During the 2014 senatorial campaign, Bruce Braley, a trial lawyer who was running to replace Iowa Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, was roundly rebuked for his impromptu critique of Sen. Chuck Grassley: “A farmer from Iowa who never went to law school, never practiced law, (could wind up) serving as the next chair of the Senate Judiciary. Because if Democrats lose the majority (in the Senate), Chuck Grassley will be the next chair of the Senate Judiciary.” Braley was defeated by Joni Ernst, and Grassley did indeed become the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
How has Sen. Grassley comported himself in that esteemed capacity? First, he prevented President Barack Obama’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, from ever receiving a confirmation hearing by the Judiciary Committee. Second, Grassley has more recently defended President Donald Trump’s controversial firing of FBI Director James Comey, suggesting to concerned Americans that they should “suck it up and move on.”
Each of these positions betray Grassley’s putting party before country. His role as a petty partisan rather than as a constitutional conservative will be his sad legacy.