The Washington Post noticed. Even as Minnesota has been progressing and enacting common sense legislation to improve the life of its citizens, our neighbor to the South, Iowa, has been going insane.
Republicans in the Iowa legislature, empowered by the state’s recent “red wave,” have embarked on an ambitious new agenda that includes a costly school choice bill and legislation targeting the LGBTQ community, a historic divergence from Iowa’s history as a civil rights bastion.
Even as teens draped in rainbow flags crowded into the Capitol rotunda chanting “We say gay” on March 8, Iowa lawmakers quickly passed three bills related to gay and transgender rights, culminating with a measure to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth that is awaiting Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’s signature.
The votes were not only emphatic but were also a sharp reversal for the state: Iowa has veered so far to the right in recent years that its political landscape is virtually unrecognizable from the centrist place that chose Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 and was one of the earliest states in the country to affirm same-sex marriage. A joke among statehouse reporters is that Iowa is becoming the “Florida of the North” — without the beaches.
Once you let Republicans get a toe-hold in your state, they start screaming and fostering a climate of hatred and paranoia that takes over, and next thing you know you’re getting compared to Florida. I don’t understand this transformation myself, but somehow, working class people in Iowa have absorbed a lot of Republican propaganda and have gotten the idea that Trump was a hero.
Political analysts in the state say that Iowa’s swing has solidified over the past seven years as reliably Democratic working-class voters abandoned the party in favor of Donald Trump’s message, and the state’s large percentage of independent voters also moved toward the Republicans.
Trump’s message? What the fuck is Trump’s message? And why does it appeal to anyone? The article doesn’t say. If that “message” is represented by Governor Kim Reynolds, well yuck — it’s all hate and ignorance.
At a February appearance at a raucous town hall co-sponsored by Moms for Liberty — the Florida-based group that has campaigned for book bans across the country — Reynolds celebrated her school choice victory and portrayed herself both as a grandma of 11 and a warrior against the “radical left.”
“They think patriotism is racist and pornographic library books are education,” Reynolds said, speaking over shouting protesters and supporters chanting “U.S.A., U.S.A.” “They believe that the content of our character is less important than the color of our skin. They believe that children should be encouraged to pick their gender and the parents, well, they’re just in the way.”
Love how the one thing Republicans have stolen from Martin Luther King Jr. is that one line, and they’ve twisted it to support their assertion that white people are discriminated against. She’s got everything backwards, though: Republicans think racism is patriotism and education is pornography.
Trump’s message? “Those people” -gestures wildly- “are the cause of your problems”
Iowa is simply reverting to form.
It’s not difficult to get a bunch of ignorant rubes to follow you; just yell loud enough and blame someone else for their problems.
It still could get worse. There’s an article over at 538 that reports that Idaho is likely to repeal an already weak law banning private militias. I don’t want to get anywhere near places like that.
Reginald Selkirk says
This is the problem with visually conveying overly long mottos. The correct order is, “Our rights we prize and our liberties we will maintain. Except when Jeesus tells us otherwise“
Reginald Selkirk says
You gotta admit, these folks are all in for irony.
@ 3. billseymour : So much for the well-regulated“ part of that Second Amendment they worship huh?
@1. rx808 : I thought Trump’s message was : “Look at me! Look at me! Listen to me! Feed my ego! Give me money! Give me covfefe! I am de Greatest! Give me attention, give me money!” Repeated flatulently, incessantly and insatiably.
Well, as well as taking the worst of the worst people’s own hates and fears and repeating them back to them through aloudhailer making them all feel big and strong and worst of all somehow justified. (Which they’re not.)
Tabby Lavalamp says
The thing they don’t get about that one MLK quote they hammer into the ground is that we are judging them by their character and we are finding them wanting.
The Fox viewers – even those who have kept up with the internal messages released because of the lawsuit- do not mind learning Fox lied to the viewers. They don’t mind that one execitive described the Fox viewers as hicks who marry their cousins.
The only thing that matters to them is having their views validated by the talking heads at Fox, confirming that everything wrong is caused by The Other (the gay, the hispanics, the n***ers).
Maybe you should spread a rumour that Trump is Jewish? Fight evil with evil.
Meanwhile, in Nebraska Democratic state Senator Machaela Cavanaugh has been filibustering the entire legislative session!!! in order to prevent the passing of a bill that would forbid all gender affirming care for trans youth.
It is amusing that people in the middle of the country get so offended when we coastal elites call them flyover states. After them pulling stunts like this, I have no interest in visiting, let alone spending my money in, a hellscape like Iowa, even though my father grew up there.
The First Nations were “just in the way” as well.
As a Canadian, I am often boggled by some of the things your legislators get away with. Perhaps someone can unboggle me and explain how this shit gets past the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment.
These laws prohibiting standard and necessary medical care are of dubious legality.
So questionable that they have already been reversed in Federal court.
Arkansas, that leader in backwardness, has long ago already passed an anti-Trans child law banning medical care.
A Federal court tossed it in 2022.
The basis for throwing these hate laws out is in the article.
Equal protection under the 14th amendment.
“Several families of transgender minors ranging in age from 9 to 16, as well as doctors who treat transgender patients, sued to block the law, saying it violated transgender patients’ right to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by depriving them of medical care.”
Iowa? Florida says hold my cheap American “beer”:
Iowa is just following the GOP herd.
There are anti-Trans child bills either passed or being considered in at least 22 states right now.
AFAICT, they are simply targeting a very small minority with almost no political power, i.e. Trans children with supportive parents because they can.
It isn’t like a few 12 year old Trans children are going to be able to fight back in any way.
Grace Slick asked in 1967, “Don’t you want somebody to love.”
The christofascist GOP in 2023 tells you, “You need somebody to hate and this year it is Trans children.”
Here in Wyoming, the governor is signing a bill to outlaw trans athletes in the public schools. It’s a small state, so this affects, like, what? 0.000001% of the population? No, we’re not trying to be exclusionary at all. /sarcasm
There is some method in their screwuppance. Just follow the banner the bald one is holding up. Then it reads “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”
That’s not to say that Iowa is not screwed up.
Legislation restricting gender-affirming care for transgender youth: Politics eclipse healthcare
This is the legal basis for challenging the anti-Trans laws.
They’ve already lost in Federal court. So far anyway.
“In short, lower courts are likely to continue to rule that “[p]arents, pediatricians, and psychologists—not the State or [a] Court—are best qualified to determine whether transitioning medications are in a child’s best interest on a case-by-case basis.”
I wouldn’t bet on this though.
These days some of the US court system has been captured by the extreme right wing christofascists and rule based on ideology, not law or common sense.
Kim Reynolds knows that you have to produce a steady stream of lies, so people who try to debunk them never catch up.
I see. The laws are in limbo until Alito, writing for the majority on the SCOTUS, says these laws are ok because they didn’t have gender affirming care 250 years ago.
…which is why you should say that we should not hold Reynold’s past against him. After all, he was never charged with the rape and murder of that woman who lived in the same city block *, so in the eyes of the law he is innocent. Bring this up at every opportunity.
* there has to be someone.
@21 was a direkt follow-up of @19
Oops. Kim is a woman’s name. That ruined my plan.
Think! What would Tricky Dick say to discredit an enemy?
Taking money from Soros?
I must admit defeat. I just cannot come up with the kind of bare-faced lie that would seem credible to viewers of Fox News/ MAGA voters.
Unless…yes, this is the truth of the governor and the rulers of Iowa.
If only it were just Republicans. Unfortunately Democrats are only slightly less draconian and demonic. They both primarily serve the interests of the very wealthy, the oligarchs who lurk behind the scenes (mostly) and make the big campaign contributions. It’s difficult to see Democrats and their rich backers as doing little more than throwing a few sops at the hoi polloi to keep them quiet and under control…only marginally better than cynically saying “Here’s some cake, now bugger off, get to work, quit complaining.”
This kind of populism depends on having a lot of very parochial, non-cosmopolitan people that have not been exposed to diversity. A “flyover state” is ideal for the purpose.
Or a place where many retirees settle down.
But both kind of political environments are transient, they cannot last forever.
Robot @ 25
Is there any pressure to replace the archaic “first past the post” voting system with something more dynamic? I recall one state had adopted a different system.
brigerjohansson @ #27 — Several states have implemented other systems of voting in state elections, such as ranked voting where you can vote for your top three choices. I don’t know if that addresses your question.
I would be surprised that states with an entrenched dominant party…usually Republican…are doing anything like that. In fact, Republican controlled states seem to be doing what they can to prevent any kind of election reform. Of course, none of this applies to presidential elections.
As has often been said here, a core aspect of the problem is the two-party system itself, and the various trappings that go along with it. The two parties aren’t very cohesive and the coalitions are growing more strained. At a national level there are three or four major factions in each party that really affects the ability of the party to govern as a majority. That’s one reason the GOP leadership supported Trump, even if they didn’t much care for him. If the MAGA wing breaks with the main GOP branch, then things like McCarthy’s majority in the House goes out the window, which almost happened last year. In fact, the Democratic leader in the House was getting more votes than McCarthy for Speaker in some of the early rounds.
The other major contributor to the breakdown of government in the US at all levels is big money. And if you read Heather Cox Richardson, this is exactly the same problem the US had in the 1800s leading up to the Civil War. Then the big money was in the relatively small cadre of growers in the South who got wealthy off of tobacco and cotton, the free labor of slaves, and the cheap labor of the non-slaves.
Pierce R. Butler says
The political comparison to Florida only holds if the Iowa Democratic Party fails at everything it tries.
Whatcha say, Hawkeyes?
John Morales says
The seal thingy amused me enough to have a look; turns out the text is on a ribbon (“scroll” it says, but I know a ribbon when I see one) so that it sorta kinda makes sense.
@19, 21, 23. birgerjohansson : “Oops. Kim is a woman’s name. That ruined my plan.”
Kim is a unisex name really – I used to work for a bloke called Kym albeit spelt witha ‘y’ – but in this specific case Kim Reynolds is female. That makes it a lot less likely that she would committ rape and murder – but not impossible.
@ 20. ardipithecus : ” The laws are in limbo until Alito, writing for the majority on the SCOTUS, says these laws are ok because they didn’t have gender affirming care 250 years ago.”
Depressing likely. Something really needs to be done about Trump’s treason SCOTUS that was rammed on us by traitor Repugs. Impeach the traitors and perjurors. Expand the Court and declare the Federalist society domestic enemies of the USA who conspire to pervert the course of Jutsice because they are would be my suggestions among other possibilities here.
@26. birgerjohansson :
Forever? No. Long enough to do serious harm tho’..
Tokugawa Japan shutting their borders to the rest of the world for several centuries and the Ming Dynasty closing China back down after the voyages of Zheng He spring to mind here.
I wodner if the retiree flight to Florida will continue to attract the older bigots from elsewhere and push away those with more
liberalethical humane views and thus maintain the bloody redness of the state for a long while to come..Plus not old bigots and Repug Trump cultists are old sadly.
^ That’s : Not all bigots & Trumpists are old natch dangnabbit!
Interesting that Republican goverors are coming out as real fascists now that the supreme court is stacked with collaborators.
Who would have thought that (sarcasm)?