Much like the current leader of their party, Donald Trump, Iowa’s senators, Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, no longer seem to have a limit on how low they can go.
Trump crossed – no just plain busted through – one of the very sacred lines in politics in America when he criticized the family of a soldier who died in battle. The Trump campaign then went even lower when some of its surrogates tried to tie Khzir Khan to terrorist organizations. As far as I know the campaign has not disavowed these statements yet.
Any politician worth their salt (love those old sayings) should have immediately and forcefully condemned the Trump statements. They should also have at that time withdrawn any support for those who made such statements until apologies and retractions were made. There have been but a few Republican politicians who have made a statement condemning Trump. There have been only a few who have withdrawn support.
For the Republican Party since Reagan, party comes before country.
Which brings us to Iowa’s senior senator Chuck Grassley. This is a man who should have immediately condemned Trump’s statements in a forceful manner. As a senior politician, Grassley’s words would have carried some major weight. Yet Grassley was slow in saying anything. When his office did release a statement late Monday – 5 days after Trump’s statements – it was a milk toast statement:
“Mr. Trump’s comments are not in line with my own beliefs about how the members of the military and their families should be treated, and respect for the people who serve our country is something both presidential campaigns could use more of,” said Grassley.
Hardly the tough condemnation Trump deserved. When I called Grassley’s office Monday afternoon I asked why the Senator had not made a statement by then. The staffer stated that they didn’t realize it was such a big issue. Calls had just started coming in Monday. Talk about tone deaf.
Grassley had to be told this was wrong and a big deal? Wow!
Senator Ernst’s office released an even milder comment:
In response to a request for comment Sen. Joni Ernst, a Red Oak Republican and a former officer in the Iowa National Guard with combat experience during her 23-year military career, said: “We as a nation are incredibly grateful to Capt. Khan’s service and ultimate sacrifice – as well as the sacrifices of his parents – to keep us safe and free. We must always honor our veterans, and their families; many have endured far more than we can ever imagine, and we must always remember to express our gratitude.”
Seems like our senators – both of whom may someday vote to send our sons and daughters to war – were not terrifically upset by Trump’s statement. Ernst’s statement even avoids the reason why she would be issuing such a statement.
Patty Judge’s campaign in an email calling for Grassley to be taken to task for his lack of response to Trump stated:
Chuck Grassley has stood by while Donald Trump has insulted women, minorities, Americans with disabilities, and now he remains soft as his endorsed presidential candidate levies vile attacks on the family of a fallen veteran. By not standing up and loudly condemning these bigoted remarks, Senator Grassley is choosing loyalty to D.C. Republicans and Donald Trump over loyalty to Iowa values like respect, decency, and defending the honor of America’s fallen and their families. The fact that he hasn’t already demanded that Trump apologize shows just how much the 42 years in Washington have changed Chuck Grassley — and not for the better.
Grassley needs to know that Iowans want their elected officials to strongly stand up to Donald Trump’s constant racist and sexist remarks, not stand idly by with weak, tepid responses every time. Let’s send a message to Grassley that he MUST denounce Donald Trump immediately:
I’m proud of my husband’s service, my father’s service, all Americans who have served, and heroes like Captain Humayun Khan, a soldier who sacrificed his own life to save the lives of other American soldiers. The Chuck Grassley that Iowans knew for years wouldn’t hesitate to join me in calling for Donald Trump to publicly acknowledge that his comments were disgraceful and immediately apologize.
Trump’s attack of the gold star family raises two major questions:
First: Is there no place Republicans will not go to gain power?
Second: Throughout our country’s existence sending our sons and daughters to war has been the most serious question all of our presidents have ever faced. All who have presided over war years speak of the anguish of committing troops. Donald Trump seems to view it as no more serious than sending your kids to camp. So your kid gets killed? Well, Donald Trump has his problems, too.
Trump doesn’t seem to understand what war is nor what military personnel and their families endure, nor does he seem to care. Captain Khan died in a war of choice, a war that did not need to happen. Donald Trump could easily get us into that situation again.