Weigel

The Alan Grayson Era Begins

Movin’ on up

Photo by Shaun Heasley/Getty Images

RALEIGH, N.C.—I’m writing a bit less than usual today as I talk to participants and critics at the final North Carolina “Moral Monday” protest of the legislative year. That story will come tomorrow; in the meantime, here’s a story I wrote at the end of last week about how Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida evolved from “oh, that guy on MSNBC calling Republicans idiots” to the legislator with the most success passing amendments. It’s a symptom of a few interlocking trends:

- House Republicans, having restored the “open rule” amendment process, (and having very little idea of what can become law at the moment) are opening all sorts of doors for enterprising legislators to sneak through.

- House Democrats, out of power, don’t exercise the same control over their caucus.

- The media cares less about a congressman in a safe seat (as Grayson’s is now) than one who might lose.