116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
There were two big events in Iowa last Saturday that drew national attention.
One was the Penn State-Iowa football game, a battle between the fourth- and third-ranked teams in the nation that drew 69,000 fans to Kinnick Stadium.
The other was a Donald Trump rally, a battle between the former president and the God’s honest truth, which drew thousands of his fans to the State Fairgrounds. His backers claim 40,000 people showed up.
Which one did I attend? I wore bumblebee bib overalls, if that tells you anything.
Iowa fans cheered in thunderous unison for a team that features one of the nation’s best defenses. Iowa’s Republican leaders, including Gov. Kim Reynolds, U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson and U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, stood in unison to support Trump as he repeated the indefensible Big Lie about a stolen election to tackle our democracy.
Trump could have been flagged, repeatedly, for flagrant dishonesty. But our GOP refs swallowed their whistles as the Donald ranted.
Iowa forced turnovers.
Republicans lined up to see the ultimate comb over.
Iowa fans waved at the children’s hospital.
Trump fans waved goodbye to sanity.
Iowa fans booed Penn State injuries they thought were faked.
Trump fans cheered reckless claims we know are fake.
The decibel level of Iowa fans’ roaring cheers as the Hawkeyes made a gutsy comeback in the second half spoke volumes about the game’s importance. The silence of our elected leaders in the face of Trump’s roaring ramble spoke volumes about their gutless fealty to an authoritarian bully.
Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras connected with Nico Ragaini on a 44-yard pass play in the fourth quarter that proved to be the winning touchdown. So brilliant.
Grassley connected with Trump for a 2022 endorsement, which Iowa’s senator said he accepted because a recent poll showed Trump with 91 percent support among Iowa Republicans. Just months ago, Grassley was sharply critical of Trump’s role in inciting his supporters to storm the Capitol. So darkly cynical.
Iowa fans stormed the field after the 23-20 victory. Footage shows happy fans and players celebrating a high point in Iowa football history.
Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 carrying weapons and confederate flags. Footage showed violence and vandalism, a low point in American history. Iowa Republicans don’t seem to care.
Some Penn State fans complained that Iowa’s win was undeserved because the Hawks knocked the Nittany Lions’ star quarterback Sean Clifford out of the game, although injuries are part of the game. Many Trump supporters complain that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump by Joe Biden, although getting the most electoral votes is how you win the game.
Sports commentators said Iowa’s win puts them in a strong position to play for the Big Ten title and perhaps make the College Football Playoffs. A special season is within Iowa’s grasp.
Political commentators saw the Trump rally as an ominous sign that Republicans are willing to overlook Trump’s assault on democracy and push for a second catastrophic Trump term in 2024. The danger that may lie ahead is difficult to grasp. Democracy might get knocked out of the game.
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