Dismal in Des Moines: Democrats are Part of What’s the Matter With Iowa

Photo by Phil Roeder | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Phil Roeder | CC BY 2.0

Iowa Nasty

In a recent Truthdig report, titled “What’s the Matter with Iowa?,” I reflected on how the now fully Republican-controlled state government of Iowa is involved in a vicious, multi-pronged assault on working people of all genders and sexual identities. This ferocious right-wing attack is not very “Iowa nice.” It includes legislation abolishing public sector workers’ collective bargaining rights (passed last month) and a measure (House File 295, now awaiting the state’s right wing governor’s imminent signature) that will nullify recent increases of the minimum wage in three Iowa counties. The second bill will also ban local and county governments from setting their own minimum wages (notwithstanding significant differences in the cost of living between the states’s rural and more urban counties) or requiring employers to provide workers with family leave. Another measure marching through the Iowa legislature will roll back workers’ compensation benefits. These bills are part of a broader package of virulent legislation aimed also at immigrants, women’s abortion rights, gun safety, and water safety.

If North Carolina can face a liberal boycott for violating transgendered peoples’ bathroom-choice civil rights, I argued, progressives might want to consider a boycott of Iowa for their offensive against working people of all genders and sexual identities.

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