taliban Dan ad.

“Voting for health care was the proudest moment of my life”

His opponents did not offer any serious rebuttals and allowed him to calmly explain his positions, in a rhythmic fashion. When they did take shots at Alan Grayson, he deflected them like Darth Vader deflected lasers in “The Empire Strikes Back”.

Alan Grayson was vaderesque in deflecting his opponents attacks on Wednesday

What did his opponents do? Well Peg Dunmire and George Metcalfe both decided that they would criticize the media because of the lack of attention their campaigns were getting.

Because that’s’ what you do when your panel consists of a popular anchor and an influential columnist, attack the media, right?! Complain that your not getting your “flicks” instead of using this opportunity to trumpet your plans for the district, when everyone in Central Florida is watching.

“Webster doesn’t want to be there”- Dunmire

“I’m not in cahoots, with Grayson”- Dunmire….could have fooled me. She could not have made it, easier for him.

“Make your own, Peanut Butter” Dunmire, in a very condescending reply to Lauren Rowe, when Rowe asked about food safety measures, and her concerns when feeding her children.

“Absolutely yes”- George Metcalfe on oil drilling within three miles of the Florida Shores.

He also dissected the panel’s questions, got snippy and did a poor job of translating his policy.

The whole time, Alan Grayson’s campaign staff and supporters, cheered, laughed and giggled and why shouldn’t they? This was a beating.

I’m use to the antics of Alan Grayson, they don’t bother me and his supporters are as loyal and dedicated as they get. The one statement that really, really bothered me last night?

“Bi-partisanship is a fallacy” – Congressman Alan Grayson

That’s not true Congressman, you just have to remember that, at the end of the day we’re all Americans, not just Republicans and Democrats and its not about who get the glory, it’s about making the country stronger. We need leaders that operate on the higher plane of thought, when we send them to Washington.

Alright, alright, so what about Daniel Webster. I was asked to do analysis last night after the debate, outside of the civic center. You want to know why Daniel Webster wasn’t there? I got two answers for you.

1. He didn’t need to be:- article attached
If Dan Webster felt that not showing up to this debate was hurting him, he would have been there. These campaigns cost a fortune guys, and he’s not going to throw it all away because of stage fright.

2. His word: – As frustrating as it may be to a lot of his supporters, Daniel Webster said at the beginning of this thing, that he would not attack his opponents. If you can’t attack, then you can’t debate. He’s convinced that when threatened, Alan Grayson would turn this into a mud-slinging match and thats exactly what Webster doesn’t want.

Alan Grayson won last night. The only question now is, will I be typing that on Wednesday morning.

  1. Mr Webster would have been ganged up on by Grayson and his cronies. I am glad Mr Webster did not show up to that “dog and phony show”.

    The Honorable Daniel Webster of Florida’s 8th district, that sounds good. Can’t wait to hear Grayson’s concession speech next Tuesday, if he’s man enough to make one.

  2. I’m convinced of the same thing. The Tiger Bay debate would have been one on one, but if he didn’t do it, then his campaign knows something we don’t.

    I don’t think Grayson would give a concession speech, in fact it might be an opportunity to take one more shot at the GOP

  3. First and foremost, your facts are wrong. Only Ms. Dunmire complained about not having enough attention from the press. I did not and you may check the tape. The question on offshore drilling did not permit any explanation as the basis for the opinion which would have noted that drillers would be required to have 24 hour onboard safety inspection at each stage of operations, a contract cleanup crew and performance bonds sufficient to cleanup any mess. Shallow water drilling nearer the coast is far easier to contain and leads to energy independence. There is a lot more but the question did not permit the complete answer.
    Our official unemployment rates make no provision for unemployed former business owners and no allowance for millions more who are underemployed. I would expect the rate to be closer to 25 percent, not 11.9 percent. Americans can’t afford a return to $ 5.00 gas especially now. Responsible energy policy should be focused on the “how” because our greatest potential has not been met. Liberal questioners threw Mr. Grayson softballs and did not compel him to answer “how” he would fight the war on terrorism other than by “peace”. It was noticable that the media fawned over Grayson afterwards. Finally, at no time during the debate did I criticize Webster’s decision not to debate. I considered this an opportunity and I remain quite grateful.

  4. So what you’re saying Mr. Metcalfe, is that at no time during last night’s debate, did you question Daniel Webster’s commitment to serve in Washington or his decision not to attend last nights debate? Are you also saying that at no time did you criticize the media over how much attention your campaign was getting? As for Liberal questioners, I’ve attended or watched about a dozen debates with those moderators this year alone and they have been kind to both parties and Independents. Mr Metcalfe this is not a conservative or liberal blog, for crying out loud, I have a picture of Darth Vader in this post.

  5. Yes, Frank. Last night I did not go after Webster directly. I voiced an opposition to tolls as a regressive tax on the poor, but I did not tie tolls to Webster because he was not present. I am aware that an empty podium works well to those in media who have called out Webster for his nonappearance, but I did not join the mob last night. I did comment at the Urban League that Webster’s decision not to debate was his loss, but in hindsight the Urban League “Debate” was only a Grayson setup and I now agree with Webster’s call. Personally, by refusing all campaign contributions from anyone, I am grateful for the media attention I get because media does not owe me anything. Also, if media treats me unjustly, I can walk away as I see fit. Your Fox 35 piece last night was slanted against Dunmire and me because we both had cheers as well as boos, but you did not include any of that. I do like Darth Vader, but you should save Darth for something special.

  6. Additional point: Commentators have two things I don’t: 1. Time to comment after the fact (I had one timed minute to answer) and 2. Control over the microphone or blog. Most commentators have pleasant courtesies and demeanor, then when the mike is cold pull out the acid pen. I am happy to be where I am – remembering that there will always be critics. I think we (press and pols) worked better when liberal Walter Cronkite had the class to report the news unbiasedly. Problems ensued when the press became the news. Keep writing nonetheless. I listen and always learn something new.

  7. I saw it quite a bit differently.

    lorida District 8 congressional loon Alan “Die Quickly” Grayson had most likely his last debate this past Wednesday, 10-27-2010. Polls show his Republican opponent Dan Webster with a 7 point lead. The only hope Grayson has is if his reportedly $40,000 funded debate opponent Peg Dunmire of the fake “Florida Tea Party” can get enough votes from Webster on November 2nd. Independent conservative candidate George Metcalf participated in the debate as well. The one missing candidate was Republican Dan Webster who changed his mind about debating Grayson after Grayson insisted third party candidates be present and the infamous “Taliban Dan” adds. Webster even called Grayson a “bully.”

    Dunmire and Metcalf did a public service by presenting the conservative view to the split audience that was notably subdued. Compared to the contentious District 24 debate between Sandy Adams and Suzanne Kosmas (and a left loon professor) this debate was more like a funeral procession as the Grayson faithful tried repeatedly to get fired up when he made a good quip or played the class warfare game. The empty seats in the small venue and modest press coverage were in stark contrast to the full auditorium of rancorous Kosmas/Adams supporters wanting to go at each other. A very sad and most likely farewell to one of the worst and most despised politicians ever elected to congress.

    Grayson who is a lawyer worth $31 million played his Democrat fans for the fools that they are. He whipped out the class warfare card for medical care reform, economics and the standard cry me a river leftist bull crap. None of it based on facts. He even claimed to be a Keynesian and explained briefly we need to fill the GDP “gap” with more spending. No doubt most of it ending up in his friends pockets. He played with and distorted facts to the delighted of his uneducated fans, fellow uber rich socialist comrades and the press corps.

    At one point in the debate he blamed the Bush tax cuts for the current deficit. According to Mr Grayson if only the tax cuts were not in place the federal government would have, whola, exactly $1.7 trillion dollars in additional revenue to cover the deficit! It’s magic Alan Grayson economics! His ignorant fans applauded in admiration of his brilliance and I had to restrain myself from barfing in front of his congregation and revealing my true beliefs. Of course the truth is after the Bush tax cuts in 2003 federal receipts increased a whopping 40.1%! And of course the real problem was spending that increased 66.1% over the 8 Bush years or 8.3% a year. Eventually the boom years ended and all that reckless spending as well as TARP killed the economy not tax cuts.
    I just had to marvel at the psychopathological liar Grayson playing his crowd for the fools that they are. The $31 million dollar man played some health care sob story here, a little economic misinformation there. It was obvious his core fans were incapable of any logical thought and operated on emotions that Mr. Grayson was more than willing to supply them. It was sad in a way, most of Grayson’s supporters were working single women, 20 something’s and 50 something’s men about to retire looking for solutions, salvation and hand outs from their narcissist congressman. Through years of indoctrination in government schools and the inability to see through bull crap they were the sheeple they so vehemently accuse the people on the right of being.

    It was almost as if I had been transformed back in time to 1960 and the wicked alcoholic sinful preacher man Elmer Gantry was standing there before my eyes telling me that if I just repented my evil libertarian ways he would deliver to me all of my worldly wants and desires. Salvation through government. Peace, harmony, love big brother. How could I be so unreasonable as to question the judgment of one so blessed and knowledgeable as Mr. Grayson and his comrades. They just wanted to take care of me.

    All I had to do was let the $31 million dollar man do the hard work in Washington and I could rest assured I would have food, clothing, housing, medical care, babysitting services, women, legalized drugs and would work a mere 35 hours week at the 7-11 to get it. All I needed to do was to submit to his powerful presence and return his ilk back to Washington for another two years. He had all the answers right there in his ever powerful immense mind that must have been at the 138 IQ level. Just punish those evil rich and the world was there for the taking. Well except the rich lawyers like him, shhhhhh! And then I woke up.

    Grayson and those like him are blinded by ideology, greed and a prevaricated ethnocentric view of the world. They use government as the tool of choice to extract riches and power from the peasants and middle classes that always leads to bankruptcy, lower standards of living and poverty. In the worst case scenario death, war, famine and destruction. In a decent society people like Dan Webster shun such evil.
    From his vicious attacks on Webster’s religious faith it’s clear Grayson hates Christians and Christianity. How could a reasonable man conclude otherwise after his complete disregard for the truth of Webster’s statement and misrepresentation of Webster and his faith with Jesus Christ? Can anyone fault Webster for not debating such a malevolence man?

    The truth, Mr. Grayson, and more so to the democratic peasants that follow these pernicious men and women is that our standard of living is increased by increasing productivity more than population growth. We can kill people, abort them, jail them or we can practice the economics of increasing production so more of us can live closer to Mr. Grayson’s lavish $31 million dollar lifestyle. Being more productive “supply side, voodoo economics” is not a very attractive picture if you are lazy. It means getting a job in the private sector where you have to work producing a good or service for others who will part with their money to pay you for your work. Most private sector work is boring and repetitious. Yes being more productive means eliminating millions of wasteful paper pushing jobs in the government sector and having those people transition into the private sector. Yes producing in the private sector is stressful, often times boring and pays less than government work, and is the only way we will increase our standard of living the humane way.

    Increasing taxes on the rich will lower our standard of living because the rich will hire less private workers and there will be less private production. Less private production means less good and services can be consume and the pie gets smaller. We need more private sector production, particularly manufacturing, to increase our standard of living including health care access and affordability. Lowering the corporate and capital gains taxes to zero would be a start.

    Cuba has free health care that is almost non existent for everyone but the highest of comrades. They have little private production of goods and services that they can trade for medical supplies. Cuba has a abundance of doctors to export to Venezuela but if you have no antiseptic and bandages who will benefit? Certainly not the working class.

    Yes the true economics of our living standards is quite simple, boring, stressful and competitive. There is no magic formula. Increase the supply of goods and services faster than the population growth. How? Lower taxes and have federal, state and local governments consume NO MORE than 25% of the GDP. Preferably 20%. 10% federal and 10% state and local. Yes it is boring but as we see in Greece, France, England and soon coming to America there really is no escaping the laws of gravity or economics. So the ignorant peasant democrats will have to be educated and the greedy nihilist like Grayson exposed and defeated.

    Do that and anyone who has a job would in a free market be able to afford their own personal health care, housing and transportation needs without government. Amen brother Webster.

    • Please note I am a economist and look at it a little different than who made the biggest shock and awe statement of the night.

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