Senator Charles Grassley is the most Iowa man in Iowa. He’s 82 and has aged in the Iowa manner, by looking like a child who fell into a food dehydrator. His Twitter is a delight. He is a Republican in the Chamber of Commerce tradition, representing that wing of the party whose ambition for government is to get it out of the way of farmers and insurance agents. This approach has gotten him labeled a Republican In Name Only, which is the kind of accusation people who learned about politics from Glenn Beck will level at a man who has been in the US Senate for 34 years. But despite the certainty that he will spend the rest of his life in office—or maybe because of it—Grassley displays the most Iowa quality: he wants to do a good job. Yesterday, he announced he might hold hearings on President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee after all. His decision may have something to do with this jeremiad in the Des Moines Register.
As you can see from the picture above, in which he takes the con position at the annual Symposium On the World, Chuck Grassley is very old. At 79, he has been a United States senator slightly longer than my brother has been alive. The invention of the internet happened shortly before he qualified for Social Security, and neither of Al Gore’s brainchildren pleases him much. Yet he uses them both. I presume he cashes his Social Security checks in nickels at the grocery store with only his customer loyalty card as ID, because his Twitter is baffling cipher. Props to Ben al-Fowlkes for drawing it to our attention.
It’s Friday, and that means it’s time to look back in evaluation of the week that is about to finish having been. If you’re like me, you’ve been paying extra-special attention to being good lately, in the hopes of getting that Barnes & Noble knock-off Kindle that costs as much as a regular Kindle for Christmas. The problem with being good, though, is that it’s awfully hard for other people to notice. So much of being good is about not doing stuff, especially stuff—stealing, looking at boobs, I think farting—when no one is around to see you anyway. The problem with personal morality is that it’s so personal. If only there were some way that I could make a public spectacle of my goodness, so that all the world would be forced to acknowledge what a moral/books-equivalent-of-a-Zune-deserving person I am. Oh, well. I guess I’d better just resign myself to reading books printed on wood pul—wait a minute! What if I looked to the morality of others? If I were some kind of self-appointed superintendent of other people’s goodness, I could not only make a spectacle of my own righteousness, but also relieve myself of the burden of scrutiny of my own actions. It’ll be like having a maid to clean my kitchen for me, while I accuse her of adultery. Or something. Whatever it is, it’s going to be awesome, at least for me. I guess for everybody else it will be kind of irritating, but what are they going to do? Turn my own righteous indignation against me? That’ll be the day. I just hope nobody has thought of this alrea—oh, dammit. It turns out the totality of world culture beat me to it. I guess I’ll just go back to documenting their craven attempts to aggrandize themselves by pointing out the foibles of oth—HELLO! We’re back in business.