When are you going to make them squeal, Joni?

Senator Joni Ernst

All we get from you and too many of our fellow Republicans is acquiescence to McConnell and Trump.  If you have no plans to actually do anything, you might as well hand your proxy to Mitch and come home.

My question for you today is about the Russian sanctions vote.  Now I am a lifelong Republican, but vehemently anti-Trump and anti-Russian.  I realize many in Congress will often abandon their principles to side with Trump.  I didn’t expect this from you.  I’m told this is all about appeasing Trump’s base which brings me to my question.

I live in a retirement community here in Grinnell and I know a lot of Republicans who have stuck with Trump.  A lot are patriotic veterans like you.  Yet I have never met one who sides with Russia. None claim Russia did not interfere with our 2016 elections, although some wish that conversation would just go away.  Your vote did nothing to curtail this conversation.  In fact your vote goes sideways with patriots of all colors and I suspect it will cost you support even among the Trump base.

Removing sanctions on Oleg Deripaska’s companies is not a trademark issue for Trump.  That’s why he tried to slip it through quietly on Christmas break.  That’s why he said nothing to defend this action.  To those of us out here in the real world, it only serves to enhance the impression that he’s beholden.

Sanctions or tariffs will always cause pain on both sides. Think of it as a school yard brawl. You take on the bully to change his behavior but only if you are willing to suffer a black eye. You know if you lose the fight your friends will move away and you will become (no other way to put it) “his bitch.”

That’s kind of where we are!

Now the sole purpose of sanctions is to change behavior, yet there is no sign that Russia’s interference or Deripaska’s role have changed.  The rational of the administration is that forcing Deripaska to sell some of his shares in these companies is a punishment. Yet your action just sent their value soaring while he and his cronies consolidate more power.  As far as I can see we not only got bullied but conned as well. We just told the Russians to “go for it again.”

I know it may seem like we’re a bunch of hicks out here, but we’re more informed than you may think.  So if there’s some “secret” benefit to this deal, it’s time you let us in on it.

Sincerely,

PS. As posted at topsawyer.com. I will be happy to post your reply.

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