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Tilting at Windmills

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June 15, 2010

STEVE KING, ON THE SIDE THAT FAVORS THE DUMB PERSON.... If only Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) were a White House correspondent, he might be forced to resign over ugly rhetoric like this.

During an appearance on G. Gordon Liddy's radio show this morning to discuss Arizona's immigration law, King suggested President Barack Obama was a racist and "favors the black person" while carrying out his presidential duties.

King also said that he was "offended" by both Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

"When you look at this administration, I'm offended by Eric Holder and the president also, their posture. It looks like Eric Holder said that white people in America are cowards when it comes to race," said King. "And I don't know what the basis of that is but I'm not a coward when it comes to that and I'm happy to talk about these things and I think we should."

King added: "But the president has demonstrated that he has a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race -- on the side that favors the black person."

As a factual matter, King's race-baiting is just absurd. Looking over the president's staff, cabinet, appointments, and policies, there's simply nothing to suggest Obama discriminates against those who aren't black. King's odious attacks are the result of paranoia. (If the right-wing Iowan is really looking for political players motivated in part by race, he may want to talk to his Tea Party pals.)

It's also worth noting that King misquoted Holder in order to criticize him.

But of particular interest here is the way in which King was projecting during his tirade. Adam Serwer explained, "This is of course, the same Steve King who has defended the Confederate flag, advocated for racial profiling, referred to the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses as 'separatist groups,' and said that people in the Middle East would be 'dancing in the streets' if Obama was elected because of his middle name. He was also the only -- repeat -- only congressman to vote against recognizing the contributions of slaves in building the U.S. Capitol, where King now spends his time spewing this kind of nonsense."

Someone here has "a default mechanism in him that breaks down the side of race," but I'll give you a hint: it's not the president.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (23)

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Yeah, this guy's an idiot. But Peter King, from NY, will give him a run for his money. NY's King isn't an overt racist, though. At least not that I know of...
Maybe we should all get King's out of Congress.

Posted by: c u n d gulag on June 15, 2010 at 8:09 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know how this guy gets elected from Iowa. As an Illinoian, I have found most of my Iowan neighbors to be fair-minded, practical folks who harbor little or no ingrained prejudices. They should show this asshole the door.

Posted by: rc on June 15, 2010 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

I'm in favor of Bob Etheridge assaulting this racist confederate c*cksucker.

Gordon Liddy could use a kick in the nuts, too.

Speaking of Etheridge, I've seen worse assaults during coed softball games. The little Republican twits ought to be carrying a weapon if they can't handle a little grappling on the sidewalk.

Posted by: John Thullen on June 15, 2010 at 8:23 AM | PERMALINK

May not be that much more dumb to face:

"Future Redistricting: Due to a slow population growth relative to the rest of the country, Iowa will likely lose a congressional district in the 2012 redistricting.[3] This would result in the obsolescence of the 5th congressional district.


And Steve's already running scared:


Posted by: Steve Paradis on June 15, 2010 at 8:25 AM | PERMALINK

On another note, BP, Juan Cole is a read this morning.


Posted by: antiquelt on June 15, 2010 at 8:27 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm from Iowa, and like most people most places, there are quite a few prejudiced people there. I'd like to think Iowans are superior folk, but we're not. Add in the growing migrant and immigrant populations, "those folks from Chicago", and an aging electorate, and people like King can get elected stoking fears of change.

Also, Iowa's senators are Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley. Asking for ideological consistency from the Iowa electorate is a tall order, outside of the necessity of supporting farm subsidies.

Posted by: Tom Allen on June 15, 2010 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

Let us not forget that King has said that when he was growing up he was inspired by Adolph Hitler.
Both King and his buddy G Gordon Liddy are cut from the same cloth.

Posted by: jJS on June 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

Racism is alive and thriving in America; not as overt, perhaps, as when I was a lad in Maryland in the 40's, but still strong. And getting its second wind, now that they have a black target in their white house.

Men like King can draw a line in the sand (or write "NIGGER" with a sharp stick), and then repeatedly approach it with impunity.

And eventually that sand hardens into cement, giving them a firm base to stand on while they push ahead, and draw another line. And pretty soon it's not just the southern loonies that use the word "secession".

-The good news is that it is men of a certain age that still think and speak this way. Like homophobia, the younger generation says, "Get over it, Pop!"

Posted by: DAY on June 15, 2010 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

The other King from NY was a supporter of the IRA, he was a fundraiser for the terrorists, how do these people get into our government?

Posted by: Joan on June 15, 2010 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

Steve King shows the freedom that comes from effectively inverting the word "racist" to mean something other than its usual definition. It's taken a couple of decades and this is the payoff. Now, only liberals are racists. Or people who point out fairly obvious examples of it. In the Orwellian lexicon of right-wing America, there's no signifier that can't be neutered.

Posted by: walt on June 15, 2010 at 8:37 AM | PERMALINK

"...the same Steve King who has defended the Confederate flag,"

And how many Iowans fought and died fighting against that same Confederate flag?

What a douchebag.

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 15, 2010 at 8:47 AM | PERMALINK

If low info voters are told Dems are guilty of awful behavior that Repubs posess in spades, they may get confused. They may stay home on Election Day, rather than run the risk of voting "wrong."

And that's how Republicans win.

Posted by: slappy magoo on June 15, 2010 at 8:55 AM | PERMALINK

I live in Iowa. Ceding King'sdistrict in NW Iowa to Nebraska makes a good deal of sense.

Posted by: godot on June 15, 2010 at 9:01 AM | PERMALINK

Yep. That King guy is no coward on race. He said so right right on G. Gordan Liddy's show where he knew the host would challenge him and that many of the listeners would agree with him.

I wonder if he says the same thing when he's on the TV in Sioux City?

Posted by: anomimouse on June 15, 2010 at 9:42 AM | PERMALINK

This guy needs to get his ass kicked by some minorities!

Posted by: Trollop on June 15, 2010 at 9:47 AM | PERMALINK

I live in Iowa. Ceding King'sdistrict in NW Iowa to Nebraska makes a good deal of sense. -godot

Hey there is hope. Nebraska did leave the conservative-dominated, red state Big XII for the liberal-minded, blue state Big Ten.

Maybe it'll influence the mentality in this state.

Posted by: 2Manchu on June 15, 2010 at 10:00 AM | PERMALINK

One of the things that the Obama election brought out were the festering views of racism held by a significant minority of the US population. I think its better that this rock gets turned over and we see who crawls out. Racism and other abhorrent views whither in the sunlight. Remember George Allan in VA and his odious "macacca" comments? They were enough to cause his Senate election loss.

I think the last two years and the next few years are going to be difficult for America (as if the eight years of Bush/Cheney weren't, too!) as we expose and deal with the this festering racism.
But, I think it needs to be done. We need to point out ALL racism and call out those who say these terrible things. I do think that as the scared, white people age and die off that our country will experience less racism. The whole "American melting pot" will help see to that.

Posted by: phoebes-in-santa fe on June 15, 2010 at 10:02 AM | PERMALINK

All part of the right-wing effort to redefine "racist" as "not white."

Posted by: Jon on June 15, 2010 at 10:28 AM | PERMALINK

I don't know how this guy gets elected from Iowa.

Well, I live in his district the problem is twofold. First, it's a very Republican district so voters reflexively vote for the guy with (R) by his name. Second, most of the 5th's population is in Omaha's media market and Omaha's media couldn't care less about covering western Iowa politics so unless you follow politics very closely you have no idea what a nut King really is.

Also, north-west Iowa is serious wingnut country. Steve King fits right in up there.

Posted by: SeanH on June 15, 2010 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Nortwest Iowa is geologically, ecologically, and thus economically and historically distinct from the rest of the state. The deep but fragile wind-deposited loess soils erode dramatically when a slope is cultivated -- and much of the topography is cut up into steep-sided hills, precisely because of that erosion. The climate is less wet, indeed more like Nebraska and the Dakotas. As a result, the quarter-section homesteads of Iowa's initial settlement often failed to flourish in the district, and there's more grazing and less row-crop, and the towns tend to be smaller and farther apart than in the rest of the state. Because of the topography, those same small towns are less well-served by the state's grid of highways and county roads, and may feel remote: most of Iowa's older, larger cities cluster near the opposite SE corner, along the Mississippi, Iowa, and Raccoon rivers.

So: settled later and more sparsely, economically less developed, less urban, often ignored politically because it's a bit unlike the rest of the state, and geographically a little more remote -- it's easy for NW Iowa voters to find reasons for political resentment, and political resentment is the fuel out of which Rush and Steve King and Michelle Bachmann and their ilk build their bonfires of stupidity, bigotry, and lies.

Posted by: joel hanes on June 15, 2010 at 11:55 AM | PERMALINK

All I have to say to Mr. King is....What a bloody pig. Republicans have nothing, NOTHING, to add to the discussion of anything. They know how to do just a couple of things. They know how to project, very obviously, on to everyone else, their true feelings and they know how to fight dirty and hatefully. Period. How they are holding public office after the crap they have done is beyond me.

Posted by: Debbie on June 15, 2010 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I do think that as the scared, white people age and die off that our country will experience less racism. The whole "American melting pot" will help see to that.

Hate to shatter your stereotypes, but my 85yo dad doesn't have a racist bone in his body. He brought me up to respect people based on their deed, not appearance, and to challenge the racist comments which were common in (my generation's) school.

As for the "melting pot", home-schooling is doing a nice job of doing away with THAT unfortunately. Overall, there is some truth to what you say. Just try not to indict with too broad a brush.

Posted by: G.Kerby on June 15, 2010 at 4:12 PM | PERMALINK

The excerpt you quote really only scratch the surface; it’s worth listening to the whole awful thing.

Some other bits:

“... this is a race-charged Justice Department that focuses on race, but certainly doesn’t focus on the Constitution or the law or equal protection ...”

“In Arizona, they’ve almost, the Administration has almost taken the position that if you have brown skin, they shouldn’t enforce the law against you.”

As is often the case w/ this kind of thing, King was merely repeating comments he’s made before. (For example, on the House floor on May 13 & at a Heritage Foundation Bloggers Briefing on May 25.) The difference this time was just that people picked up on Walid Zafar’s good work at Media Matters.

Note also that King isn’t some obscure crazy-uncle backbencher. He’s the ranking member on the House Immigration Subcommittee, & is in line to become its chairman if Republicans retake the House. His caucus has entrusted him with responsibility for the issue.

Posted by: K on June 15, 2010 at 7:16 PM | PERMALINK



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