Friday, July 25, 2008

Thank God It's Republican Friday (TGIRF)!

Our end-of-the-Week GOP-Day is now a regular feature.

The Republican I want to applaud this week is someone who
  • served in the Senate since 1980
  • exercised long-standing oversight of the Defense Department's ability to misspend tax dollars
  • has an 80 percent rating from the American Conservative Union and a 5 percent rating from the liberal Americans for Democratic Action
  • voted against authorizing the Gulf War (yes, the first one)
  • supported FBI agent Colleen Rowley, (an occasional staff writer for this site) who tried to warn of anti-terrorism failures
  • a devout Baptist
  • initiated a Senate Finance Committee investigation of six televangelists for conspicuous personal spending
Why would I be celebrating someone with this kind of mixed record?

Because it's
Chuck Grassley!

Grassley is an Iowa Republican who has long led the conservative forces of his state and now has been denied his customary position as a voting delegate to this year's Republican National Convention! It's being done by the Iowa Christian Alliance. The ICA has effectively taken over the state party's executive committee, and they obviously weren't happy with Grassley. One gripe is obviously that Grassley teamed up with Democrat Max Baucus to investigate the finances of televangelists.

2002, Grassley was interviewed on 60 Minutes about FBI incompetence in translating foreign language documents before and after 9/11. This Republican didn't pull his punches in assigning Administration blame in the war on terror.

Grassley may attend the party's Sept. 1-4 nominating convention in St. Paul, but not as a voting delegate. Of course, if he were a Democrat, he would have super delegate status!

Iowa Republican National Committee member Steve Roberts, also recently ousted, observes,
The Republican Party of Iowa is moving significantly to the right on social issues. It hurts John McCain's chances to win this state.

It's pretty well controlled now by the Christian Alliance. If somebody came to me and wanted to be a delegate to the national party convention, I used to say, 'Talk to the state party chairman or to Grassley.' Now it's very simple. You go to the Christian Alliance, and they determine who is a delegate, and you have to do exactly as they say.
So, I appreciate Chuck Grassley for whom and what he is,
  • a true maverick (not a fake maverick like whatshisname from Arizona)
  • a true Conservative who thinks for himself
  • a public servant who follows his personal conscience more than party discipline
By being denied a vote in his state's delegation, Grassley is taking one for his country, as well as for his national Grand Old Party..