The following is an open letter to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley:
Dear Sen. Grasssley:
Over the past several years, I have had the honor of interviewing you a few times. You had a special relationship with my former boss and you visited Belle Plaine several times. On several other occasions, your staff called our office to set up phone interviews with you from your Washington office.
So it is with these memories in mind that I must regretfully say I am disappointed in you. For many years, you have represented this state admirably. In fact, on at least one occasion I was able to tell you that even though I am a registered Democrat, I always voted for you when I had the chance. You always represented your constituents well, often going against the wishes of your party. Your service has been a no-nonsense style as you often were not afraid to cut through the red tape that Washington seems so fond of to get results for us.
But now, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, you have apparently fallen in line with your party's leadership, drank the Kool-Aid of obstructionism and decided you will not allow any discussion of a nomination for a judge to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
What happened to you? Surely with your experience, you have the opportunity to show the way to other members of the Senate and allow the government to function even in an election year. Of course, President Obama is not from your party. But he has shown that he won't make any radical nominations. In fact, one of the rumored candidates is a woman from our state who you wholeheartedly supported for another judgeship. She went on to gain unanimous approval from the Senate.
Don't you think there is a good chance that our president, who has 12 years experience as a constitutional professor, realizes the gravity and importance of this nomination?
You have said that you think that the new justice should be appointed by the next president. Are you saying that President Obama should refrain from doing his job for his last year? If you employed a worker for your farm and signed him to a multi-year contract, surely you would not want to pay him for the final year of that contract if he failed to do the work. Perhaps more importantly, would you trust a President Trump (God forbid) to nominate the next justice?
I can only guess that you think that if you join your Republican colleagues in blocking this nomination you can somehow save a dying political party. But you risk doing this at the expense of what has been a truly noble legacy of your service. Do you want to be remembered as someone who allowed partisan politics to govern his final months in office? You are running for re-election, but this move might be just the thing that pushes the voting majority to the other candidate.
You still can change your mind. Take the high road. Please reconsider.
Currently a disappointed constituent,