Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Roving Ambassador To European Fascism Is An Iowa Congressman, Popular With His Ignorant Constituents


American fascist scum

Are there any full-on, real-life fascists in the House? Iowa just reelected one 61.4-38.6%. The biggest and least densely populated district in the state, IA-04 (Sioux City, Mason City, Ames and lots of farmland in between) gave Trump 60.9% of it's vote to Trump. They were even more enthusiastic about their longtime congressman-- since 2002-- Steve King, widely considered the most outspoken hate monger and bigot in Congress. In 2010, we asked our readers to pick the worst member of Congress. Unsurprisingly, Steve King was one of the finalists. King has been an icon of everything that's gone wrong with the Republican Party and it's slide into neo-fascist, ignornace-based dogma. His career-long ProgressivePunch score is 2.49 (out of 100); that's a shocking record of voting against the interests of the people who have voted him into office and against working families across America. So far this year, his crucial vote score is zero.

But he's been doing more than just voting badly. He's Congress' and the Republican Party's unofficial ambassador-at-large to the European fascist parties, cultivating relationships with the neo-Nazi parties all over Die alte Welt-- espaecially Islamophobes.
The Congressman --  who is infamous for accusing child asylum seekers of smuggling drugs into the U.S., keeping a confederate flag at his desk, and asking what contributions nonwhite people have made to society — has been openly forming political partnerships and personal friendships with a wide array of leaders on Europe’s xenophobic and populist right. Among his stated acquaintances are members of populist and nativist parties from Austria, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.

King’s collusion with fringe right wingers, including many holding anti-Muslim beliefs, should come as little surprise. This is the same man who once said that Islam is incompatible with American values and called for the government to spy on American mosques.

King was recently seen palling around with the leaders of Austria’s Freedom Party. The Freedom Party, founded by a former SS officer in 1956, ran an unsuccessful campaign for the Austrian presidency last month. King tweeted out his condolences to Norbert Hofer, the Freedom Party’s candidate, at the time.

“The cause of freedom and our friendship remain,” he wrote. “Onward!”

But Hofer is just one of King’s many friends on the European far right.

The Iowa congressman also hosted noted Islamophobic Dutch politician Geert Wilders in Washington, D.C. in April 2015. Wilders, leader of the Netherlands’ Freedom Party (sensing a theme here?), is riding the international populist wave and could grasp victory in his country’s elections this March. Wilders has frequently and openly expressed a willingness to stem immigration--  particularly Muslim immigration--  to the Netherlands; among his myriad anti-Muslim statements are gems like, “the right to religious freedom should not apply to Islam.”

At a rally in 2014, Wilders asked a crowd: “In the Netherlands, do you want more or fewer Moroccans?”

“Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” the crowd in the Dutch city of The Hague replied.

“Then I’ll arrange it,” Wilders said at the time. He was later tried and found guilty for discrimination and inciting hatred.

King was recently spotted meeting with Wilders alongside another far right-wing politician, Frauke Petry. Petry leads the Alternative for Germany party (AfD)--  an anti-immigrant party that reminds some in the country of the Nazi party. The New Yorker described the AfD as Germany’s “most successful nationalist phenomenon since the Second World War.”

In October, King met with Marine Le Pen--  a far right party leader in France who has had a surge in popularity in recent weeks and is considered a real contender in the French presidential election, set to take place in May. Le Pen is running on a platform opposing immigration and has repeatedly stoked fear of Islam to bolster support for her campaign.

King was the first elected American official to publicly meet with Le Pen, and the two are set to meet again, this time in Washington, D.C. in January.

Le Pen tweeted in October that she had an “interesting exchange” with King on France, the U.S., and international affairs.

Although King’s outreach to the European far right is exceptional, he’s not the only American politician currently trying to establish ties with leaders such as Hofer and Le Pen. Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the Austrian Freedom Party, said in December that he had met with President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. At the time, Trump’s transition team described the report as “fake news.”

And top Trump adviser Steve Bannon, now a member of the president’s National Security Council, turned Breitbart Media into a platform for boosting the European far right when he was the publication’s chief executive.
In December, Iowa Farmer Today published a shocking story about how King's constituents are committing suicide at the highest rate in history.
We tend to think of the 1980s as the most prominent mental health emergency in rural communities, marked by high rates of suicide and violence.

The events of the farm crisis were serious enough to mobilize statewide and national resources. For example, the Rural Concern Hotline, now the Iowa Concern Hotline (1-800-447-1985), was started as a direct response to help farm families experiencing economic and mental health challenges during this period.

The National Farm Medicine Center in Marshfield, Wis., tracked farm suicides during the 1980s in the Upper Midwest, the region most affected by the farm crisis, to try to better understand the relationships between the farm economy and suicide.

They found that 913 male farmers in the region committed suicide during that decade, with rates peaking in 1982 at 58 suicides for every 100,000 male farmers and ranchers.

Rates among the general population were around 31 suicides per 100,000 white males over the age of 20 during that same time period.

Compare that with this year’s CDC report, which found that current national suicide rates for people working in agriculture are 84.5 per 100,000 overall, and 90.5 per 100,000 among males. This means that suicide rates among male farmers are now more than 50 percent higher than they were in 1982, at the peak of the farm crisis.

...While some may appear to be depressed or uninterested in activities, others may be more irritable and prone to anger or rage or show signs of anxiety.

Suicide rates among farmers are now higher than any other occupation, and even higher than they were at the height of the farm crisis.
That also describes typical Hate Radio listeners, Fox News viewers  Trump voters and supporters of Steve King. It's not a coincidence. By its very nature, fascism is a high anxiety state and drives large numbers of people to despair and suicide. Steve King is the wrong man for Iowa's 4th Congressional District.

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At 4:46 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Bannon needs to be approved in order to sit in on the NSC. Thesis a requirement under the law and must be made widely known. The Dems need to get on this and then stop his confirmation! Why hasn't this been in the press?

At 6:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, king is the PERFECT reflection of that voting district. My biggest surprise is that der fuhrer didn't find a cabinet position for this Nazi. Maybe too much competition for head Nazi for bannon. don't know.

I can't help but wonder whether the utter failure of obamanation and democraps to remedy anything at all from the preceding 7 fascist admins is the reason for the pandemic of naziism everywhere white people are stupid and hateful.

As the late, great Molly Ivins once penned, people who are warm, well fed, have decent jobs (and are well laid -- my own augmentation) don't tend to turn into Nazi fucktards.

All 9 consecutive (so far) fascist neoliberal neocon misanthropic money whoring admins have made life much more difficult and less secure for everyone below the level of multi-millionaire. Those closer to falling into poverty are the most likely to feel the abject stress. Not to mention our Mideast adventurism directly leading to terror and a rightward swing in reaction among the us and EU.

At 9:30 PM, Anonymous Tracy B Ann said...

When you talk about Steve King, you really have to talk about his opponent in the last, and I hope, the next, election - Kim Weaver.

I have heard it said she "only" got 38% of the vote, like that's a bad thing. I say "Holy shit! She got 38% of the fucking vote with no backing from the Democratic Party at all. What a hell of a first time run!"

Kim Weaver is really a fantastic candidate and someone I have in my Fantasy Congress. She works as an Ombudsman, traveling through many counties in her district for her job. People like her.

Nice video of her here http://dmreg.co/2dt8Stk

Imagine what she could do with the backing of, not the Party, fuck them, with OUR backing? The people?


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