As early voting begins today in Iowa, The Iowa Standard believes Iowans should re-elect Sen. Joni Ernst. And for no shortage of reasons.
First and foremost, the importance of control of the United States Senate cannot be understated. This year — 2020 — paints a clear picture of just how important control of the Senate is.
In a year that started with House Democrats attempting to impeach President Donald J. Trump, one wonders if Democrats controlled the Senate what the impeachment process would have looked like?
We know the House wasted valuable time it could have been preparing for the Coronavirus as it moved through its impeachment process. A Democrat-controlled Senate likely would’ve squandered even more time and more opportunity to prepare for the pandemic.
With the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court, we are again reminded of the importance of the Senate majority. Much of President Trump’s legacy is unknown today — because we cannot be sure just how much of an impact his judicial appointments will make in our country’s future.
What cannot be disputed is the incredible volume of judges and justices President Trump and the Republican-controlled Senate have been able to appoint and confirm.
Judicial appointments become a trainwreck if President Trump does not have a Republican-controlled Senate to work with.
It seems likely Democrats will retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives, which is currently limited somewhat by the GOP-controlled Senate. But if Democrats control both chambers — and somehow do not win the presidency in that scenario — it’s difficult to envision much, if any, of President Trump’s agenda being implemented until after the 2022 elections.
Iowa’s U.S. Senate race is critical not just to the Hawkeye State, but to America’s future.
So, let’s look at the candidates.
Sen. Ernst has been a reliable vote for the Republican agenda in the U.S. Senate. She hasn’t always taken the most conservative path, and she’s advocated for some positions that her base does not support, but nobody can argue that she listens to Iowans.
Ernst has visited all 99 counties every year. She’s provided constituents with easy access and an influential voice. Iowans cannot claim they have not been heard by Sen. Joni Ernst.
She’s also been effective. Ernst has a role in GOP leadership within the Senate and, when combined with the role Sen. Chuck Grassley has among Senate Republicans, Iowa’s voice is undoubtedly magnified with Ernst in the U.S. Senate.
She has focused on what she knows while in the Senate. According to GovTrack, 34 percent of bills sponsored by Ernst primarily deal with Armed Forces and National Security.
That makes sense as Ernst is the first female combat veteran elected to the United States Senate.
While The Iowa Standard believes both Ernst and her Democrat opponent, Theresa Greenfield, could improve in coming across more authentically, there is no doubt that Ernst presents more authenticity in who she is and what she believes than Greenfield does.
Greenfield’s candidacy is a mess.
I recall watching one of the Democrat Primary debates and thinking she wasn’t even a top-three candidate. But the Democrat establishment lined up behind her and pushed her through to victory. She didn’t seem as experienced as Michael Franken, not nearly as liberal as Kimberly Graham and not as effective at communicating as Eddie Mauro.
Yet here she is.
First things first, Greenfield is a radical Democrat. She supports the radical Equality Act which threatens America’s first freedom — religious liberty — along with parental rights. She supports a federal ban on conversion therapy.
Greenfield supports abortion up to the point of birth. She will not budge on the abortion issue.
It is a fact that Greenfield believes law enforcement in Iowa and in America is “systemically racist.”
She lacks a depth of knowledge on many issues. Rather than talking about facts and figures, Greenfield often prefers to talk about emotional stories.
Her anecdotes, though, aren’t solutions, they’re just feeble attempts to fill time when she lacks the wisdom for what she should say.
And Greenfield has a clear pattern of not being exactly forthright in her beliefs.
In May, she refused to support adding justices to the Supreme Court. Then, a couple of weeks ago, she hadn’t formed an opinion on the issue. A few days after that, she returned to being OK with nine members on the Supreme Court.
She said law enforcement is systemically racist, said Sen. Ernst was lying about it, then literally seconds later reiterated that law enforcement is systemically racist.
Here is the bottom line — Ernst is more open, honest and accessible than Greenfield. Ernst has experience whereas Greenfield has cliff notes and instructions from Chuck Schumer.
We know that for most Iowans, this race will come down to ideology. But the crucial voting bloc in this race will be Iowans who aren’t ideological voters.
And this is what they should know — Ernst has visited all 99 counties, Greenfield has been very reluctant to leave the city. Greenfield has spent less time on the farm and in rural communities than any “Iowa farm girl” I’ve ever encountered.
Take a look at this map where Greenfield has been missing from almost half of Iowa’s 99 counties:
When Greenfield has met with voters, her campaign has tried to restrict access as much as possible and refused cameras. They have even gone so far as to discourage recording Zoom meetings.
The obvious question is why? Why would they do that?
In addition to avoiding meeting with Iowans and hearing their concerns, Greenfield has routinely attempted to sidestep questions during debates. She’s had to be asked the same question three different times before giving an answer. For example:
Maybe you don’t care about Greenfield’s radical support of abortion up to birth. Maybe her willingness to support the egregious Equality Act, which will unravel religious liberty and attack parental rights, doesn’t bother you. Perhaps her belief that our law enforcement, which shows up every day to serve and protect us, is systemically racist isn’t enough to convince you she isn’t reflective of Iowa’s values.
If nothing else, her unwillingness to meet with Iowans and answer basic questions should cast all the doubt necessary to believe she will not represent Iowans well. She can’t represent them well, she hasn’t heard from them!
Iowans have long enjoyed access to candidates seeking to represent them — from local school board elections all the way to the White House. They aren’t given that with Greenfield, but they are with Sen. Joni Ernst.
Control of the U.S. Senate is vital in 2020.
Sen. Ernst has proven she’s effective, she has a strong voice within GOP leadership in the Senate, she has given Iowans an ear to hear from them and she has displayed a heart willing to serve them.
She’s earned six more years in the United States Senate.