Sometimes certain things need to be said. And sometimes they’ll come across as harsh or personal. But they still need to be said.
I’ve been inundated with Iowans complaining about Sen. Joni Ernst’s betrayal and her vote for the DisRespect for Marriage Act. A number of them have vowed not to support her again. A number of them have said we need to orchestrate a primary. A number of them have said she must not be re-elected.
But you want to know an inconvenient truth?
Many of these same Iowans just voted for Ashley Hinson, Mariannette Miller-Meeks or Zach Nunn — all of whom voted for the same DisRespect for Marriage Act or said they would have voted for it.
Do you want another bonus inconvenient truth?
Many of these same Iowans just voted for Sen. Chuck Grassley, who voted in support of the Biden Infrastructure bill. And, I looked back at the posts on that issue when it was “hot.” Sure enough, many of the comments were about how people would never vote for Grassley again.
Do you want a reaaaalllllly inconvenient truth?
Chuck Grassley, who Iowans just re-elected, has voted with the Joe Biden agenda more often than Ernst. Much more often. Like it isn’t-even-close more often.
Ernst’s Biden score is 33.9 percent.
Grassley’s Biden score is, pause for dramatic effect…50 percent.
Half the time Grassley is supporting the Biden agenda. Ernst is supporting it one-third of the time.
And Iowans just re-elected Grassley. By double digits.
But sure. When Chuck Grassley voted to certify Joe Biden’s “win,” a lot of Iowa Republicans said they were done with Chuck. When Chuck Grassley blamed Donald Trump for Jan. 6 — a lot of Iowa Republicans said they were done with Chuck. When Chuck Grassley said he was looking forward to Joe Biden’s agenda, a lot of Iowa Republicans said they were done with Chuck.
When Chuck Grassley said if the federal government institutes a COVID vaccine mandate to fly, unvaccinated Americans would have to find another way to travel — a lot of Iowa Republicans said they were done with Chuck. When Chuck Grassley voted for the Biden Infrastructure bill — a lot of Iowa Republicans said they were done with Chuck. When Chuck Grassley implored the House to pass the Biden Infrastructure bill saying that Joe Biden “needs a win,” — a lot of Iowa Republicans said they were done with Chuck.
Despite his failing Liberty Score. Despite his support of Mayor Pete for Transportation Secretary. Despite his support of Merrick Garland for Attorney General. Despite voting to send billions of dollars to Ukraine. Despite surrendering on the border wall.
Despite it all, here we are, less than two weeks removed from an election where Grassley’s anti-conservative record meant nothing to Iowa Republicans, wondering how and why Ernst can feel so comfortable in her Senate seat that her base will not turn on her for a vote in 2022 when she’s not up for re-election until 2026.
Keep in mind, Hinson, Miller-Meeks and Nunn all publicly supported the same exact bill Ernst voted for. And they did it a few months before their election — not four years before it.
And guess what, Iowa Republicans didn’t care when it mattered most. They showed up and voted red.
The Republican Party of Iowa’s platform has consistently opposed homosexual marriage and supported traditional marriage. I can’t find the newest version of the platform online, but here is what a previous version said:
We believe that traditional, two-parent (one male and one female), marriage-based families are the foundation to a stable, enduring, and healthy civilization. Therefore, public policy must always be pro-family in nature, encouraging marital and family commitment, and supportive of the parental rights and responsibilities.
We encourage the repeal of any laws allowing any marriage that is not between one natural man and one natural woman.
We support “Conscience Clause” legislation so that no person, business, or organization can be penalized for its exercise of religious freedom by not providing services that violates their religious beliefs.
The DisRespect for Marriage Act does none of that. In fact, it does the opposite of that. And 66 percent of Iowa Republicans in Congress sided with it and against the platform. Sixty-six percent. Technically, 66.6 percent.
So, let’s really reflect — why would Joni Ernst support the DisRespect for Marriage Act? Because it appears Iowa Republican voters don’t care.
After all, they re-elected Miller-Meeks months after she voted for it.
They re-elected Hinson months after she voted for it.
They elected Nunn months after he declared he would have voted for it.
There were no consequences. Why would Ernst expect to be held to a different standard in four years than they were in a mere matter of months?
Easy answer: She shouldn’t.
In fact, if we’re being honest, what has happened in recent history to suggest that when push comes to shove, and Iowans are voting in 2026 and it’s Joni Ernst vs. Generic Democrat, that Iowans will not “hold their nose” and fill in Ernst’s circle?
Another easy answer: Nothing.
It seems Iowa’s Republican base doesn’t put much stock into its platform. At least it doesn’t expect its legislators to uphold it. Or legislate based upon it.
It seems we’re almost all bark and practically zero bite.
Because, you know, we haaaaaave to vote Republican to “save our country” — or something.
Or perhaps it is that we have to vote Republican so instead of being stabbed from the front, where we have to see it coming, we instead prefer being stabbed in the back.
Because, hey, at least it isn’t the Democrats driving the knife in!