For the past decade it has sure seemed like Chuck Grassley is showing signs of what age can do to the mind and temper. In answering questions he sometimes wanders. Sometimes he takes to lecturing his audience as though he were the keeper of some knowledge of the inner sanctum that we peasants are not privy to. On one occasion we saw Grassley simply drop the microphone and walk out of a town hall when a questioner broached a subject he didn’t like. In other words, he wasn’t there as a servant of the people but more as a Lord who was willing to share the truth with his peasants if they were good.
The recent flap that has been created by his own decision to interpret the Constitution appears to be taking a toll on Grassley. In town hall after town hall across the state, Grassley was no longer getting the obsequious treatment from the public. Instead, citizens from across the spectrum have been asking why he can’t follow the Constitution. Grassley’s answer is that he knows much better the meaning of the constitution than do the mere peasants who dare ask him these questions.
When it got to the point that Grassley could no longer control the public as he once did, he and his staff devised a new approach to his vaunted 99 county tour: the public tour suddenly became a tour that was held in private and not publicized at all to avoid any non-vetted public disturbing the aura of a controlled event. Stated another way, Grassley took his public office underground.
Grassley is back in Washington doing what he does best – not doing his job and obstructing justice in America. Like so many Republicans, when he sees things go wrong he knows that he is not the cause. Nope, gotta be someone else causing his problems. Tuesday, Grassley figured out who the guy is that is causing all the trouble for the Republican Party in general and Grassley himself in particular. Chief Justice John Roberts.
John Roberts ( old “call balls and strikes” Roberts) had the audacity to criticize the Senate for approving Justice nominees on party lines. Grassley went into a positive snit. How dare the Chief Justice say such a thing. Why the problem isn’t in the Senate, nosiree! It is in the Court itself!
“In fact, many of my constituents believe, with all due respect, that the chief justice is part of the problem,” Grassley said of Roberts, who has at times incensed conservatives with his votes to uphold Obamacare and other rulings. “They believe that [a] number of his votes have reflected political considerations, not legal ones.”
“The chief justice has it exactly backwards,” Grassley also said. “The confirmation process doesn’t make the justices appear political. The confirmation process has gotten political precisely because the court itself has drifted from the constitutional text and rendered decisions based instead on policy preferences.”
The Iowa Republican went on to warn Roberts not to inject himself into the Senate showdown over whether Garland should be confirmed this year, which Republicans have vowed will not happen. Grassley said Roberts has been encouraged by some academics to urge the Senate to take up Garland’s nomination.
Grassley really seems to be more and more traveling in a world that only he and a few others inhabit these days. That world doesn’t seem to include many Iowans. Iowans generally are a fair minded group of folks who expect others to do the jobs they are assigned. Iowans also expect their elected leaders to have valid reasons for their actions. When it becomes apparent that the elected officials are no longer working in Iowa’s interest, but in the interest of the Party or special interests, they should expect to be called on it.
Iowans are calling Grassley out. Grassley’s response so far is to make up ridiculous excuses, then hide, and now to blame his problems on someone else. The one thing he refuses to do is listen to Iowa voters. Every week, it seems that our Senator crawls further and further into his bubble.
It is long past time for a change. Chuck Grassley has been on our nickel for some 58 years, longer than most Iowans have been alive. Iowa needs new blood and a new perspective that is more in line with those who will inherit Iowa. In our household we like Rob Hogg. He is a sharp young man with an eye on the future for Iowa.
After 58 years, Iowa needs new leadership.