Representative Steve King, who represents Iowa’s Fourth district, should have known not to sit for an interview with the New York Times.
But that’s what he did, unwisely, and so with an unguarded comment opened the door for the usual Two Minutes of Hate.
The result? Timorous House Republicans kicked him off committees, leftist Democrats are preparing to censure him, and the House will vote to condemn “white nationalism.”
Can’t Defend Western Civilization
The latest trouble for King began last week, again, when the Times somehow persuaded him to speak on the record. The tone of the story showed the Times was out for blood, trying to connect King to President Trump, and thus, the debate over a border wall. “Before Trump, Steve King Set the Agenda for the Wall and Anti-Immigrant Politics,” the headline ran.
The newspaper introduced him as a man who “helped write the book on white identity politics that are ascendant in Mr. Trump’s Republican Party,” thus connecting King and Trump. And “Mr. King’s full-throated embrace of nativism has long found a supportive constituency in the rural Midwest,” the Times opined.
The Times did permit King to say “he was not a racist,” but then quoted him this way:
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” King asked the reporter. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” Whether that was an accurate rendition of King’s remark is unclear, but at any rate, after giving King-haters a chance to pontificate, the Times quoted King again: “You could look over there and think the Democratic Party is no country for white men.”
King, of course, isn’t the only conservative to note the party’s open hostility toward whites. Syndicated columnist Pat Buchanan has observed likewise, but more importantly, the Left itself, including media figures and younger Democrats, believe the party is too old and too white. In 2017, a top Democrat from Idaho said her job was “to tell white people when to shut their mouths.”
That aside, King quickly clarified the statement that included the remark about “white supremacy.”
Today, The New York Times is suggesting that I am an advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy.... I reject those labels and the evil ideology that they define. Further, I condemn anyone that supports this evil and bigoted ideology which saw its ultimate expression in the systematic murder of 6 million innocent Jewish lives.
It’s true that like the founding fathers I am an advocate for Western civilization’s values and that I profoundly believe that America is the greatest tangible expression of these ideals the World has ever seen. Under any fair political definition, I am simply a Nationalist. America’s values are expressed in our founding documents, they are attainable by everyone and we take pride that people of all Races religions and creeds from around the globe aspire to achieve them. I am dedicated to keeping America this way.
This conviction does not make me a white nationalist or white supremacist. Once again, I rejected those labels and ideology that they define. As I told the New York Times, it’s not about race, it’s never been about race. One of my most strongly held beliefs is that we are all created in God’s image and that human life is sacred and all its forms.
The Times published a small part of King’s statement, and the Republicans who rushed to denounced him apparently didn’t read it.
Democrats Fire, GOP, Conservatives Duck for Cover
Democrats, of course, agree that King is “blatantly racist,” as the Washington Post quoted a top leader. And “two Democrats ... separately filed resolutions to censure King and indicated they would force a vote on them this week.”
Last night, House GOP leaders booted King from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees, and then tied him to the stake for ritual auto-da-fé reserved for conservatives the Left has decided to destroy.
“That language has no place in America,” huffed House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Face the Nation. “That is not the party of Lincoln and it’s definitely not American.”
King “should find a different line of work,” the failed presidential candidate said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell bravely said he has “no tolerance for such positions and those who espouse these views are not supporters of American ideals and freedoms.”
The usual “conservative” suspects went after King as well.
The House might vote today on a resolution that “again rejects White nationalism and White supremacy as hateful expressions of intolerance that are contradictory to the values that define the people of the United States.”
The House has not passed a resolution introduced last year that would condemn black Muslim Louis Farrakhan “for promoting ideas that create animosity and anger toward Jewish Americans and the Jewish religion.”
Photo: AP Images