Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Common Sense Grassley

Chuck Grassley always seems to have a keen, practical sense when it comes to policy. He wants it to work. That is not to say other pols support bad policy, it’s that they don’t have the instincts to know when they’re paddling up a liquid-nitrate infused creek.

All that instinct is paying off for Grassley – and vicariously for Iowa Republicans – with his recent moves away from the White House on immigration reform and the Medicare prescription drug program.

Immigration reform currently under consideration in the Senate worked through some amendments yesterday (DMR link). One of those amendments (S. A. 3961) would have required the homeland-security secretary to report to Congress that border-security provisions are working before Congress could implement an illegal immigrant guest-worker program. Grassley thought that sounded like a good idea and voted for the amendment, while Tom Harkin didn’t like the idea and voted against it along with 54 other Senators.

My guess, history and the polls will agree with Grassley that we need to support border-security first and the ‘guest-worker’ amnesty program second; Americans are moving to a ‘trust, but verify’ mentality on issues of immigration reform.

And in what can only be described as obvious and inevitable, Senators Grassley and Backus in a bipartisan love fest held a press conference announcing their support for eliminating the penalty fees associated with missing the Medicare drug benefit deadline (DMR link). Duh. I marveled that politicians could be that stupid in the first place to set some arbitrary penalty fee structure affecting one of the largest and most aggressive voting blocs. Rule number five in political campaign orthodoxy: don’t piss off the seniors by messing with their fixed incomes, unless you’re talkin’ tax cuts. (If I can dream up one through four, I’ll post them.)

This is exactly why Iowans love Chuck Grassley -- he applies common sense to politics. We need more of that stuff.


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