In a few months, Iowans will vote in primary elections. One of the races on the Republican side is between State Sen. Jim Carlin and United States Sen. Chuck Grassley.
Grassley is a 42-year incumbent. Grassley has been an elected official in Iowa since 1959. Politics, though, is a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately sort of thing.
So, what has Chuck Grassley done for Iowa conservatives lately?
Well, just a couple of weeks ago he voted for the $1.5 trillion spending bill that has been criticized by the Iowa Firearms Coalition for its anti-Second Amendment language as well as Family Research Council and Heritage Action for its social engineering.
Last year he voted for Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill. He voted to certify Joe Biden’s victory. He said he was looking forward to Joe Biden’s agenda. He said if proof of vaccination was required to fly or ride by train then Americans would need to do that or travel some other way. He said Joe Biden needed a win. He said Donald Trump had very little chance of leading the Republican Party.
All of those things are 100 percent certifiably true. There is no debate or question if he said those or did those things — he did.
He also voted to confirm Mayor Pete. He voted to confirm Merrick Garland. And he voted to confirm Michael Regan to be Administrator of the EPA.
During an interview on raising the debt ceiling, Grassley explained when Republicans are in control, Republicans have to raise it. And, when Democrats are in control, Democrats have to raise it.
What does this mean? The debt ceiling, under Grassley’s logic and strategy, will always be increased.
Perhaps this is how the national debt has gone from $987 billion when he entered the U.S. Senate to over $30 trillion today.
Not all conservatives believe in term limits, but for those who do, it’s hard to justify a vote for Grassley if someone is a term limits supporter. You might say it’s impossible. I’ve yet to see a term limits proposal suggesting eight terms in the U.S. Senate.
But again, not all conservatives support term limits.
Focusing on this term, 2017-2022, Chuck Grassley has received a score of 58/100 from Mark Levine’s Conservative Review. That’s an ‘F.’
On the votes scored by Conservative Review, Grassley has voted conservative 29 times. He’s cast a liberal vote 21 times.
I’m not going to highlight all 21 terrible votes, but if you’re curious, you can visit his scorecard here.
The argument for supporting Grassley typically comes back to two things — he has seniority in the U.S. Senate and he stopped Garland from becoming a Supreme Court justice before confirming him to be Attorney General.
To that I’d offer the following…
Grassley has clout, seniority and favor with GOP Senate Leader Mitch McConnell. Do you know which conservatives like McConnell right now? None.
Grassley is one of McConnell’s top allies. Is this good? I guess you can decide.
As for Merrick Garland and the Supreme Court appointment, I don’t believe Grassley acted on his own. I believe he was simply carrying out orders. I could be wrong, but most Senate Republicans in that same position I believe would’ve done the same thing.
Please do not take that to mean I’m not grateful. I am.
But was it this harrowing act of courage it’s been portrayed to be? Consider me a skeptic.
And, even still, that is the last conservative thing I can remember Grassley taking a big stand for. And when did it happen? Last time he was up for election.
Politics has changed a lot the last six years. A lot. It’s not even recognizable from 1960 or 1980.
What’s the conservative argument to support Grassley in a Republican primary?
It would have to be extremely, extremely, extremely convincing to overlook all of the above.
Washington D.C. needs a new breed of Republicans. The old guard has gotten us where we are today. And it is not a place any of us want to be.