We are now officially on the precipice of the campaign season, as if such existed anymore. Since the days of Ronald Reagan, republicans have turned campaigning for office into a 24 hour a day, seven day a week endeavor. There is no let up.
This past week I ran across some stories about the current campaigns in Iowa. The stories highlighted the true differences in Democratic campaigns with their opposition what is now a radically right group posing under the name Republican.
The Soapbox at the Iowa State Fair really highlighted the difference. Democratic candidates were out in abundance. They have something to share and are not afraid to be out with the people, stating their positions and answering questions.
Democrats from top to bottom took advantage of the opportunity to talk about their plans at one of the state’s brightest spotlights. Those from the radical right shied away from the spotlight as if they had something to hide.
From Admiral Michael Franken running for senate on down to the four Democratic candidates for Iowa’s congressional seats (Christina Bohannan, Liz Mathis, incumbent Cindy Axne and Ryan Melton) and gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear, Auditor Rob Sand and Attorney General Tom Miller – Democrats turned out in full.
On the right about the only one who showed up was Zack Nunn running in Iowa’s 3rd district. Others were very noticeable by their absence: Chuck Grassley, Marriannette Miller-Meeks, Ashley Hinson, Randy Feenstra and Kim Reynolds all showed their disdain for the public by forgoing appearances.
This continues a trend we have seen building all spring and summer. Democrats are out meeting with the public – the real public not just hand-picked audiences. Meanwhile Republicans when they do make appearances do so in safe counties or in front of hand-picked audiences. This may look good for a TV camera, but a public official who won’t meet the public is bad for Iowa and the country.
While radical right Republicans have been hiding, Democrats have been eagerly seeking out opportunities to meet AND listen to voters. Here is how Robert Leonard described a Bohannan event:
With the help of Marion County Democrats, Mahaska County Democrats, Indivisible Warren County, Jasper County Democrats, Bohannan’s campaign, and possibly others, Bohannan went on a “listening tour” of Jasper, Marion, Warren, and Mahaska counties in late June. Many candidates go on “listening tours,” but most are more accurately described as “lecturing tours” because candidates are tightly scheduled, give their stump speech, answer one or two questions, and sprint to the next destination. Not Bohannan. She took her time, made connections, and learned.
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“Bohannan’s stump speech is simple and powerful. She first presents her background, says what she and other Democrats have done and will do for America, and hammers her opponent, Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks, on her voting record. Miller-Meeks voted against the Biden infrastructure bill, parts of which she often takes credit for, voted against allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, and against burn pit legislation that will help our Veterans receive the care they deserve. Here is Miller-Meeks’s presentation justifying her no vote. Miller-Meeks also voted against the “CHIPS ACT,” which would return semiconductor manufacturing to the states. The list of reasons Bohannan offers to vote for her and not Miller-Meeks is long and growing.”
Meanwhile Bohannan’s opponent hid in a forum put on by the America First Policy Institute. This was described as mostly a presentation. AFPI can easily be considered a very radical right wing policy group. For this event disgraced former interim Attorney General Matt Whitaker was on the panel. From the Newton Daily News:
“Although it was advertised as a town hall meeting, the America First Policy Institute’s “How We Plan to Save the Country” event held Aug. 18 in Newton gave little opportunity for the public to ask questions, and instead used its own representatives to lead the discussion towards the organization’s agenda.
That agenda was further emphasized by the panel of conservatives mostly comprised of AFPI staff and former members of the Trump Administration like AFPI board chairperson Linda McMahon and co-chair of AFPI’s center for law and justice Matthew Whitaker. Altogether, the event lasted about an hour.”
Miller-Meeks was hiding in plain sight. Her votes, her statements, her allegiance to the disgraced and possible treasonous former president all give her reason to keep quiet. When she does speak she makes claims that she takes credit for things she didn’t do, such as works projects coming out of votes that only Democrats voted for.
Ashley Hinson is almost Miller-Meeks twin in the House. As with Miller-Meeks, Hinson votes as she is told by the party and not to represent her district.
And Chuck Grassley – who has a better reason to hide these days than Grassley – voting against a cap on insulin prices then claiming he didn’t vote that way. Recently making statements that may well lead to attacks on IRS agents – on a and on. Whose side is this guy on, anyway?
Democrats are running openly on issues that they are proud to tell you about. America is facing crises such as the climate, an impending oligarchy that Republicans have maneuvered us into, not to mention the Republican crises on the validity of our elections. Your vote for sane Democrats has never been more important.