A friend sent me a copy of a guest opinion from the Cedar Rapids Gazette from January 12th. The opinion is written by David Mannheim, a neighbor of Grassley’s near New Hartford. Mr. Mansheim breaks down many aspects of Grassley’s years in the senate:
“A lot has changed while Grassley has been in Washington. Inequality has risen to extreme levels and the American dream of upward mobility has diminished. The highest tax rate went from 70 to 28 percent so now the extremely wealthy are taxed at the same rate as a secretary or plumber. Last year, I paid more in U.S. income tax than Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk combined because they paid nothing. The astounding upward transfer of wealth during Grassley’s tenure is not an accident.
Forty-six years ago, my dad actually owned the hogs he raised and was not a swine herdsman for China. There were more farms and they produced a diversity of crops and animals for a market not dominated by agribusiness oligopolies. Before Grassley went to Washington, a family could live comfortably on one income, have a decent car, afford a vacation, likely get a pension when retired, and kids could work their way through college if they wanted.
Grassley stood by while automation and globalization hollowed out the middle class and tax incentives promoted “offshoring.” He participated in the destruction of unions but gave huge tax giveaways to corporations and the rich.
Grassley contributed to the growing resistance of facts, science, and climate change. If anyone in his party could afford to stand up and tell the truth about the big lie of the 2020 “rigged” election consuming his party, it is Grassley. But he prefers instead to bask in Trump’s endorsement. He has done nothing to help unify us throughout our disintegrating national solidarity over heightened divisions of race, religion, and gender.
As a Mitch McConnell sycophant, he fosters congressional gridlock and the skyrocketing use of the filibuster. He constantly puts his party above the interests of the country and when the other party is in power, he is on sit-down-strike to prevent government from functioning. He has destructively politicized our courts, denied Democratic nominees but rushed Republican appointments through even if they have never been in a courtroom.”
This is a pretty clear-eyed assessment of Grassley’s years in the senate. Beginning sometime during the Clinton administration, Grassley threw off the guise of being interested in moving the country forward and became pretty much of a party hack – that is an elected official who puts party first above country.
We have seen Grassley’s “party-first” act hurt the country in several major ways. We saw Grassley make an absolute fool of himself in his fight to stop the Affordable Care Act, claiming it would “kill Grandma.” We saw Grassley as the head of the Judiciary Committee trash the Constitution as he refused to allow Merrick Garland a hearing for his nomination to the Supreme Court.
But right now is perhaps the very epitome of his arrogance. At a time in his life where Grassley could use his seniority to try to make the senate into a working body, Grassley os working harder than ever to make the senate an impotent body that can do nothing. His major focus is to be one of the leaders in ruining the Biden Presidency and thus the country.
While Sinema and Manchin get huge press for bucking their party, a long term senator like Grassley could show some leadership on an issue such os voting rights by putting the country first and voting to make voting rights the law of the land. But Grassley won’t stand up for the good of the country or for what the majority of Americans want. In another era he would have been called a ‘good German.’
By electing Grassley to another term Iowans would be approving another 6 years of dragging the state backwards, another 6 years of party first, damn the country politics.
Democrats have good potential candidates any of whom would be a much better senator than Grassley will be in the next 6 years.
Abby Finkenauer is young, tuned into the world and will represent the most under-represented group in the country these days: the working citizen. She comes from a laboring family and will represent the forgotten worker well.
Dr. Glenn Hurst is extremely insightful. You can bet as your senator, Dr. Hurst will listen to the citizen, not jus give you lip service as Grassley does now.
Admiral Mike Franken has shown true leadership – and the ability to stand up to others when they are wrong. He is literally the opposite of Grassley and something Iowa sorely needs.
Democrats will offer a real choice opposing Grassley this year. Any one would be a far better senator than Grassley has been for decades.
One last thought – even though Grassley would be in his 90s if he wins another term, he will be one of the leaders to end the so-called social legislation – Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. This would devastate our country.
Also remember that despite the increasing evidence that Donald Trump was behind the January 6th coup and also tried to overturn the election in various states (Georgia eg) Grassley is still a supporter. Party First, Chuck!