Sunday, January 1, 2012

Steve King

I've been trying to understand how the people of Iowa can put up with Steve King for over ten years now.

You probably remember that King is the Republican Congressman who said al Qaeda would be dancing in the streets if Obama were elected President and we pulled out of Iraq.

Then he claimed Barack Obama, the first member of a minority race in any country to be elected head of state by a majority race -- a black man elected President by an electorate that is predominately white -- yes -- Barack Obama, King said, is a racist. Not only that, his Attorney General, another black man, is a racist, too.

King leveled the charge on reformed felon G. Gordon Liddy's nationally syndicated radio talk show. I didn't know Liddy could even vote.

Nevertheless, King told Liddy: "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."

Actually, Holder said all Americans are cowards when it comes to race. He obviously wasn't thinking of King when he made that silly remark. King is not the least bit cowardly when it comes to race. He's bitter and opportunistic. And a professed white supremacist.

King continued: "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 in the case of professor Gates and officer Crowley."

Not Obama's best moment, maybe, but taking your friend's side in an argument is understandable if not admirable, and Crowley got some time in the spotlight and a beer out of the deal.

Now, back in March 2008, when he made the al Qaeda dancing in the streets remark in the middle of the Democratic primary, I told Steve King this:
I've been searching for a word that describes what I think our candidates, both political parties and all of America should do about your despicable claim that al Qaeda will dance in the streets if Barack Obama is elected President and withdraws from Iraq.

What I've come up with is rebuke. To me, rebuke is stronger and more personal than reject or denounce. A rebuke is something that is done man to man, and it implies a right to chastise the guilty party. We the people do have that right.

Joseph McCarthy exploited America's fear of Communism and the spectre of communist infiltration and espionage in America in the 1950s. His rise coincided with Mao Zedong taking control of mainland China, the Korean war, the conviction of Alger Hiss for perjury in a spy investigation, and the arrest and execution of the Rosenbergs for stealing atomic secrets. It was a time when America felt under attack, and when the Democratic Party was accused of "losing China." McCarthy, who launched his persecution of intellectuals, labor leaders and anyone who could be associated however tenuously with Communism in an address to a women's club in West Virginia, was finally stopped by the combined efforts of the Press, including Edward R. Murrow, the Congress, and, finally, the President of the United States, after destroying hundreds of lives.

And now we are under attack again. Once again, an important part of the world -- this time the Middle East -- is being contested. The Republican candidate and demagogues like you are accusing the Democratic Party and our candidates of being the party and candidates of surrender. If we win the election and redeploy our forces from Iraq, if Iraq falls further under the Iranian sphere of influence, if terrorists are emboldened to attack us and Israel even more viciously, we are certain to be called the Party who "lost the Middle East." And the Republicans and their stooges will do that no matter which of our candidates is elected, because both of our candidates are committed to finding a way out of Iraq.

Your attack on Senator Obama is despicable, not just because it uses his race and his name against him, but because it attempts to make Senator Obama a friend of terrorists instead of what he is: their implacable foe.

There well may be dancing in the streets in the Middle East if America withdraws from Iraq. But there will be dancing no matter who the American President is who ends the occupation of Iraq. And there will be dancing in the streets of America as well.

Mr. Obama has not infiltrated the United States Senate or the race for President. He has, along with Senator Clinton, been propelled openly to a position of leadership in his Party by the will of millions of Americans.

On behalf of those millions of Americans, I rebuke you, Steve King.
Well. I guess I told him.

It turns out, of course, that Barack Obama was elected President and we did start pulling out of Iraq. And maybe Iraq will end up in Iran's sphere of influence just like any number of people predicted it would way back before we invaded and occupied Iraq. So we have all that who lost the Middle East drama ahead of us. And, when we pull out of Iraq completely, al Qaeda or some other jihadists probably will dance in the streets, but there won't be as many of them dancing as there once were, because Obama killed some of them with Predator drones and pressured the Pakistanis into arresting many more.

By all means, let's have the who lost the Middle East debate.

But do we really want to debate whether this President is a racist? Does the Republican Party really want to divide this country racially?

I doubt it. In fact, everybody on the right except the wingnuts seems to be distancing themselves from King as fast as they can.

So, Mr. King, on behalf of the men and women of all races who struggled, and marched, and sat in, and demonstrated, and were beaten and jailed and died so that a black man could one day rise to the Presidency of the United States, I rebuke you.


And, as it turns out, I have to rebuke him again in 2019.  King is a zombie politician. Osama bin Laden is dead. The Republican Party did want to divide the country racially but keep it under their hats. And, apparently, the folks in King's little district in Iowa are just fine with that.

Maybe, finally, somebody with clout will rebuke King. Maybe the Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives will rebuke him and the Republican Party will do whatever it is you do to zombie politicians to end their careers once and for all.