Former Rep. Alan Grayson, who was ousted from Congress during the Tea Party wave of 2010, won back his House seat Tuesday night with a decisive 25-point victory over his Republican challenger, Todd Long. Grayson joined HuffPost Live Thursday to discuss the significance of the 2012 election and his plans for returning to Congress.
Grayson said that the 2010 election was an "anomaly," in which a "demoralized" Democratic electorate failed to turn out, but by 2012 Democrats around the country wised up to Republican policies and to campaign tricks from the likes of Karl Rove and the Koch brothers.
"Now [Democrats] realize that if they don't vote, it's going to hurt them," he told HuffPost Live host Mike Sacks. "Now that the Republicans have been quite explicit about what they want to do...now it's clear to people that they have to vote to defend themselves. It's not only a question of the Democrats are going to do for you, it's a question about what the Republicans will do to you if you don't vote."
Grayson said that "people are wising up" to the influence of big money backing Republican candidates and the ads put out by such groups.
"The Koch brothers and their allies and Karl Rove were able to depress the Democratic vote through outright lies and trickery repeated endlessly through their TV propaganda ads in 2010," he said in the clip above. "But now people are wising up."
In the clip below, Grayson also told Sacks that he thinks President Obama has been "too modest," and outlined his wish list for the next four years, including full employment, progressive taxation, universal (and not just affordable) health care, and peace.Watch:
In order to pass a progressive agenda through a Republican-controlled House, however, Grayson said House Democrats need to remain united against a fractured GOP.
"The Republican majority has become completely incoherent and is falling to pieces," he said, saying there are now "two different parties: the semi-rational Republican part and the Tea Party." Grayson said that creates some leverage for House Democrats, provided they stick together.
"We have shown that we're a united caucus and the Republicans have shown that the crazies have taken over," he said in the clip below.Watch:
Grayson also joked about his American flag shirt.
"If you win by 25 points you can wear shirts like this," he said.