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Race

Republicans Have Had Enough of Steve King

The Iowa Republican has a long history of unfiltered rhetoric. He may not get away with his latest.

Nate Jackson · Jan. 14, 2019

Iowa Republican Rep. Steve King has a long history of unfiltered rhetoric. Some of it is innocuous if unpolished, while other comments are clearly wrong, rude, or just plain racist — and reinforce leftist stereotypes of Republicans. Regardless, other elected Republicans often find microphones shoved in their faces to respond to the latest King outrage. Funny how that doesn’t happen on the other side, regardless of the long list of racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, hateful comments that spew forth from Democrats.

King’s latest offense came last week, when he said, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”

Western civilization is not offensive, despite leftist attempts to make it a “trigger” term, and the same goes for nationalism. But white nationalism is another matter, and white supremacism is flat-out toxic. King knows this, as he later insisted that he “reject[s] those labels and the evil ideology that they define.”

Nevertheless, fresh off their November defeat and still stinging from unfounded accusations of racism that have dogged the GOP particularly since the rise of Donald Trump, some other Republicans have had enough. “Action will be taken,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). “I’m having a serious conversation with Congressman Steve King on his future and role in the Republican Party.” The two men are scheduled to meet today.

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) called King’s comments “offensive and racist,” while Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) said the remarks were “stupid,” “hurtful,” and “wrong.”

Sen. Tim Scott, a black South Carolina Republican, scolded King in an op-ed. “Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism,” Scott opined. “It is because of our silence when things like this are said.” He explained, “King’s comments are not conservative views but separate views that should be ridiculed at every turn possible. Conservative principles mean equal opportunity for all to succeed, regardless of what you look like or where you are from. It is maddening to see so many folks who believe this and have only good intentions in their hearts tarnished by these radical perspectives. That is why silence is no longer acceptable.”

Former Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz likewise penned an op-ed rebuking King, saying, “There are too many [offensive] statements for any one of them to qualify as a simple gaffe.”

Fair or not, Republicans cannot win in the future if they are successfully branded as racists by a dishonest and biased Leftmedia. It only makes that a tougher job when King confirms the bias. The fact remains that the core message of the Republican Party is that individual merit, not identity group, is what matters. King doesn’t seem to understand that.


Update: King has been stripped of his committee assignments.

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