Opinion | Where Iowa Republicans need to go

If Iowa senators want to pass policy, they are going to need to align themselves with the Republican Party.


Tate Hildyard

Gov. Kim Reynolds introduces U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst R-IA at the republican watch party at the Des Moins Marriott Downtown on Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020 . Republicans from across the state have gathered to watch the results of the 2020 General Election.

Dylan Hood, Opinions Columnist

Iowa Republicans may want to expand on Trump-era policies, but in order to do so they must break away from the previous presidency. In a previous interview with The Daily Iowan, Iowa Republican Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley said they’d push for expanding agriculture benefits and building on criminal justice policy passed in the Trump presidency.

But any hopes of them accomplishing this means breaking away from the toxic presidency that Trump led America. The Republican Party has been split since Trump’s run for office — those who are loyal to Trump and those who are loyal to the party.

And Grassley and Ernst need to be a part of the Republican Party — not the “Trump Party.”

There are many within the Republican party still loyal to former President Trump and his message — most famously Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green from Georgia’s 14th Congressional District.

She has an astounding track record that one would expect of someone wearing a “Trump Won” facemask in her swearing-in ceremony.  These incomprehensible activities include supporting debunked QAnon conspiracies, claiming that school shootings are a hoax, and supporting the false rhetoric of a stolen election.

These actions have gone on to prompt the Democratic Party to call for her removal from her assigned committees, and some to call for her removal from office all together.

While Grassley and Ernst haven’t come close to this delusional behavior, they must continue to break away from Trump.

Grassley has dissented from his previous following of Trump, saying the former president has lost his ability to lead the Republican Party. Additionally, Grassley has said that he would work with President Biden on his political agenda moving forward, citing his desire to have prescription drug prices lowered — an item on Biden’s agenda.

Ernst has to follow similar behavior to Grassley. At this time, she has not had much to say about breaking away from Trump and his policies. The only statements she has made have been in condemnation of the insurrection at the capital.

Recently, she accused the Biden administration of working to undo her WOTUS rule and called for colleagues to stand with workers and farmers.

Rather than imitating Trump’s accusatory behavior, Ernst should be taking after Grassley’s actions and show a willingness to work with the new administration. The “pointing fingers” method she is using right now does not exactly scream “I am willing to work with you.”

The Republican Party is reeling, and one thing is clear — as long as the stench of Trump persists in the party, it will be forced to bear the image of its former leaders’ incompetence to lead.

If Grassley and Ernst want to pass legislation, they need to keep focusing on breaking away from the “Trump Party” and focus on representing the Republican Party.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.