Sunday, March 09, 2008



Way at the bottom of the barrel of congressional rankings, you find the worst of the worst, the extremists and fanatic who have crossed over into dangerous territory and are flat out anti-American. Iowa has one of those, Congressman Steve King. He is in the rarefied company of deranged kooks like Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH), Tim Walberg (R-MI), Patrick McHenry (R-NC), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and Dan Burton (R-IN). These are the zeroes, members who believe completely in their own distorted, super-ideological vision of a fascist America. When it comes to the tough substantive votes, not one has ever strayed from the insane to join their colleagues to try to make America function better. Steve King is a hard core lunatic. We asked Matthew Grimm, a proud resident of Iowa, to tell us what is up with the deranged man his state sends to the House of Representatives. Matthew's report:

That Steve King (R-Crazy) said what he did on Friday over the airwaves of KICD in Spencer, IA, is not, in and of itself, the most odious aspect of Republican Party thinking in the 21st century. King actually deserves some props for articulating the cartoonish, ascendancy-based worldview held by too many of the party's rank-and-file, but kept obfuscated from too many others by placebo talking points of "family values" and War of Tactics.

King could only have been more true to his party and constituency, in western Iowa and linear-thinking right-wing fear-motivated reactionaries everywhere, if he had just called Obama a “nigger.”

For the congressman bespoke the purer, too often unspoken doctrine that has crashed and burned in the last seven years, and that is the real issue to be weighed in this year’s election cycle: the notion that, in America, there is an Elect, a proper, stolid class of people given divine dispensation to rule by fiat and caprice. Notwithstanding the pluralism upon which our Republic bases its most fundamental function, notwithstanding even that conservatives’ own dogma conflates “liberty” with individuals being judged on their own merits, no, King has stripped off the Emperor's Brooks Brothers to reveal SS jackboots underneath. King, refreshingly if creepily, minces no words: if you do not conform to the "optics"-- his word-- of the 43 European descended white men who have heretofore served as chief executive, you are unfit for the position. Unless, he says, you show yourself a good boy and toe the Massuh's line.

Let's go to his own words, as reported at the Spencer Daily Reporter, and sent out over the airwaves by KICD, with video evidence posted over at CrooksandLiars:
I'm gonna say something here that I haven’t said in public, but I think it’s time to start thinking about.

I don’t wanna disparage anyone because of their race or their ethnicity or their name, whatever the religion of their father might have been-- [but] I’ll just say this then: If you think about the optics of a"Barack Obama" potentially getting elected president of the United States, and I mean, what does this look like to the rest of the world, what does it look like to the world of Islam?

And I will tell you, if he is elected president, the radical Islamists, and the al Qaeda and radical Islamists and their supporters will be dancing in the streets in greater numbers than they did on Sept. 11. Because they will, they will declare victory in the war on terrorism. They will say the United States has capitulated, because we will be pulling our troops out of any conflict that has to do with Al Qaeda anywhere. And additionally it does matter, his middle name does matter, it matters because they read a meaning into that the rest of the world, that has special meaning to them, they’ll be dancing in the streets because of his middle name, they’ll be dancing in the streets because of who his father was, and because of his posture that says pull out of the Middle East and pull out of this conflict. So there are implications that have to do with who he is, and the position that he’s taken.

If he were strong on national defense and said I’m gonna go over there and we’re gonna fight and we’re gonna win and we’ll come home with a victory, that’s different, but that’s not what he said. And they will be dancing in the streets if he’s elected president, and that has a chilling aspect on how difficult it will be to ever win this global war on terror.

There you go. If-- if-- you Uncle Tom-up and adopt the beshitted line of the master race, you just might get away with being "Barack Hussein Obama." Interesting bit of logic. You might be eligible get a seat at the table where people hate and dehumanize you for what your parents named you and what you look like, King says, but only if you show yourself you can be just as lordly, condescending and dehumanizing towards the "help" serving you the meal.

If you've ever wondered why so many of the African-American talking heads on the news channels come up as Republican "pundits" or "strategists," in starkly inverse proportion to the numbers of black Republicans that actually exist in the world, this would explain it-- wouldn't it, Ron Christie? J.C. Watts? Alan Keyes? Armstrong Williams?

Through the Republican filter, Horatio Alger only rises to his fabled success by becoming as big a dick as J.P. Morgan. The 14th Amendment granted you all rights of citizenship, as long as you can pay the poll tax. Americans want freedom and democracy for Iraqis, as long as they privatize all industry and cede their oil revenues to our robber barons or, as Coltergeist long ago suggested, convert to Christianity (you too, btw, Jews!). We, the proud and noble practitioners of the American experiment, cheer your seeking opportunity and your pursuit of happiness, as long as the fruit of your labor kicks back to the porticoed manor house.

Get uppity, however, and you're just Kunta Kinte.

This, 5th District, is what you say to the world as long as you keep sending dutiful goons like Steve King to Washington. Some of you know it, some of you thuggishly embrace your xenophobia, like one Leah Cauthron, who commented on the Daily Reporter's website, "Way to go Steve King for finally saying what others are afraid to say."

Indeed, what's in a non-European name for Republicans is, very simply, "Other," or in more proper Christian parlance, "infidel." King's intimations that Obama's ascent would send secret code to his Muslim brotherhood was not lost. Another commenter, a "cj" from Nevada, cheered thusly:
Mr. Kings comments are right on the money... Stupid Americans feel Obama's middle name and Muslim background, mean nothing. Well, as King maintains, it sure does mean something to other Muslims in the world, as well as many here in the United States. His father was a radical Muslim, and he grew up worshipping the Koran in Indonesia and elsewhere. He still associates with religious zealots and radical anti-American Marxists, to this day. Read his writings and books, and educate yourselves. Listen carefully to the vile spewings that regularly come from the face of his Socialist, racist and anti-American partner/wife...

King thinks he can get away with this kind of crap because he is, conventional wisdom says, untouchable in Iowa's western 5th District. It said the same thing about another longtime Iowa Republican, Jim Leach, a far nobler, more thoughtful congressman, whose 30-year incumbency we nevertheless ended here in the 2nd District on Nov. 7, 2006, sending a humble college professor Dave Loebsack to the Congress. King has in fact done the 5th District a great service in showing his and his party's true-ish stripes, maybe, hopefully breathing real life into the erstwhile longshot Democratic candidacy of Rob Hubler, a humble Navy vet and a Presbyterian minister.

Go ahead, 5th District reactionaries, call Obama what you really want to call him, and let's us together paint another Iowa district blue. Republicans everywhere, seriously, scrap the H-word, and start using the N-word. Let's have that conversation, let's weigh the actual notions of lordly primacy impregnated in your fear-based codespeak. Then let's see how much beyond your established troglodyte 19% you win for your Godly White Elect come November.

-Matthew Grimm

I want to add a little something. What Matthew describes goes beyond just IA-05 or even Iowa. I called my sister yesterday and wound up in a long phone conversation with my brother-in-law. They live in New York City (kinda... Staten Island) and he's a retired truck driver, injured and with a life now obsessed with legal battles to get medical coverage. He intimated to me that he doesn't trust Obama. He's bought into every right-wing talking point spewed over Hate Radio but it goes beyond that. He said when he saw Obama on stage with Oprah he knew something was up. "Oh? What?" I asked. He wasn't 100% sure what it was but he knew it was a "Black Thing" and they want... revenge. I bet he'd voted for Steve King in a heartbeat.

Do you think Rep. King was watching this before he mouthed off the other day? When Marvin Gaye and Bill Stevenson wrote it, they had a song in mind that would bring people together in unity. Maybe Steve King needs to listen more closely and think about his own divisiveness.

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At 1:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bottom of the Barrel is being REALLY kind Howie (honoring the sabbath?) This guy is lower than the proverbial whale merde'.

Makes you wonder what the make up of HIS district is, and I would recommend NOT passing through it if you still have Long Hair or are a person of color...
WAAAY too much inbreeding in some parts of Iowa, like much of the South.

At 1:38 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

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At 2:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, Howie, for both your comments and Grimm's. A real piece of work, Rep. King.

At 1:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that he is right on about the muslims dancing in the streets about a Obama victory.85% of Muslims in the world are functionally illiterate in their native language or have at best a third grade education they recieved at a fundamentalist islamic religous school.
Their world view is what they hear in their local religous/state controlled mass media or their local community mosque sermons.
Most Americans fail to understand the implications of tribalism.
All politics are local.
Most muslims in the world really believe the only good jew is a dead jew.
Mr King's remarks have nothing to do with race.

At 3:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, yes, your gross generalization certainly does prove that Obama, um, I guess, is a Muslim, by dint of you saying so, and that 85% of all Muslims, because they can't read, will cheer his election because he will have led a fifth column into our halls of power. Keith Ellison to be Secretary of Suicide Bombing, right? King is certainly someone whose line of argument you would appreciate.

Let's go to the CIA Factbook, should we?

Bahrain - Adult Literacy Rate: 89.1%
Turkmenistan - Adult Literacy Rate: 98%
Kyrgyzstan - Adult Literacy Rate: 97%
Libya - Adult Literacy Rate: 82.6%
Jordan - Adult Literacy Rate: 91.3%
Algeria - Adult Literacy Rate: 70%
Djibouti - Adult Literacy Rate: 67.9%
Azerbaijan - Adult Literacy Rate: 98.8%
Tunisia - Adult Literacy Rate: 74.2%
Kazakhstan - Adult Literacy Rate: 98.4%
Qatar - Adult Literacy Rate: 82.5%
Saudia Arabia - Adult Literacy Rate: 78.8%
Morocco - Adult Literacy Rate: 51.7%
Uzbekistan - Adult Literacy Rate: 99.3%
Oman - Adult Literacy Rate: 75.8%
Iran - Adult Literacy Rate: 79.4%
Kuwait - Adult Literacy Rate: 83.5%
Turkey - Adult Literacy Rate: 86.5%
Yemen - Adult Literacy Rate: 50.2%
Egypt - Adult Literacy Rate: 57.7%
UAE - Adult Literacy Rate: 77.9%
Pakistan - Adult Literacy Rate: 45.7%
Lebanon - Adult Literacy Rate: 87.4%
Syria - Adult Literacy Rate: 76.9%
Iraq - Adult Literacy Rate: 40.4%

Even some of the (appallingly) low rates above don't remotely approximate your 15% ballpark, which means you're starting from a bullshit argumentative foundation, at least according to the aggregated data of the liberal Muslim-huggers at the CIA. That won't change your mind here, of course, because what you believe and presume trumps reality, doesn't it?

See, the issue here, even if you don't call it "race," is dehumanization. That which allows you to presume danger, heresy, apostasy, enemy, not based on knowledge of another, but by, rather, sweeping summary judgment of them by how they are different from you. (Refer the item's reference to "cartoonish" worldviews, that is, two-dimensional.) This is what defines bigotry.

Bigotry is, in fact, what breeds and maintains tribalism, of which there has been no greater practitioner in modern history, via xenophobia, scapegoating, fear-pimping and jingoism, than this administration and boo-yahing cretins like King.

My father's solution both to Iraq and Iran is to loose atomic weapons on both countries. He doesn't think he is a bigot either, nor would he consider the extermination of two nations a war crime. He has fully dehumanized 94 million people, yet he is, in his mind, a "realist" just like you.

At 4:34 AM, Blogger Aziz P. said...

I wonder what Rep King would say if confronted with what Al Qaeda really thinks about Barack Obama?

Actually, I already know the answer. He'd just sputter some nonsense about taqqiya or whatever.

At 3:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, there WILL be dancing in the streets if Obama is elected President. There will be dancing in the streets of America. There will be dancing in the streets in Canada. There will be dancing in the streets of Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Mexico, and Italy. There will be dancing in the streets of Iraq. There will be dancing in the streets of Israel. There will be dancing in the streets of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The reason there will be dancing in the streets is because it will mean an end to American aggression based on lies and misinformation. The overwhelming, vast majority of people in the world want peace, not war and destruction. Representative King is right about dancing in the streets--he's just wrong about how widespread it will be.

At 2:04 PM, Blogger Jenny said...

Bil - The makeup of his district is not all crazies. I live in it and I can tell you that yes, there are a lot of right wingers here, but there are also many, many normal people. We turned Iowa blue in the Presidential Election for the first time in a long time. One of the problems of King's district is that it runs from the northern Iowa border to the southern. It's practically a third of the state. That makes it hard to reach every voter or possible voter... which is why I'm going to volunteer like crazy in the 2010 election, just as I did for Obama in '08.


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