Former Congressman Uses Famous ‘Green Lantern’ Scene to Attack Political Enemies
Former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson has used the ascension of Green Lantern in the American consciousness to facilitate an attack on his political opponents. In a blog published to The Huffington Post and distributed as a letter to supporters, Grayson invoked a famous scene from the 1970s Green Lantern series in which Hal Jordan was admonished by an elderly African-American man for his failure to ensure social justice for the people of Earth while he was helping aliens on other planets. In his piece, Grayson, a Democrat, compared the stupefied Jordan with Republican politicians, whom Grayson believes have been similarly neglectful in their activities.Alan Grayson was the U.S. Representative for Florida’s 8th district between 2009 and 2011, before he was unseated by Republican Daniel Webster. Obviously inspired by the public’s awareness of Green Lantern via the heavily marketed film, Grayson transcribed the scene between Jordan and the African-American man and then imagined himself to the gentleman’s position and the Republican’s in that of Jordan’s. The following is the complete text of Grayson’s statement along with the memorable comic book scene in question — which was written by Dennis O’Neil and drawn by Neal Adams for 1970’s Green Lantern #76 — presented without editorial comment. Grayson himself included the Green Lantern’s oath at the end.
The movie Green Lantern opened on Friday, to mixed reviews. Maybe the reviews would have been better if the movie had included this powerful exchange, from Green Lantern #76:
I may never have the chance to talk to George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, or any of the other Masters of the Universe who led and misled our country for eight long years. Nor may I ever have the chance to speak to Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, or any of the other savage right-wing loons who want to finish the job that Bush et al. started. But if I could, I might say:
Me: I’ve been readin’ about you . . . How you work for multinational corporations like Big Oil. . . . And how you say you built all those roads and schools and bridges in some country in Asia. And in some other country in the Middle East someplace you got rid of some dictator. Only there’s one country you never bother with — America! I want to know . . . how come?! Answer me that, Mr. Flag-Waiving Patriot!
Them: I . . . can’t . . . .
Well, I can answer that. For a generation now, we have seen the heartless, callous erosion and destruction of all the things that make you a member of the middle class in America:
The chance to see a doctor when you are sick.
A pension or retirement account.
Social Security and Medicare.
And we’ve seen them replaced by endless war, falling home values, no pensions, lower wages, and now what Karl Marx called a “reserve army of the unemployed” — to keep wages down forever.
Even after only two years in office, as one out of 435 in the House, I can point to a lot of things that I did to preserve, protect and expand the middle class in America, and to help those of us who were falling through the cracks.
I look at our so-called leaders on the other side of the aisle, and I see nothing like that. Only a perverse delight in eliminating programs that help my fellow Americans in need. They’ll lead us, all right — they’ll lead us straight to ruin.
The next time you see one of them — at a town hall meeting, in their plush offices, or just on the street — ask them this: “What have you done to help the people? Answer me that!”
If they’re honest, they’ll say what Green Lantern said: “I can’t.”
In brightest day,
In blackest night,
No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might,
Beware my power: Green Lantern’s Light.