'No Way to Enforce Mask Mandate,' Says Rat Fink State Rep Who Punished a Woman for Wearing Jeans

Pat Grassley Allowing Himself to Speak Maskless on January 11, 2021
Image: Charlie Neibergall (AP)

You may not know Iowa House Speaker Pat Grassley at all, but if you do know the name, it’s probably because his grandfather Chuck Grassley is the only current U.S. Senator to have held office since the freshman class of Senators following the Revolutionary War. Since that war Grassley the Wizened has chosen primarily to wage war on poor people, while Grassley the Younger has picked his own battle: mask mandates (of course). And though Pat has adopted the position that he simply cannot impose a mask mandate on the House floor without enlisting the aid of law enforcement, he was fully able to curtail a woman lawmaker’s to attempt to commit the serious offense of speaking whilst wearing trousers made from the wrong style of cotton.


Unlike masks, clothing is actually regulated in Iowa legislative buildings, as Rep. Beth Wessel-Kroeschell demonstrated when she attempted to challenge Grassley’s assertion that he, as House Speaker, is powerless to control whether or not his colleagues spray potentially deadly viruses into one another’s faces.

And though Wessel-Kroeschell was not allowed to speak, she was allowed to vote, which sort of aligns with Grassley’s previous statements that he could not stop the House from voting in their bathing suits if the mood struck so he certainly could not stop them voting with their snouts out, a sentiment he more or less seemed to stick to in a statement responding to the Wessel-Droeshell denim uprising:

“There is no way to enforce a mask mandate short of having state patrol remove a duly-elected representative from the floor, which is not something he is willing to do, for masks or for jeans,” a representative said in the statement. “Rep. Wessel-Kroeschell was in violation of House rules and it is within the speaker of the House’s discretion to handle such violations as he sees fit.”

It does seem as though he could simply try these same tactics out on the anti-maskers in a state where 321,000 people have contracted covid, yet Republicans have recently voted down Democrats’ proposal to lead by example and wear a fucking mask while in session. For her part, Wessel-Kroeschell says she put more thought into her jean selection than Grassley did into his entire argument: “They’re brand new, they’re clean, they don’t have any holes in them. They’re not hurting anybody,” she told the Des Moines Register. That makes perfect sense, a sure sign that an argument is going to get you nowhere with a Grassley.



Their whole agenda has been literally fucking insane this session. We’re in the midst of a pandemic, where thousands of Iowans could really use assistance from their government. Their priorities this legislative session? Pushing for language to get abortion banned in the state constitution, advancing a voucher system for education and pushing a bill for all of Iowa’s schools to open to 100 percent full attendance, community positivity rates and community rule be damned!
And we’re not even going to give teachers forced back into classrooms more than eight hours a day with students a single vaccine dose before they do are forced back into classrooms, because the elderly population in this state comes first. Fucking asinine morons. They wonder what education’s going to look like in a few years when teachers burned out for low pay and high stress leave the state in mass droves? These decisions are what were the final straw for so many in this state.
No COVID bill has been advanced at the state level to utilize some of the state’s reserve coffers, even though the state has indicated there is plenty of need for targeted help to keep us going in this pandemic. Kim the Reaper/Covid-Kim and her Republican stooges are doing everything they can to make sure businesses stay open, even if it’s not safe.