A longtime Republican member of Congress from Iowa has renounced his party following the attempts by elected officials and a violent mob to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
"I will no longer claim I am a Republican tonight," Jim Nussle tweeted on January 6, "as I am outraged and devastated by the actions of too many elected Republicans (some I know and served with) and supporters. Today a final line was crossed that I will not excuse. The GOP is NO more and left me and others behind."
Later that evening, 121 House Republicans--more than half the GOP caucus--voted to reject Arizona's electoral votes for Joe Biden, as did six GOP senators.
Nussle represented much of northeast Iowa in the U.S. House for sixteen years, participating in certifying the electoral college vote in four presidential elections. He left Congress to run for governor in 2006, and after losing that race, served as director of the Office of Management and Budget in President George W. Bush's administration. Since 2014, he has been president & CEO at the Credit Union National Association.
In a statement posted on his social media feeds late in the afternoon of January 6, Nussle said of the riot in the U.S. Capitol, "What we are witnessing is outrageous, without precedent, and runs counter to our values as Americans." He added that "Our democracy is facing a crucial test" in a polarized and divisive atmosphere.
All four of Iowa's current U.S. House members voted against objecting to Arizona's electoral votes, as did Senators Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley. They have political incentive to accept the 2020 election results, as all have denounced Democratic candidate Rita Hart's contest of Mariannette Miller-Meeks' six-vote win in Iowa's second Congressional district.
None of Iowa's top elected Republican officials has publicly said Biden was the legitimate winner of a free and fair election. Several have overtly or tacitly promoted the idea that massive fraud occurred in some states President Donald Trump lost. Representative Randy Feenstra, the newly-elected member from IA-04, has called for a Congressional investigation of alleged voter fraud. Representative Ashley Hinson, the new member from IA-01, this week implied that concerns about "illegal" votes and "election mismanagement" in other states were warranted. She also signed a letter claiming that "elections held in at least six battleground states raise profound questions."
Last month, Governor Kim Reynolds endorsed the unsuccessful Texas lawsuit seeking to nullify the votes of millions of Americans in four states that went for Biden.
At this writing, the U.S. House and Senate are taking a break to consider Republican objections to the electoral votes from Pennsylvania. Iowa's delegation will vote to accept the Biden slates.
Appendix: Statement Jim Nussle released late in the afternoon on January 6:
Tweet by Jim Nussle the same evening:
I will no longer claim I am a Republican tonight as I am outraged and devastated by the actions of too many elected Republicans (some I know and served with) and supporters. Today a final line was crossed that I will not excuse. The GOP is NO more and left me and others behind. pic.twitter.com/Ertu4qYqyu
— Jim Nussle (@JimNussle) January 7, 2021
Top image: Photo of Jim Nussle, posted on the Credit Union National Association's website.
So Nussle was OK with the racism, OK with the "very fine people" with Nazi flags in Charlottesville, OK with extortion of Ukraine, OK with the Republican Senators who wouldn't remove him from office when they knew he was guilty, OK with actively encouraging an epidemic that killed over 350,000 Americans, but armed insurrection is a bridge too far?
Nobody who was a Republican in 2020 gets to high-road me today.
I just looked up "high-roading" online, and the various definitions confused me...
...and after reading again what Nussle said, I'm still not really sure how it fits with high-roading. In any case, I'm happy when the Republican Party loses a voter. I'm happy that Nussle publicly renounced the Republican Party. A lot of Iowans still remember him, so his renouncement may be helpful.
If Nussle should decide in the future to become a Democrat, I hope he will be welcomed into the Party. If a lot of Iowans who were Republican in 2020 decided to become Democrats in 2021, that would be wonderful.
Dont hold your breath
I wouldn't hold my breath expecting people to switch from R to D. It is not in their DNA nor their core values. Just wait until a slicker, more focused and disingenuous republican to lure all these wayward souls back to the Grand Old Party in a few years.
I am reminded of a statement that a current Republican State Legislator said to me a few years back:
"It is not my job to take care of people".