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This was an interesting week at the Iowa Capitol. On Monday there was a Government Oversight hearing with school board members and administrators who defended keeping obscene materials in their libraries. The week ended on Thursday with a House Government Oversight hearing involving two medical folks defending sex-change treatments and surgeries on minors.

And a ton of stuff happened in between those two hearings.

But I’m not wasting time on those things in this newsletter. I think it was appropriate the week started and ended the way it did.

The legislature deals with hundreds if not over a thousand issues every year. Some are so obscure you are left scratching your head wondering how it became an issue for the government. Others are so trivial you wonder who in Iowa requested such a law.

Then there are these two issues — schools providing obscene materials in their school libraries and “doctors” who “care” for patients mutilating the bodies of children.

We saw the trains come to a screeching halt in the legislature earlier this year when it came to Education Savings Accounts. That was a big win. It was monumental in many ways. But I would argue even that pales in comparison to the seriousness of obscene materials being in school libraries and “doctors” mutilating the bodies of kids.

Republicans simply are not getting to the heart of this matter. They’re trying to skate around the edges rather than forging ahead and fighting for total victory.

First things first, there is no compromise on these issues. None. There is no middle ground to be had. The sooner Republicans realize that, the better off our state will be.

Second, if a GOP-controlled House, GOP-controlled Senate and Republican governor (Kim Reynolds) can’t get these books OUT of the schools AND protect our children from being mutilated by these doctors, then what the heck are we doing in politics?

If our own side doesn’t have the courage or the stomach to fight this fight in a way that they secure TOTAL victory and not willing to accept anything less, then screw it. If we can’t figure out a way to pass a law that says taxpayer-funded government schools cannot provide sexually obscene materials to minors then what good are we? I mean, really.

If our side, with total control, cannot secure total victory in protecting kids from these doctors of deception, then why are we wasting our time involved in this arena?

As I sit in hearing after hearing at the legislature, sometimes I think our legislature is ignoring the rooms that are on fire and instead trying to figure out a way to fireproof the rest of the house.

When a room is on fire, you put that fire out before you worry about anything else anywhere else in that house.

I’m afraid we’re not doing that. Some issues are so important they demand — DEMAND — total attention. The trains should stop in the legislature until sexually obscene materials are out of schools. The trains should stop until our state is protecting our kids from being mutilated by doctors of deception like “Dr.” Katherine Imborek.

Conservatives haven’t figured out the cultural battles quite yet — at least not enough of them. Actually, Republicans haven’t. For the most part, I think actual conservatives have.

There is no “middle ground” in the culture wars. There is no such thing as “agreeing to disagree” when it comes to taxpayers providing sexually obscene materials to minors. There is no such thing as “agreeing to disagree” when it comes to allowing doctors of deception to mutilate the bodies of children.

There is no way to “tie” the “progressives” on these issues. One side will win. The other side will lose. And the winner will not stop here. There will be a next battle. And a next. And the winner will have momentum.

If we can’t stop this war here and begin to work back toward sanity, then I fear this battle is forever lost. These two issues should be layups. These aren’t complicated. They’re only as complicated as we make them.

We have a number of serious issues that are not going to be addressed it seems. But there is no excuse for this. These issues aren’t new. They didn’t just pop up in January. Legislators should have had solutions figured out before session. Leadership should have had a clear plan in place to get those solutions to the floor in the first few weeks.

Instead, we’re here, nearly two months in, without a clear path forward on the two most pressing issues facing Iowa kids today.

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Author: Jacob Hall


  1. I would use a word like Butcher rather than mutilate. I think it’s a little more accurate surgical butchery. mutilate sounds like mangle and means something akin to distortion when it is actually complete surgical removal.


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