Iowans like free trade, but not liars

Sen. Joni Ernst discredits the Senate, Iowa and herself through her active participation in President Trump’s attempted cover-up of trying to force Ukraine to announce it was investigating Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. 

Last week, Ernst waved off hearing the full story of Trump’s corruption by voting to not allow witnesses to testify in the Senate impeachment trial. She said the charges were moot, and laughed it off. 

She joined Sen. Chuck Grassley in an abdication of congressional oversight of the executive for refusing to hear from, among others, former National Security Advisor John Bolton, who called Trump’s activities in Ukraine a “drug deal.”

Everyone expected that Ernst and Grassley would vote this way. 

We knew they would vote to acquit since the House took up impeachment, and that the case would be prosecuted in the general election this November.

But then Ernst on Sunday told Bloomberg News that impeachment would be launched against Joe Biden if he is elected president. 

She insisted in harping on a conspiracy theory debunked by U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence and diplomatic officials that the Bidens did something illegal when Hunter Biden served on a Ukrainian natural gas company board. She is buying into it and standing by this slander after the impeachment proceedings revealed the extent to which Trump’s entire inner circle set out to destroy Joe Biden — withholding military aid if necessary.

She looks like a fool.

Ernst must assume that Republicans will take the House in the event that Biden is elected. We’re not certain how that politics works — Democrat Joe Biden wins the White House while Nancy Pelosi loses the House of Representatives. We suppose it could happen.

It is more likely that Democrats will win the Senate because Ernst is that stupid.

She has stood by Trump as he destroyed our ag export markets, hurt manufacturers and stunted ethanol production. Her approval rating was high, and now is way underwater, because of it. 

Because she is willing to spread lies about Joe Biden just like Trump does. 

Iowans like free trade, low taxes and restrained government. They don’t like liars.

Ernst participated in a cover-up and is spreading lies that already have been shown to be false. She refused to let Iowans hear from important witnesses such as Bolton. Voters want the full story. They expect their senators to seek the truth, and not spread lies.

They expect their senators to uphold their Constitutional oversight authority and not to kneel before a bloated monarch.

Joni Ernst does not respect or deserve the office. She has proven it in the last week.

OUR REPORTER Tom Cullen trundled over to the rally for Vice President Mike Pence in Sioux City last week, attended by about 400 people. Some bused in from Sioux Falls. A week earlier, Sen. Bernie Sanders attracted a crowd that size in Storm Lake, a little town with no airport, on a Sunday afternoon.

You would think that the vice president of the United States appearing in Rep. Steve King’s district would turn them out. 

People aren’t buying what those guys are selling. They would rather hear Bernie.

An event like that illustrates that Republicans are in trouble this fall in Iowa. Trump is underwater by double digits in his net approval rating in Iowa. He is dragging down Ernst with him. Not even Pence, the scion of evangelicals, could turn out the base a week before the Iowa Caucuses.

That has implications for King, too. 

One recent poll showed Democrat JD Scholten beating King. The incumbent is likely to win the June primary, because King is in lockstep with Trump. Scholten never stopped working after he came within two points of King.

The atmosphere tells us that Republicans are not fired up. They have been debased by the mountain of evidence that shows what a vile, corrupt president we elected. They are tired of King’s looniness and must be disappointed in Ernst’s stupidity. 

The GOP might just sit home election night in northwest Iowa. 

If that happens, the blue wave that started rolling in 2018 will blow out the blowhard and his band of followers.

Art Cullen is the Pulitzer Prize-winning editor of The Storm Lake Times.

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