Iowa Politics — Fri. Feb. 08, 2019

Iowa Politics — Fri. Feb. 08, 2019



Perhaps a cold and snowy winter weekend is just the time to curl up in front of the fire and page through a good book. I could suggest several from But for those in public life…elected officials, their staff members, and those supporting active candidates…those books are likely high school and college yearbooks. Better to find something embarrassing before your opponent does.


I attended the University of Iowa for four years of undergraduate education and three years of law school…they did have a yearbook then, I suppose, but I have no idea if I’m seen anywhere in it. I didn’t see one, nor purchase one. But I can guarantee you there are no photos of me in costume…I’m supremely confident of that, because I didn’t attend any events in costume. And I darn sure wasn’t wearing any make up, racially insensitive or otherwise.


It’s amazing to see footage of victory parties in Virginia from this past general election…where the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general all ran as a ticket and their names all appear on the same single campaign placards. And now all their names appear in news stories that question whether they should stay in office due to behavior ranging from insensitive to assaultive.


The top three in line of succession in the state…all embattled. And doubtful that all, or even any, will resign…because if they all do, the next in line to be governor is the Speaker of the House…a conservative Republican. Talk about a governmental sea change.


I do believe the governor when he says he didn’t see a yearbook…because those have been waning in popularity for decades, certainly at the major university level.


The governor and attorney general of Virginia, it appears, are about the same age as I am. But apparently what passed for appropriate behavior there was far different than what the standards were here in Iowa. A remnant of the pre-Civil War south, perhaps?


Regardless, the hypocrisy shown by Democrats, who said all accusers must be believed when Brett Kavanaugh was accused but now are quite silent when it’s the African–American lieutenant governor of Virginia is striking. Almost as striking as how even in the 1980s, yearbook photos showing costume parties with attendees in Klan robes and blackface made it through the editorial process.