Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) is back on his one-man quest to introduce the rhetorical combat of the netroots crowd into the halls of Congress. This time, his unfortunate target is Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), the gentleman from Georgia leading the charge against ACORN. Broun had introduced an amendment to the Fire Grants Reauthorization Act of 2009 to block any funds from reaching the group. Grayson--calm, methodical, and merciless--reminded him of the constitutional ban on bills of attainder, producing the awkward silences and shuffling of papers that serve as catnip for the likes of Jon Stewart.
Grayson is as much a virtuoso of the form as Congress has ever seen. Though only a freshman, he's already made blogospheric waves with his strikes on Rush Limbaugh ("more lucid when he was a drug addict"), Elizabeth Coleman ("if you're not responsible for investigating that, who is?"), and the entire Republican party ("The Republican Health Care Plan: Die Quickly"). His is a charisma destined to produce quick fame online. The question, however, is whether the style that makes him a hero in the intertubes will have the same effect in the congressional cafeteria--or in Orlando, the fickle swing district he calls home.
In this particular case, the answer is no. The amendment was adopted by a large margin, and the full bill was reported out.