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February 24, 2010

KING FEELS HEAT FOR SUICIDE BOMBER SYMPATHIZES.... There was no shortage of over-the-top rhetoric at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend, but there was something about Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) comments that stood out.

Commenting on Joe Stack, who flew a plane into an Austin office building because of his grudge against the U.S. government, the right-wing Iowan seemed oddly sympathetic to Stack's motivation for murdering innocent Americans. One report indicated that King told conservative activists he could "empathize" with the suicide bomber, and encouraged his audience to "implode" other IRS offices.

In general, regular ol' Americans who talk like this -- and defend those who fly planes into buildings -- can expect to have a law-enforcement official stop by for a chat. Steve King, however, is a member of Congress.

King is, however, feeling at least some heat over this. Yesterday, House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) took King to task on the House floor.

"The fact of the matter is that the gentleman that lost his life in that building, Vernon Hunter, is from -- was from Orangeburg, South Carolina, that I proudly represent in this body," said Clyburn. "He spent two tours in Vietnam and was about the business of carrying out his duties and responsibilities to this great country of ours. If anybody is a hero, it is this victim. And I find it appalling that a member of this body would call his death a noble happening."

The National Treasury Employees Union, which represents I.R.S. workers, also called on King to apologize for his remarks, saying the lawmaker showed "an appalling lack of compassion over [Vernon Hunter's] death, as well as a lack of respect for the lives of federal employees nationwide."

Representative King should retract and apologize for his ill-conceived statements concerning the tragic event that took place in Austin and pledge, as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, to do everything he can to ensure that the safety of federal employees remains one of our government's highest priorities.

But in order for King to suffer any real consequences for his sympathies for a suicide bomber, the media is going to have focus some attention on his lunacy. Yesterday, Washington Post journalist Ben Pershing told a reader in an online chat that King's comments "probably deserve more attention from the media. They are striking remarks."

To date, the Washington Post has not reported on King's comments at all.

Steve Benen 8:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (37)

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Comments

"Lack of". Hear that a lot about King.

Posted by: ComradeAnon on February 24, 2010 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

It wouldn't matter if the Post did report the remarks. Liberals don't have the talk-radio, Fox News echo chambers to create firestorms. Sorry, but that's reality.

Posted by: walt on February 24, 2010 at 8:42 AM | PERMALINK

Yep Walt, no noise machine. Without Fox yelling about it 24/7, it doesn't exist.

Posted by: Mudge on February 24, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

Media noise? Maybe about sticking accelerators or demanding offshore drilling. You know, important things like that. But black heros of past conflicts of American adventuresism? Not so much.

Can you imagine if a Democratic congressman had mouthed the same horse puck? FOX would demand his resignation, Bitch McConnel would have opined for weeks and Bone-head Bohner would have skipped a few tanning sessions to demand his apology. This is one truly nauseating country...

Posted by: stevio on February 24, 2010 at 9:00 AM | PERMALINK

Steve King is a traitor to the United States of America.

Posted by: neill on February 24, 2010 at 9:05 AM | PERMALINK

So - he is saying that if you feel you have a grievance you have the right to crash a plane into a building with the purpose of killing innocent human beings, somewhere I recall people doing that before - on Sept 11, so have we exonerated them now?

Posted by: Joan on February 24, 2010 at 9:08 AM | PERMALINK

Say it until it gets traction - King is an imbecile! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on February 24, 2010 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

The label "assholes" just about covers it for me. It has the advantage of defining half the donkeys as well.

Posted by: Chopin on February 24, 2010 at 9:15 AM | PERMALINK

Damn. I seem to have a penchant for posting a comment on an adjacent post. Guess it's because I read posts bottom to top.

Posted by: Chopin on February 24, 2010 at 9:18 AM | PERMALINK

Watching way too much C-SPAN (especially so-called "hearings" on most anything), I have come to the conclusion congresscritters are experts at just one thing:

Fund raising .

Posted by: DAY on February 24, 2010 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

Chopin, your "assholes" post works in this thread quite well anyway.

Posted by: oh well on February 24, 2010 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

Fine. Now I have read this post. And damn if it isn't yet another instance of a Rethug being an asshole (yawn). But my dispersion on Donkeys was most inappropriate in this context. Sorry.

Posted by: Chopin on February 24, 2010 at 9:25 AM | PERMALINK

Chopin: I agree. Assholes works very well for most of the dorks/situations we address as we vent on this blog...

Posted by: stevio on February 24, 2010 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

To date, the Washington Post has not reported on King's comments at all.

And I wouldn't count on them reporting it, either. Remember, IOKIYAR.

I'll just modify my comment from yesterday about this creep: King ought to be forced to sit down with the families of the victims of Timothy McVeigh and ask them how they feel about a sitting member of Congress imploring people to "implode" government buildings.

Posted by: electrolite on February 24, 2010 at 9:28 AM | PERMALINK

Steve King should show the purity of his political intention to shrink the government by introducing legislation to repeal agricultural subsidies. On that score, he can at least be sure he will have my support.

Posted by: Barbara on February 24, 2010 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

hell, even the des moines register buried their piece on it.

Posted by: bkny on February 24, 2010 at 9:29 AM | PERMALINK

King ought to be forced to sit down with the families of the victims of Timothy McVeigh and ask them how they feel about a sitting member of Congress imploring people to "implode" government buildings.

Honestly, he represents Iowa?

Posted by: MarkC on February 24, 2010 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

The gap between the official media and reality is as big now as it was in Czarist or Communist Russia, and we've ended up in a similar place: the people who best understand what's going on are powerless to do anything about it, because most people accept the official version.

And our Czarist media, like the Russian czarist media, is enabling a reactionary political movement which is on the verge of becoming murderous.

Posted by: John Emerson on February 24, 2010 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

It wouldn't matter if the Post did report the remarks. Liberals don't have the talk-radio, Fox News echo chambers to create firestorms. Sorry, but that's reality.

The real point is that people think that the Times and the Post are not part of the CZarist media, but they are. They're significantly less bad than fox (and less influential too), but they're willing to play the same enabling games and cover up the same inconvenient realities.

Everyone seems afraid to call Donald Graham and young Sulzberger what they are.

Posted by: John Emerson on February 24, 2010 at 9:35 AM | PERMALINK

The would-be man who is King.

It's not good to be King.

A brain! Our King's dumb for a brain!

Posted by: anonymous on February 24, 2010 at 9:38 AM | PERMALINK

Honestly, he represents Iowa?

Posted by: MarkC on February 24, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Who King represents is irrelevant. The point is this right-wing fool ought to see in person that irresponsible blathering like this has consequences. It's one thing to grumble comments like that sitting on a barstool; it's something else to make them as a member of Congress to a roomful of already unhinged far-right anti-government fanatics.

Posted by: electrolite on February 24, 2010 at 9:59 AM | PERMALINK

KING FEELS HEAT

"Heat"?

"Oooh, a black guy and a bunch of union thugs from the fascist government machinery said mean things about Steve King!"

That's not heat at all. The wingnuts will regard it as a badge of honor, and the mainstream press has no interest in ever calling any elected Republican an extremist.

Posted by: Steve M. on February 24, 2010 at 10:06 AM | PERMALINK

he could "empathize" with the suicide bomber, and encouraged his audience to "implode" other IRS offices.

By that exact same logic, King could also "empathize" with a school shooter who hates going to school. Is he going to encourage frustrated students to "implode" schools?

Posted by: about time on February 24, 2010 at 10:07 AM | PERMALINK

I tried to put mock HTML opening and closing "wingnut" tags around that "Ooooh" quote above, but they were stripped out. Those aren't intended to be my words or my thoughts.

Posted by: Steve M. on February 24, 2010 at 10:08 AM | PERMALINK

This is not entirely new. Remember what Congress did after Timothy McVeigh murdered almost 200 innocent people? They convened hearings to investigate -- Waco. Terrorism by lefties like William Ayers is unforgivable, no matter how long ago or how tenuous his connection to it. Terrorism by anyone with an Arab name or Muslim faith is prove of being subhuman. Terrorism by a white, Christian Republican is always understandable, and an expression of legitimate grievance.

Posted by: T-Rex on February 24, 2010 at 10:14 AM | PERMALINK

King is a P.O.S.
I thinking that even if the msm doesn't take much notice of a Congressman praising the murder of IRS official and destruction of one of their offices, as well as encouraging more of this, there just might be a little outrage inside the IRS. I give it two months before were hearing all about all his tax problems.

Posted by: etrimby on February 24, 2010 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

To date, the Washington Post has not reported on King's comments at all.

If only he had been an anonymous commenter on a liberal blog.

Posted by: Alan in SF on February 24, 2010 at 11:38 AM | PERMALINK

A la Al:
It's obvious to anyone with half a brain that King was joking; very few in his audience could have followed his "advice", for lack of private planes.

Posted by: exlibra on February 24, 2010 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

don't say us Iowans on here haven't been trying to warn you.

just in time, too - March Madness is almost here. this should wrap up a 1-seed for him.

(sorry. i know what he said is deadly serious. but when you're from the state he reflects upon you have to laugh to keep from crying.)

Posted by: zeitgeist on February 24, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

Terrorism by a white, Christian Republican is always understandable, and an expression of legitimate grievance.

That's because here in the Republic of Gilead, white Christian Republicans are hoping to overturn the government and replace it with a murderous theocracy. It's not terrorism if it fits your agenda.

King's not just an asshole. He's a dangerous asshole.

Posted by: A Handmaid on February 24, 2010 at 12:13 PM | PERMALINK

maybe if he was some no-name professor teaching the 13th grade in some nowhere town in colorado instead of a republican congressman speaking at a highly covered conservative kook fest this would get more attention from the liberal media.

Posted by: ron on February 24, 2010 at 12:19 PM | PERMALINK

So, a sitting Congressman makes a thinly veiled threat against the IRS, and the Treasury Dept. sits on its hands and does nothing? Who is running the IRS? Obviously, not a Democrat or liberal person. Otherwise, King would be sitting behind bars, awaiting interrogation and a serious investigation of all his contacts and affiliations.

If this is not a double standard, then one does not exist. And, for the record, I have read/skimmed Joe Stack's manifesto and find it quite rational in many areas. Anyone ever read what Dennis Kucinich, Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky have to say about the hypocrisy and corruption of U.S. government and corporate power brokers? What Joe Stack did with his plane is unacceptable as a response to his frustration with the IRS. It is also understandable behavior by a very disturbed person. There are many very disturbed persons in this country who, given the right stimulus and with the means, will commit similar acts. We best be conscious of such people and listen to their complaints. Some of them are legitimate and ought be addressed.

Posted by: st john on February 24, 2010 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

Audit him. This year. Every year.

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