An open letter to Senator Charles Grassley, (R-IA):
It is with heavy heart that I write, given that a Senator of huge magnitude and ability passed from the scene yesterday. Now I must traverse to the opposite end of the spectrum and address you and your behavior as my representative in Congress.
I am not a native born Iowan, having come to this fair state some ten plus years ago. I am aware that you have had a long career representing Iowa, well preceding my arrival. I am assured that indeed you have done things that reflect your care and love for this state in the past. So I am told.
I am a committed Democrat, and an unapologetic and proud liberal, and thus it is natural that you and I would disagree on most things. However, your behavior as of late transcends all bounds of political difference and renders you in my view unfit to represent this state.
It is apparent to me that the morality of health care reform doesn’t touch you or any of your Republican colleagues. You apparently consider it a privilege that is reserved for those who somehow qualify by work, birth, or some other standard as being entitled to live healthy lives.
I on the other hand, consider it a right, one that every civilized democracy in the world grants to its citizens as a matter of moral rightness. Imagine that the most advanced, most wealthy of all nations turns its back on nearly 50 MILLLION of its own, to gratify the personal wallets of the few who inhabit the health care industry.
This debate has devolved into a shouting match, egged on by big health care interests who are spreading unconscionable lies and fears to the public. They are inducing those who have more ugly motives of racism and other unsavory desires to use this issue to promote their agendas, most of which have nothing to do with health care at all.
Laying that aside, I have come to recognize that perhaps your age and mental acuity are at this time causing you difficulty in realizing what you are doing. Let me remark on a few things we have witnessed in the last few weeks:
- Are you aware Senator that you have been polluting the discussion with unwarranted fears of death panels that will as you put it “pull the plug on grandma?” You used those words Senator, and you know that they are untrue. There is no such provision in the current bills before Congress. You have admitted as much, yet you do nothing to correct the record. You have misled and continue to mislead Iowans. Further you voted for similar measures regarding end of life issues in the medicare bill of 2003. Have you forgotten this?
- Are you aware Senator that such lies place you in the very strange and abnormal room with the likes of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Steven King (your fellow Iowan), as well as the crazies Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh. Is this the legacy you wish to leave? Seriously, the media is starting to make fun of you Sir.
- Are you aware Senator of what your duties are regarding representing the people of your state? It would seem not. You have publicly stated that you will not likely vote for a “good” bill (your words), one you negotiated, if an insufficient number of fellow Republicans fail to vote for it. Sir, you were not elected to represent the Republicans. How do you justify not voting for a “good” bill just because some politicos in your party take that position?
- Are you aware Senator that there are two general models of representation in this country. In one you do you best to determine the majority feeling in your state and vote accordingly, and in the other you vote as your conscious and intelligence dictate for the best interests of the majority of your constituency. When you admit that you listen to those whose voices are “loudest” you do neither. And you say this while admitting that many of these “loud” voices have issues having nothing to do with health care.
- Are you aware Senator that some weeks ago you invited CEO’s who were receiving unbelievable compensation in the banking industry, to “fall on their swords” and commit suicide? Do you remember this?
- Are you aware Senator that some weeks ago you appeared on the Senate floor with charts and so forth and mumbled, bumbled along about Sir Lancelot and dragons? Even Mr. Nussle who at one time represented a portion of this state had the good graces to put a bag over his head before embarrassing the state in such a manner. What were you thinking?
- Are you aware Senator of what you said the other day? A veteran offered to take his gun and, in the company of other like minded individuals, go to Washington to mount an armed insurrection against a legitimately elected government of the USA. He offered Senator, to commit treason. And you Sir, did NOTHING, said NOTHING. You stood there like a potted plant. Even the less than stellar John McCain knew when someone had gone beyond the pale and stopped them. You Sir acted shamefully. You shamed all of us with your implicit approval of such criminal desires. And for that Sir, you deserve at minimum censure. I hope an investigation is forthcoming.
For all these reasons Sir, and doubtless more, I urge you to reconsider running for re-election. You are unfit for the office on numerous bases, either from lack of understanding of your role as a Senator, or from mental frailty. I Sir, will not just vote against you, but will be actively campaigning for your opponent. I can assure you, I am not alone in this. You’re becoming the talk of the town as it were, and that is not a compliment.
Shame on you Sir. We in Iowa deserve better. Enough is enough.
Senator, this e-mail is appearing on my blog, Afeatheradrift. It will be cross posted at AllVoices, and linked through Twitter and Facebook.
Charles Grassley, Coward, by Paul Krugman