Steve King (R-IA)-- Classic Anti-American Fascist-- Crawled Out From Under His Rock Again
It's hardly news that Steve King is a hardcore racist and proud bigot. He's spent years building a political brand in rural western Iowa and inside-the-Beltway based on exactly that. Other racist garbage dumps have been automatically drawn to him. When King told Chris Cuomo Monday morning that he'd "like to see an America that's so homogenous that we look a lot the same," this blizzard of conformity is exactly what he was picturing:
But the Iowa dog-whistler said he wasn't talking about race, just culture. "I did defend western civilization. If we have an element of Americans here-- and that’s a big element-- that reject western civilization, then what have we? This is an effort on the left I think to break down the American civilization and the American culture and turn it into something entirely different. This western civilization is a superior civilization and we want to share it with everybody." He sounds like Cecil Rhodes!
NY Times White House correspondent Glenn Thrush quickly followed up by tweeting out an irony about Herr King that rarely gets discussed: "Fun fact: Given the chance to defend American 'civilization' in Vietnam, Rep. King, ummm, took a deferment."
The chairman of the Iowa Republican Party took an even dimmer view, and denounced King for once. Jeff Kaufmann: "I do not agree with Congressman King's statement. We are a nation of immigrants, and diversity is the strength of any nation and any community." But why should King care? A far more agreeable David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the KKK applauded him: "Just in case you were thinking about moving -> sanity reigns supreme in Iowa's 4th congressional district. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain," Duke wrote, quoting King’s tweet. Kaufmann's no fan of his either: "Regarding David Duke, his words and sentiments are absolute garbage. He is not welcome in our wonderful state."
This was the original tweet-- about Dutch fascist Geert Wilders (whose election day is mañana)-- that stirred up the storm:
King made the remark on Twitter when he shared a story by the Voice of Europe website about the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who wants to end Muslim immigration and ban the Quran and who has called Moroccan immigrants “scum.”Late yesterday the Des Moines Register weighed in with a scathing attack on King's overt racism. It was harsh and blistering:
Critics said that Mr. King echoed the principles of white nationalism, the belief that national identity is linked to the white race and its superiority to other races. Self-proclaimed white nationalists emerged as a small but vocal group during the candidacy of Donald J. Trump, celebrating his promises to crack down on illegal immigration and ban Muslims from entering the United States, as well as heralding his presidential victory as a chance to preserve white culture.
...Miriam Amer, the executive director of the Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called on Republican Party leaders in the state and nationwide to repudiate the message.
“This racist tweet crosses the line from dog-whistle politics to straight-up white supremacist advocacy,” she said in a statement.
A representative for Mr. King did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Mr. King, who was elected to Congress in 2002, questioned what nonwhites have contributed to civilization at a panel discussion in July about the racial makeup of the Republican Party.
“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about,” he said. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”
The month before, he tried to block an effort to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill. In 2013, Mr. King said that for every successful child of undocumented immigrants, there were 100 others who were drug mules with “calves the size of cantaloupes” from hauling marijuana.
If Steve King was your average, garden-variety bigot and was standing on a street corner while spouting his nonsense to passersby, he’d be easy to ignore. Everyone could dismiss his rants as undeserving of their attention and get on with their day.The DCCC tends to leave King alone, although grassroots Iowa Democrats keep trying to defeat him. He was first elected in 2002 but the only time the DCCC actually opposed him was when Christie Vilsack ran against him in 2012. He beat her 53-45% and they each spent over $3 million. The DCCC chipped in a nominal $94,773, although Pelosi's House Majority PAC kicked in a more reasonable $827,016. In 2014 Jim Mowrer ran against King and the DCCC had already written off the district, spending zero (same as Pelosi's PAC) and it was the same last year, when Kim Weaver-- who's running again in 2018-- gave it a shot. Trump won the district 60.9% to 33.5%. (Romney hadn't done nearly as well, only beating Obama there 53.4-45.3% in 2012.) Last year King did about the same as Trump, beating Weaver by around 80,000 votes-- 61.4% to 38.6%. She should do better against King next year without the highly unpopular Clinton dragging her down. Today the DCCC was fundraising off King's racist statements-- Help Defeat Steve King!-- but are once again refusing to give Kim the time of day. How are they going to use your money to defeat Steve King? What liars; no wonder people hate the Democratic establishment! Please contribute directly to Kim Weaver's campaign here.
Unfortunately, King has a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. He’s a federal lawmaker. He’s on the public payroll. When he speaks, he represents-- literally and figuratively-- the people of Iowa.
So when he says things that are untrue, offensive or wildly irresponsible, attention must be paid. Responsible people have to step up and attempt to set the record straight or demonstrate that not everyone in Iowa, or in Congress, shares King’s distorted view of the world.
Unfortunately, King thrives on that sort of attention. He makes outlandish statements that seem intended to generate controversy, knowing they will provide him with a larger platform from which he can spew even more of his incendiary observations.
...King’s words are predictable, but they carry weight only because he is a congressman. And he’s a congressman because, after Republican Party leaders repeatedly denounce his words in an attempt to claim the moral high ground, they then wallow in the mud by supporting King’s bids for re-election.
Reynolds, our governor-in-waiting, endorsed King in the 2016 primary, calling him an “effective advocate for his district and for Iowans.” King also was endorsed by Sen. Joni Ernst, who said King “stands strong for life and liberty." Sen. Charles Grassley and Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey also endorsed King in 2016.
If King’s world view truly doesn’t match that of the Republican Party, then party leaders at both the state and national level need to stand together in supporting an opposing candidate in the 2018 Republican primary. Given King’s longstanding record as one of the least effective members of Congress, the GOP should have no difficulty finding a more thoughtful and qualified individual to represent the people of Iowa’s 4th District.
The only question is whether these party leaders have the courage of their alleged convictions.