Jim Leach joins new GOP reform effort

Jim Leach is among 27 former Republican members of the U.S. House who spoke out this week for changing the GOP in the face of “rising political extremism.” Four former governors, along with several former ambassadors, cabinet secretaries, or Republican Party leaders are also among the 152 people who signed the “Call for American Renewal” published on May 13.

The document cites “the patriotic duty of citizens to act collectively in defense of liberty and justice” when “forces of conspiracy, division, and despotism arise.” The signers “declare our intent to catalyze an American renewal, and to either reimagine a party dedicated to our founding ideals or else hasten the creation of such an alternative.”

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Jim Nussle renounces Republican Party

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.

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Building a Statewide Party

Pete McRoberts, a close observer of many Iowa Democratic campaigns, kicks off Bleeding Heartland’s series of guest contributions on how the party can recover after routs in two consecutive elections. -promoted by desmoinesdem

The days after any election offer for winners, some hope and excitement, and for losers, the opportunity to examine – in as close to real time as possible – where candidates and organizations succeeded, and failed. We get a re-set. If used properly, the days and weeks after an election loss – no matter how hard that loss is – can affirmatively help us do better at what we sought to do.

This is not a wholesale analysis of the Democratic Party in Iowa or the 2016 numbers, and it’s not a general ‘how to’ guide. It’s an attempt to go under the hood, and look at some very specific structural issues highlighted by the elections of 2014 and 2016. At a gut level, it’s very easy to conclude there’s no upside of such a clear election loss. But these losses are something more than simply parties exchanging power, or a reflection of competing views about the future.. They represent one of our deepest forms of communication with one another. If we listen — and act — we can create a party in Iowa that once again, not only wins elections, but is truly representative of the millions of people in the state whose hopes and fears are both real, and for whom we do our work.

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Iraq War 10th anniversary links and discussion thread

Ten years ago, President George W. Bush made the disastrous mistake of taking this country to war against Iraq. I’ve posted some links about the costs and casualties of war after the jump.

Any relevant thoughts are welcome in this thread. I appreciate the work and commitment of those who tried to derail the speeding train toward invasion, and of those who protested the war after it began. I did nothing to stop the war in Iraq–just sat in a rocking chair cradling a new baby, feeling horrified while watching the news on television.

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Leonard Boswell farewell thread (updated)

The U.S. House of Representatives took 40 minutes on the floor this morning to recognize Leonard Boswell’s public service during his military career, time in the Iowa Senate, and 16 years in Congress. Radio Iowa posted a link to the full audio from today’s proceedings. Republican Tom Latham, who defeated Boswell in IA-03 last month, opened the tribute with warm remarks about his colleague. He also read out comments sent by many Iowans, including Governor Terry Branstad and Ken Sagar of the Iowa Federation of Labor. Iowans can e-mail their own remarks to Boswell.Tribute@mail.house.gov today. Those e-mails will supposedly be part of the official Congressional record.

After the jump I’ve enclosed some excerpts from today’s speeches and public statements released about Boswell’s retirement. Any memories about Leonard Boswell are welcome in this thread.

UPDATE: Added a touching story about Boswell below.

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PATRIOT Act 10th anniversary discussion thread

Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush signed a bill called the “United and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism,” better known as the PATRIOT Act. It’s a good time to reflect on the law’s impact as well as how the Iowans in Congress voted on its provisions over the last decade.

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