At Trump’s previous post-presidency occasions, you would not discover the state’s main GOP officers attending en masse. In reality, at a rally in Georgia final month, Trump railed in opposition to the state’s Republican leaders for refusing to help him in illegally overturning the 2020 election. Trump even informed the group he’d choose potential Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams as governor over his fellow Republican who’s at present in workplace, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp.
Saturday’s rally in Iowa, although, was totally different. This one was attended by longtime Iowa US Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, Iowa Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and Ashley Hinson, and different mainstream Republican officers. Some of those exact same individuals, who simply 9 months in the past had been slamming Trump for his function within the Capitol riots, had been now solely too blissful to be seen supporting him. This is politics at its worst — and at its most harmful for our democracy.
The most hypocritical of the bunch is Sen. Grassley, who on January 6 was escorted by his safety element to a safe location to guard him from the pro-Trump mob that had laid siege on the Capitol. Grassley, who voted to certify the 2020 election, made a veiled reference to Trump in his assertion, noting that the lawsuits filed after the election had failed and that “politicians in Washington should not second guess the courts once they have ruled.”
In February, nevertheless, after Trump’s impeachment trial for allegedly inciting the January 6 rebel (allegations which Trump has denied), Grassley was much more direct along with his criticism. He mentioned in a press release that “President Trump continued to argue that the election had been stolen even though the courts didn’t back up his claims,” and “belittled and harassed elected officials across the country to get his way.” Grassley added that Trump “encouraged his own, loyal vice president, Mike Pence, to take extraordinary and unconstitutional actions during the Electoral College count.”
Grassley continued bluntly: “There’s no doubt in my mind that President Trump’s language was extreme, aggressive, and irresponsible,” sharing his view that each one concerned within the assault — together with Trump — “must take responsibility for their destructive actions that day.”
Flash ahead to Saturday, and there was Grassley beaming as Trump supplied a “complete and total endorsement for re-election” for the 88-year-old Senator. Grassley responded, “If I didn’t accept the endorsement of a person that’s got 91 percent of the Republican voters in Iowa, I wouldn’t be too smart.”
To Grassley, it was “smart” to simply accept the endorsement of the person who spent Saturday’s rally spouting the identical falsehoods that led to the January 6 violence that prompted Grassley to cover in concern. Trump’s litany of harmful election lies at his Iowa rally ranged from irresponsible claims he received Wisconsin “by a lot” in 2020, to mendacity that the outcomes of the just lately launched Arizona audit help his false declare that he had really received that state. He even declared that, “First of all, [Biden] didn’t get elected, OK?” The crowd responded to Trump’s buffet of lies by chanting, “Trump won! Trump won!”
But Grassley wasn’t alone in his duplicity. Also attending the rally was GOP Rep. Ashley Hinson, who had launched a press release on January 13 in regards to the Capitol assault, saying, “I believe the President bears responsibility, and that is why I urged him personally to call off those who were violently storming the Capitol last week.” Hinson added, “I wish he had spoken up sooner, but he did not.”
Yet her view of Trump’s function within the January 6 act of home terrorism, because the FBI has labeled it, didn’t cease Hinson from attending Saturday’s rally. Nor did the truth that, simply days earlier, the Senate had launched a 400-page report titled “Subverting Justice,” about Trump’s efforts to make the most of the Department of Justice to assist him illegally overturn the 2020 election. In reality, none of Iowa’s elected GOP officers who attended the rally seemed to be involved that Trump had requested the Justice Department 9 instances to undermine the election leads to what seems to some to be an tried coup.
You do not must be a historian to acknowledge the hazard in a political occasion exhibiting blind loyalty to 1 particular person. These GOP elected officers simply a number of months in the past rightly criticized Trump and his function within the false election claims that led to the January 6 assault. With their presence at his rally this weekend, it appears they’ve now modified their tune.
Perhaps they now agree with Trump’s lies. But it is extra probably their flip-flop comes from current polls exhibiting that 91% of Republicans in Iowa view Trump favorably. That, and never eager to face the wrath of Trump, like Georgia Gov. Kemp, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and different Republicans who’ve dared to talk honestly in regards to the election.
But who is aware of what Trump whim would be the subsequent litmus take a look at for remaining in his good graces? When even Grassley, Iowa’s longest-serving US senator, thinks it is “smart” politics to not criticize Trump for his un-American assault on our democracy and as a substitute reward him in a pursuit of an eighth time period within the Senate, it is clear that the occasion is not outlined by coverage concepts however by absolute loyalty to Trump and his affect. To put it bluntly, immediately’s GOP is how democracies die.
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