A friendly discussion
Today in a small-town cafe in Page County, a rural southwest Iowa county, I walked over to a table of five vocal, opinionated, and obviously Republican women, and introduced myself as the new chair of the Democratic Party in our county. Before it became awkward, I pulled up a chair and heartily joined their conversation.
We openly discussed gun legislation, the use and abuse of public assistance, the need for better mental health care, high healthcare costs, the risk that the extremely wealthy in our country will leave the U.S. if we tax them too much, the need to improve immigration laws, how the U.S. has fueled the unrest in Central America, that unless we help our rural towns they will die out, the different narratives surrounding the Mueller Report, and the number of primary candidates in the 2016 and 2020 elections. We each did our best to clarify, inform and genuinely listen from our liberal and conservative perspectives. We laughed. We agreed. We disagreed. We did not insult each other. We kept our guards down. We even admitted some information might be incomplete or incorrect.
We talked about how nobody is going to do the work of bringing Democrats and Republicans together except us and that we shouldn’t look to a President to be our Savior. Many times we agreed it’s the system that is the problem and not individuals or either party.
We were so proud of ourselves for having this fulsome conversation that we took a group photo before we left. “You’re not going to post these anywhere, are you?” I assured them I wouldn’t and I won’t. I was invited to return any time and they wished me luck in my new role as chair of the Page County Democratic Party.
Am I going to try and “convert” these women? Never. But my hope is that we all go home and tell our friends and family about the great conversation we had. I think it’s time we each grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair, and start new conversations one coffee klatch at a time.
Questions for Grassley
Senator Grassley should top playing Iowans for fools. We know that the Trump issue is not conspiracy. It is obstruction of justice.
More than 370 former federal prosecutors from multiple past administrations concur, based on the facts documented in the redacted special counsel’s report, that Trump engaged in multiple, indictable obstruction offenses that would stand up in court as felonious convictions.
Against such a formidable opinion by so many expert and impartial legal minds, the judgment of Barr and Rosenstein means nothing. Yet, Grassley supports both Barr’s judgment and his defiance of a Congressional subpoena, effectively undermining Grassley’s oath to uphold and defend the Constitution.
This senator has effectively forfeited his integrity and sacrificed his honor on the altar of Trump. When the senator is back in Iowa and, presuming that he has the courage to hold actual town meetings and that he will take real questions from the audience, rather than pre-submitted questions from which he can cherry-pick the innocuous ones, how will he answer for his support of Barr?
And how will he contest, when asked to do so, the consensus opinion of such a formidable number of expert prosecuting attorneys who claim Barr’s opinion on obstruction is flat out wrong?