Now, I suppose that is OK -- a visit from the Governor (and the Lt. Governor) is probably a good thing for any small community, regardless of the politics, and anything that encourages whoever the man in power is to pay us another visit down here is a good thing.
And besides that, the neighboring daily paper to the north, some 15 miles away, couldn't be bothered to cover the event at all, despite the fact that its motto happens to be "southeast Iowa's best newspaper." Of course, that paper has a second motto as well, which I have heard first hand directly from its current publisher, and that's "I could give a frog's fat ass about the governor."
Anyway, when he made his appearance here a month ago, Mr. Branstad was quite adamant about the fact that he would not be accepting the ACA "Obamacare" Medicare and Medicaid "entitlement" money from the federal government, calling it "blackmail" and claiming to have a better plan for Iowa, although it was impossible to comprehend exactly what that plan was because he never clearly explained it. What was clear was the fact that Branstad would be opting out of the program (and rejecting billions of free health care dollars on behalf of Iowa.)
Now, after four years of bashing (and getting lampooned by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show) Branstad has suddenly changed his mind. Or maybe he's gone nuts?
Here's an excited Branstad yesterday on taking federal Medicaid dollars:
"I think we'll not only get it approved, I think it'll be touted by HHS as a great example of state leadership in addressing this critical issue of improving health for the citizens."
This is not the only thing Branstad has flipped on in the last two days, it's just the highest-paying thing.
Since Monday, Branstad has flipped strongly-held positions on not funding food banks and the proposed Iowa fuel tax. He's also considered robbing the infrastructure fund to build better roads.
Of course, that fuel tax was the only way this little community was going to be able to get its highway way down here fixed and restructured -- something that has been in the planning stages for over a decade, but never gets done because the funding always runs out before they can get down here to this little corner of the state. Such a highway restructuring would be a huge boost to this community and the entire region.
So much for the editorial love letter.
Also today, Branstad claims he has signed the "largest tax cut in Iowa history." Of course, he couldn't have done that -- and gotten all the credit for it -- had he not completely flipped on Medicaid. Politics, anyone?
But the strangest thing about Branstad this week is that he has decided that, as governor, he would decide whether or not it was OK for a woman to have an abortion, on a case-by-case basis.
That's right -- one person, the governor, would make that decision. Not a mother, or father, or doctor, or minister, or even a board of medical professionals. The governor of Iowa, himself, would be the one to decide whether or not an abortion is warranted in each and every individual case.
Of course, Branstad says he'll be thoughtful, and I have no reason to doubt him -- other than the fact that he has done more flipping on every other issue than Shawn Johnson on a balance beam.
And really, even if you are comfortable with Terry Branstad making that decision for each and every woman out there, are you comfortable with the next governor, after Branstad, making that decision? Because he won't be in office forever, and neither you or I have any idea who the next governor is going to be.
So I hereby express the opinion that the state of Iowa, and Governor Terry Branstad, have gone nuts. Absolutely nuts.
But in our defense, at least we're not as crazy as Wisconsin and Scott Walker.