• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Subscribe
  • RSS

Rep. Steve King Endorses Racist ‘White Nationalism’

Steve King

Iowa Congressman Steve King, who initially backed Texas Senator Ted Cruz for President but later became among one of Donald Trump’s most ardent supporters in Congress thanks to their shared views on immigration, made headlines overnight with a series of remarks that appear to clearly mimic the white nationalist propaganda of the so-called ‘alt-right’ that has gained wider prominence in the wake of Trump’s victory in the Presidential election:

Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa who has a history of making inflammatory statements viewed by many as insensitive or outright racist, was roundly criticized on Sunday for his apparent endorsement of white nationalism.

Mr. King made the remark on Twitter when he shared a story by the Voice of Europe website about the far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who wants to end Muslim immigration and ban the Quran and who has called Moroccan immigrants “scum.”

Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO

— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017

Critics said that Mr. King echoed the principles of white nationalism, the belief that national identity is linked to the white race and its superiority to other races. Self-proclaimed white nationalists emerged as a small but vocal group during the candidacy of Donald J. Trump, celebrating his promises to crack down on illegal immigration and ban Muslims from entering the United States, as well as heralding his presidential victory as a chance to preserve white culture.

David Duke, the white nationalist and former Ku Klux Klansman who called Mr. Trump “by far the best candidate” during the campaign, celebrated Mr. King’s comments.

GOD BLESS STEVE KING!!! #TruthRISINGhttps://t.co/oDFel8JDrP

— David Duke (@DrDavidDuke) March 12, 2017

But many people quickly condemned Mr. King. “You, Congressman, are simply a bigot,” one person replied. Another person wrote, “You know that you were ‘somebody else’s baby’ too, right? Or do you not understand how this works?”

Representative Carlos Curbelo, Republican of Florida, responded from his personal Twitter account, asking Mr. King to explain himself.

.@SteveKingIA What exactly do you mean? Do I qualify as “somebody else’s baby?” #concernedGOPcolleague

— Carlos Curbelo (@carloslcurbelo) March 13, 2017

Representative Ted Lieu, a California Democrat who was born in Taiwan, shared a photo of his sons on Twitter.

Dear Representative Steve King: These are my two babies. –Representative Ted Lieu pic.twitter.com/MHU21jJUrY

— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) March 12, 2017

And Miriam Amer, the executive director of the Iowa chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, called on Republican Party leaders in the state and nationwide to repudiate the message.

“This racist tweet crosses the line from dog-whistle politics to straight-up white supremacist advocacy,” she said in a statement.

A representative for Mr. King did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. King, who was elected to Congress in 2002, questioned what nonwhites have contributed to civilization at a panel discussion in July about the racial makeup of the Republican Party.

“I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about,” he said. “Where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?”

In media appearances this morning, King defended his remarks and doubled down on them: 

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) on Monday defended a weekend tweet endorsing the views of a far-right Dutch politician.

“Well, of course I meant exactly what I said,” King told CNN’s “New Day.”

King in a tweet praised Geert Wilders, including a cartoon depicting Wilders plugging a hole in a wall that reads “Western civilization.””Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” the congressman wrote.

“It’s a clear message,” King said on Monday. “We need to get our birth rates up or Europe will be entirely transformed within a half century or a little more. And Geert Wilders knows that and that’s part of his campaign and part of his agenda.”

King went on to criticize illegal immigration to the United States and immigrants who don’t “assimilate into the American culture.”

“Living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization. Some embrace it, yes. But many are two and three generations living in enclaves that are pushing back now and resisting against the assimilation,” he said.

King also emphasized his view that “Western civilization” is “a superior civilization.”

“I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective,” he said.

As Amber Phillips notes in The Washington Post, King’s remarks, which are being widely condemned by Republican leaders back in his home state of Iowa, are not new for him. In fact, King has a long history of remarks that have often either skirted the borderline between normal political commentary and outright racism in his time in Congress, and he has made his disdain for immigrants in general, whether legal or illegal, and Muslims in particular quite clear. This, no doubt, is why he found it so easy to go from being a backer of Ted Cruz to a full-throated defender of Donald Trump. Not only does Trump support most of the same immigration views and policies that King does, but they share the same ridiculous, bigoted views of Islam as those of people such as Pamela Geller and others whose anti-Muslim bigotry is a matter of public. This is also the same Steve King who courts controversy on a regular basis with both his public remarks and actions such as displaying a Confederate flag in his office. It’s also been relatively well-known that many who share King’s views here in the United States also have a high level of support for far-right European politicians such as Wilder, Marine Le Pen, and Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, the anti-immigrant, anti-European political party in the United Kingdom. In that regard, King’s comments, as detestable as they are, are hardly a surprise.

As for King’s insistence that his comments about “somebody else’s babies” wasn’t racially-based, it’s pretty clear that King is being entirely disingenuous here because his comments yesterday are entirely consistent with things he’s said in the past. His open support for Wilders, for example, is one clue given the fact that Wilders himself has a long history of making comments that reject entirely the idea of a Europe consisting of anyone other than ‘pure’ Europeans, whatever that might mean. Additionally, in an appearance in July 2016 on MSNBC, King questioned the notion that anyone other the white people had done much of anything for civilization, and suggested that the non-white world was therefore inherently inferior, a comment which, of course, ignores the extent to which colonialism oppressed people in Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the name of ‘civilization’ for centuries.  wondered aloud what “sub-groups” have done more for civilization than white people. Given all of that, it’s pretty clear what King meant, it’s pretty clear it was meant to at least appeal to racists and s0-called white nationalists, and it’s pretty clear that King for one is completely fine with this. His fellow Republicans, who have largely remained silent on the matter so far, should be required to comment about whether such views are acceptable when coming from someone so close to the President of the United States.

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Neil Hudelson says:

    Whaa? Those are just “economic concerns” King is espousing.
    /Sarcasm

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 0

  2. Lit3Bolt says:

    This is what you get when you elect Saxons into office. These blue-eyed, soulless apes can’t be trusted with the reins of democracy.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 2

  3. SenyorDave says:

    His fellow Republicans, who have largely remained silent on the matter so far, should be required to comment about whether such views are acceptable when coming from someone so close to the President of the United States.

    Was this last sentence an early April Fool’s joke? If this happened it would alienate half of the Republican base. Besides, the presidents most trusted adviser is on board with King’s statements.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  4. Mr. Bluster says:

    “I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective,” he said.

    My moms heritage is English/Scottish and my dad’s family is solid German.
    I never want to look like you Steve King.
    You are far too ugly!

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  5. CB says:

    I can’t wait to see how this is handwaved away, and more importantly, who embraces his words.

    F’ing disgusting.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Where are Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell and Trump?

    They remain silent because the Republican Party is a white supremacist party.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  7. Franklin says:

    I’d like to see an America that’s just so homogenous that we look a lot the same, from that perspective.

    What am I missing here? If this isn’t talking about what people look like, then I’m not understanding the allegory. Must be too deep for me.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. Kylopod says:

    And of course there will be the inevitable cries that anyone who criticizes his statement is “playing the race card.”

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  9. MarkedMan says:

    FWIW, Ryan has said that ‘of course’ he disagrees.

    If you take a longer view of history, the ‘Western Civilization” thing is nonsense. There have been maybe a dozen or two dominant civilizations in the last 6000 years. (Maybe more, but if a civilization rises and falls in a hot, wet land it gets erased.) These huge, game changing empires have arisen in Africa, all over Asia, South and North America, the Mid East, the Far East, you name it. Right now, the European’s are having a good run. When the Turks ruled the world my Irish ancestors were still painting themselves blue and eating each other.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

  10. Mr. Bluster says:

    Watch the Great White Man Steve King and his consort the courageous White Libertarian Dandy Randy Paul as they bravely confront the non-white terror threat that are the Dreamers.
    http://www.alternet.org/rand-paul-ducks-out-dreamers-confrontation

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. Mr. Bluster says:

    @Mr. Bluster:..Damn. I forgot that was the clip where White Republican Dandy Randy makes like a baby and heads out to get away from having to answer any questions.
    Must have been practice for this:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_3063516449&feature=iv&src_vid=PI8rCleTbSo&v=x1bCE8ovaPk

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. MikeSJ says:

    This is what happens when young people don’t vote; when Hispanics don’t vote and the deciders are older, rural and not educated.

    I keep believing that if we had Oregon system mailing ballots to all registered voters then clowns like this would go away.

    In the end King is a symptom of our MIA voters; if not him it’d be another creep catering to those who actually bother to vote.

    I suspect we will be stuck with him for a long time.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  13. gVOR08 says:

    That Rep. King is a racist spit weasel is hardly surprising.
    That he says so publicly is mildy surprising.
    That saying so doesn’t seem to hurt him with his Iowa constituency is deeply depressing.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 30 Thumb down 0

  14. Pch101 says:

    Muslims comprise about 1% of the US population, which is about the same as the percentage of the German population that was Jewish in 1933.

    Large enough to be visible, but small enough to be outnumbered and outflanked. The targeting is no accident, nor is it any less vile.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  15. grumpy realist says:

    It’s not surprising, but I’ve noticed that the pasty white individuals who shout the superiority of the White Race never have accomplished anything on their own….

    Heck, I’ve done more for the advancement of Mankind than Rep. King has. After he dies, you’re be able to know where he is buried by looking at the direction little boys in his state pee in the fields.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  16. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    What has become of the Republican Party is truly disgusting…and make no mistake…King IS the Republican Party.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  17. Sherparick says:

    Meanwhile, in every graveyard in Iowa, close to 70,000 Union veterans are spinning away with the knowledge that the senior Congressman of the State is a Copperhead, neo-Confederate.

    “76,242 Iowa men (out of a total population of 674,913 in 1860) served in the military, many in combat units attached to the western armies. 13,001 died of wounds or disease (two-thirds of the total). 8,500 Iowa men were wounded. Cemeteries throughout the South contain the remains of Iowa soldiers that fell during the war, with the largest concentration at Vicksburg National Cemetery. A number also died in Confederate prison camps, including Andersonville prison. Though the total number of Iowans who served in the military during the Civil War seems small compared to the more heavily populated eastern and southern states, no other state, north or south, had a higher percentage of its male population between the ages of 15 and 40 serve in the military during the course of the war.

    Iowa contributed 48 regiments of state infantry, 1 regiment of black infantry (the 1st Iowa Volunteer Infantry Regiment (African Descent)), 9 regiments of cavalry, and 4 artillery batteries. In addition to these Federally mustered troops, the state also raised a number of home guard or militia units, including the Northern Border Brigade and Southern Border Brigade, primarily for defense of the borders. Other local units included the Sioux City Cavalry.”

    KIng, until a few months ago proudly displayed the banner of treason and sedition, the Stars and Bars, on his desk, not removing in the aftermath of Dylan Roof killing nine unarmed African-Americans in their church, but only when it became politically inconvenient when a white supremacist killed two policemen in Des Moines. http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/killings-2-iowa-police-officers-were-calculated-murder-des-moines-n677421

    That is the thing. Stuff that people like Trump and King say will get people killed, and there is nothing “politically incorrect” about it. And the people of Iowa and King’s district should be ashamed that that send this imbecile to Congress.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  18. Argon says:

    King knows exactly what he’s doing. And his conservative constituents love him for it.

    Of course, force him to take tough position and watch him change directions as fast as a well-oiled weathervane. He’s like a nasty incarnation of Grassley. Career opportunist.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  19. Lynn says:

    A stupid version of Samuel P. Huntington.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  20. Argon says:

    Wikipedia: “King attended Northwest Missouri State University from 1967 to 1970, and was a member of the Alpha Kappa Lambda Fraternity, majoring in math and biology. He did not graduate.”

    This puts him in the same ‘class’ as Scott Walker.

    Note: King left school about the same time it became clear he would subsequently have a very low risk of being drafted for Vietnam.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  21. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    OT…The CBO report on TrumpRyanCare is out.

    “In 2026, an estimated 52 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law,” the CBO said.

    That’s an additional 24 million people without insurance.
    Donald Trump:

    “I am going to take care of everybody. I don’t care if it costs me votes or not. Everybody’s going to be taken care of much better than they’re taken care of now.”

    Tom Price:

    “Nobody will be worse off financially in the process that we’re going through,”

    Paul Ryan:

    Our goal is not to show a pretty piece of paper that says we’re mandating great things for Americans.

    Mick Mulvaney:

    Health insurance “is not really the end goal here, is it?”

    As a tax cut this is a very effective piece of legislation. As health care reform? Not so much.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  22. DrDaveT says:

    “I’d ask you to go back through history and figure out where are these contributions that have been made by these other categories of people that you are talking about,”

    Let’s see…
    Taming fire — Africans
    Tool making — Africans
    Cooked food — Africans
    Cooperative hunting — Africans
    Agriculture — unclear, but not whites
    Domesticated cattle/dogs/cats/horses/pigs/sheep/goats/chickens/ducks/llama/etc. — not whites
    Writing — Mesopotamia, Egypt
    Mathematics — Mesopotamia, India
    Number theory — India
    Algebra — Islam
    Gunpowder — China
    Paper — China
    Civil service — not whites
    Public works — not whites
    Medicine — not whites
    Metallurgy — not whites
    Steel — not whites
    Irrigation — not whites

    This may be the most extreme case of “what have you done for me lately?” that I’ve ever seen.

    ReplyReply

    Highly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 1

  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    As we are discussing White Nationalist news…

    Remember the story this Moring of the woman who confronted Sean Spicer in a DC Apple Store?

    Well, she decided to write why she did so:

    https://medium.com/@Shreedom/such-a-great-country-such-nasty-bigotry-831eeea173cb#.rj7jon833

    The part that got to her was that Spicer said: “Such a great country that allows you to be here.”

    She, a woman, of Indian decent by family, a natural born American that hails from New York. Glad that Spicer chose to assume that America was “allowing” her to be here.

    The part that was shocking were the comments in response to her article. Man, the hate squad was out.

    Glad that Trump has allowed all those folks to get past their “Politically Correct” filters and say what they REALLY mean! This must be part of American being great again that we all needed, eh?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  24. JohnMcC says:

    Recommend a WaPo column today from Sarah Posner ‘Why Are We Hearing Crickets From The GOP….’ She includes a lengthy remark (and link and video) of a 2015 interview that Steve Bannon conducted for Breitbart Radio with Rep King.

    It goes pretty much as you’d expect.

    Remind myself – this is the Party of Lincoln and Eisenhower (and – well – Joe McCarthy and Nixon). And a special nod to our friend Sherparick above.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  25. Terrye Cravens says:

    King is just another Nazi.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  26. Mr. Bluster says:

    @MikeSJ:..This is what happens when young people don’t vote;..

    So Mike, if you want to rag on the youth of today as the cause of all your woes you should really put some meat into it.
    You know, like this guy…

    As for those deserters, malcontents, radicals, incendiaries, the civil and uncivil disobedients among the young, SDS, PLP, Weathermen I and Weathermen II, the revolutionary action movement, the Black United Front, Yippies, Hippies, Yahoos, Black Panthers, Lions and Tigers alike – I would swap the whole damn zoo for a single platoon of the kind of young Americans I saw in Vietnam.
    Spiro T. Agnew

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. The idea that Europeans are not having enough babies and then are importing people is common among US Conservatives(Now disgraced British left-wing journalist Johann Hari wrote about people saying that to him when he attend the National Review Cruise).

    There is nothing new here.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  28. al-Alameda says:

    ….. and, as the liberal opinionista and commentariat are telling me now, in this post-election post-mortem, and ritual handwringing … Steve King is the kind of Republican that I, as a Democrat, need to try harder to understand.

    Steve has always been out-to-lunch, now he’s front and center, and right at home among the Bannon types. Lovely.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  29. Mr. Bluster says:

    @al-Alameda:..Steve King is the kind of Republican that I, as a Democrat, need to try harder to understand.

    Who is saying that?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  30. JohnMcC says:

    @Mr. Bluster: Hah! Great Agnew quote. I speak with some authority that ol’ Spiro (actually – he went by ‘Ted’) would have been pretty damn shocked if he had spent a few hours in a hooch with a Marine platoon in I-Corps in ’66. (Disclaimer – I was an AF Medic whose close acquaintance with Marines was both involuntary and – at the moment – welcome.)

    Anyhow – I revisited this thread to see if anyone had remarked on the connection that Rep King made between the immigration issue (‘other people’s babies’) and abortion rights. No one has, so let me make a little addition:

    He said on a video clip on the MSNBC news show that happened to be on that ’60 million’ babies had been aborted and that there would be no need and no room for immigrants if REAL TRUE AMERICAN MOTHERHOOD had prevailed and those babies had been born to fill the shoes of aging citizens.

    Really.

    That’s your GOP. Still stuck on the issue of ‘race suicide’ that exercised the racists of a hundred years ago. Not only are they evil, they are the same old evil.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  31. Mr. Bluster says:

    @JohnMcC:.. I was an AF Medic whose close acquaintance with Marines was both involuntary and – at the moment – welcome.

    I’m glad you didn’t come home in a body bag. There was far too much of that.
    https://www.archives.gov/research/military/vietnam-war/casualty-statistics.html

    Casualty Category Number of Records

    ACCIDENT 9,107

    DECLARED DEAD 1,201

    DIED OF WOUNDS 5,299

    HOMICIDE 236

    ILLNESS 938

    KILLED IN ACTION 40,934

    PRESUMED DEAD (BODY REMAINS RECOVERED) 32

    PRESUMED DEAD (BODY REMAINS NOT RECOVERED) 91

    SELF-INFLICTED 382

    Total Records 58,220

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Paul Hooson says:

    A Jew like me never has much respect for anything resembling White Nationalism. I blame the bad experiences of WWII Germany…

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  33. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Actually, we need to push responsibility down to where it belongs – the voters in his district. My idea is that, if any member of Congress is sanctioned, he or she loses their vote in Congress for a year; if any member of Congress is expelled, their district (or state) loses that seat until the next regularly scheduled election.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  34. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    That’s the interesting thing. There are kooks supporting every party – remember the hard line communists in the Democrats during the cold war, the 9-11 truthers, or today the anarchists causing violence in various protests? There have even been kooks in positions of power in the Dems (Weiner for instance).

    The key difference is that the Democrats regularly denounce their kook followers, and boot kook elected officials out of the party. The Republicans either support them (birthers, and too long a list to bother going through), or remain silent as in now (or David Duke’s support etc). I can’t remember them kicking an elected official out of the party since Nixon.

    In the Democratic Party kooks are just that – kooks. In the Republican Party they’re part of the fold.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  35. Moosebreath says:

    @george:

    “The key difference is that the Democrats regularly … boot kook elected officials out of the party.”

    This seems too strong. I don’t recall Democrats organizing primary opposition to Cynthia McKinney or Dennis Kucinich. Ignore seems more accurate.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  36. al-Alameda says:

    @george:

    The key difference is that the Democrats regularly denounce their kook followers, and boot kook elected officials out of the party. The Republicans either support them (birthers, and too long a list to bother going through), or remain silent as in now (or David Duke’s support etc). I can’t remember them kicking an elected official out of the party since Nixon.

    The key difference is – whether they’re ejected from their party or not – the Republican Party has so many more toxic idiots than the Democratic Party does.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  37. Davebo says:

    @Moosebreath: Cynthia McKinney was primaried out of office by a Democrat.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  38. R. Dave says:

    @Liberal Capitalist wrote:: Remember the story this Moring of the woman who confronted Sean Spicer in a DC Apple Store?

    …The part that got to her was that Spicer said: “Such a great country that allows you to be here.” She, a woman, of Indian decent by family, a natural born American that hails from New York. Glad that Spicer chose to assume that America was “allowing” her to be here.

    Yeah, that story is just b.s. She was the one in the wrong, harassing and haranguing Spicer in the store like that, and his comment was rather obviously intended as a reference to the fact that she (like the rest of us) is lucky to be in a country that allows her to speak her mind so freely and openly. Although, that said, she was arguably breaking the law by disturbing the peace and harassing someone. In any event, she chose to interpret his statement in the way most amenable to her sense of being the victim despite the reality that she was very clearly the aggressor in this case. It reminded me of that mob scene at University of Missouri where the crowd of students surrounded, shoved and screamed at the lone student journalist and then argued that he was the one making them feel “unsafe”. The total inversion of reality in some people’s minds is really shocking.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  39. Pch101 says:

    @R. Dave:

    his comment was rather obviously intended as a reference to the fact that she (like the rest of us) is lucky to be in a country that allows her to speak her mind so freely and openly.

    How is it “rather obvious” exactly?

    To me, it’s “rather obvious” that he was probably taking a potshot at her ethnicity. There were a variety of ways in which Spicer could have made a sarcastic remark about her rights to free speech or her hostility without referring directly or indirectly to her ethnicity.

    (And I found her to tactics to be obnoxious, so I’m not taking her side, either.)

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  40. cian says:

    Not sure why anyone is surprised by King’s comments. Eighty years ago and you would have found him standing in the town square under a tree from which an African American youth would be hanging by his neck. Seriously, he’d be waving for the camera, holding up the picnic basket he and his friends brought to enjoy in the shadow of a dying American citizen.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

  41. Pch101 says:

    @george:

    Your adoration for false equivalency just isn’t going to stop, is it?

    For example, only one in four Republicans believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States; four of ten say that he wasn’t. http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/poll-persistent-partisan-divide-over-birther-question-n627446

    I dare you to find any issue in which 40% Democrats are absolutely out-of-their-skulls-bats**t-crazy on that level and/or only one-quarter of them are in the realm of reality.

    The two parties are not equal. The GOP is a magnet for these kinds of people; the Democrats do not attract nearly as many because their positions aren’t as conducive to being appealing to nutjobs. There is no contest.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 1

  42. R. Dave says:

    @Pch101 wrote: How is it “rather obvious” exactly? To me, it’s “rather obvious” that he was probably taking a potshot at her ethnicity.

    Fair enough; “rather obvious” is probably an overstatement. Still, given the context of her freely and publicly haranguing a high-level government official about the allegedly fascist nature of the administration he represents, and her apparent obliviousness to the irony of that, it struck me as the logical avenue of critique and one that we’ve seen other politicians on both sides deploy in similar situations. I get that Trumpists haven’t exactly earned much benefit of the doubt on this kind of thing, but in this case, my read of the video is that she’s just latching on to the interpretation makes her seem the most like a victim rather than an aggressor.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  43. Moosebreath says:

    @Davebo:

    You are right, I had forgotten that.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  44. ...ig'nint... says:

    @R. Dave: I pretty tired of both sides in this battle of wittlesses and wish that the administration would get on with whatever the flock they are going to do will less drama from the Twitterer in Chief and his minions and that the opponents would work on going on about their lives as false indignation free as they can manage.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. Mr. Bluster says:

    …she’s just latching on to the interpretation makes her seem the most like a victim rather than an aggressor.

    Poor Sean (rhymes with yawn). Looks like R. Dave has “latched on” to an interpretation that makes Spicer to be the “victim” here.

    It reminded me of that mob scene at University of Missouri where the crowd of students surrounded, shoved and screamed at the lone student journalist and then argued that he was the one making them feel “unsafe”.

    Please “R. Dave” tell us all how one natural born American Citizen in an Apple Store practicing her 1st Amendment right to petition the Government for a redress of grievances is a mob.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  46. MarkedMan says:

    @R. Dave:

    his comment was rather obviously intended as a reference to the fact that she (like the rest of us) is lucky to be in a country that allows her to speak her mind so freely and openly.

    Sorry, I’ve got to call BS on this. For far too d*mn long the Republicans and the MSM have held to the standard you seem to be proposing: that if there is any way to spin a comment in a non-racist way, we are somehow obligated to accept that.

    BS. Trump is a racist through and through. His father was arrested at a Ku Klux Klan rally (in Manhattan!) and Trump himself ran a rental business that marked applications from “coloreds” with a “C”, so they could be rejected. He rather obviously played footsie with the Klan and the Neo Nazis during the campaign. He has a white nationalist, misogynistic loathsome toad as his chief advisor. There is no reason to assume that a decent person would have accepted a position in Trump’s disgusting administration, and certainly not the position of spokesman.

    So, no, I don’t think it’s obvious that Spicer didn’t mean what he seemed to be implying. I think it is much more obvious that he was seething because this brown skinned female of Asian descent should consider herself lucky that white men like him “allowed” her to live in her own country.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

  47. Pch101 says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Most conservatives are either racists themselves or else are tolerant of them (with the latter group often failing to acknowledge the racists in their club even when it should be obvious.)

    But virtually all of them detest being labeled as racists, because everyone now knows that racism is bad. They want the lifestyle without the label, which leads us to constant denials, defenses of the indefensible and efforts to redefine the term racism so that it excludes them.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  48. MarkedMan says:

    @Pch101: 50+ years ago the Republican Senator Jacob Javits warned about what would happen if his Party implemented the Southern Strategy under the naive assumption that they could invite the racists in for only one election, and then show them the door after that.

    “… the radical right will become so structured into the Presidential nomination campaign as to defeat a move to disengage it later on … A candidacy based on the “Southern strategy”, espousing the kind of views I have mentioned, would do more than hazard the party’s defeat in the 1964 contest; it could alienate millions of Americans in 1964 – who could stay alienated for years…”

    Javits understood that once in, they would constitute too large of a minority (and despite my disgust with the modern Republican party I think the out and out racists are a small minority in the party) to eject. The Republican leadership would have to constantly accommodate these racists. And finally we’ve reached the point where the racists ARE the leaderdhip.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  49. george says:

    @Pch101:

    What equivalency are you seeing? I stated that there was a vital difference between the Democrats and the Republicans, and in the Democrats favor.

    Did you even read what I wrote?

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  50. panda says:

    @george:

    There are kooks supporting every party – remember the hard line communists in the Democrats during the cold war,

    No, because they were all purged from the party by the time Truman left office.

    the 9-11 truthers

    The strongest 9/11 truther voice today is Alex Jones, who is very close to the Trump administration.

    , or today the anarchists causing violence in various protests?

    Anarchists are, by definition, not members of the Democratic party.

    There have even been kooks in positions of power in the Dems (Weiner for instance).

    Weiner sexual issues are indeed a crosspartisan phenomenon. But as far as policy went, he was a totally mainstream figure.

    Try harder.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  51. panda says:

    @Moosebreath:

    This seems too strong. I don’t recall Democrats organizing primary opposition to Cynthia McKinney or Dennis Kucinich. Ignore seems more accurate.

    Cynthia McKinney lost in a primary to a Democrat.
    Kucinich lost in a primary to a Democrat, after his district was erased. He is currently a Fox News contributor.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  52. george says:

    @panda:

    Rereading my post, you’ll note I said “supporters” – this is important, since many of the worst cases that make the press are just that, supporters. This is true for the GOP as well; there has been a lot of attention on David Duke supporting Trump, but as far as I know he’s not an elected official in the Republican Party. However, as a supporter of Trump he’s usually seen as representative of the party.

    But I’m arguing that the problem isn’t that David Duke supports the GOP (seriously, there are still a few hardline communists out there supporting the Democrats, go to any university if you doubt me), but that the GOP hasn’t denounced that support, while the Democrats consistently denounce hardline communists as supporters.

    You can find nuts supporting every party out there (often for bizarre reasons). What distinguishes the parties is how they respond. Ignoring or even worse accepting those endorsements (GOP) is very different than renouncing them (Democrats).

    And yes, the 9-11 truthers went across the board. Which meant many of them (about half actually) supported the Democrats. The Democrats renounced them, saying they didn’t speak for the party. Contrast that to the GOP, which either endorsed or refused to comment on birthers (with exceptions like McCain who denounced it – tho interestingly enough he doubted Cruz’s eligibility).

    And I’d argue Weiner sexting a fifteen year old is as kooky as it gets.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  53. Mr. Bluster says:

    I’d argue Weiner sexting a fifteen year old is as kooky as it gets.

    I’d argue that admitting to grabbing women by the pussy is a confession to committing sexual assault.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  54. george says:

    @Mr. Bluster:

    Exactly. And once again the Democrats have done a better job of purging their party; Weiner is not an elected official for the Democrats anymore, while Trump still has the full support of the GOP.

    And that is the difference in a nutshell – if Trump was a Democrat he’d already be booted out of the party, whereas if Weiner was a Republican they’d still be running him for office.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  55. Kylopod says:

    @george:

    I’d argue Weiner sexting a fifteen year old is as kooky as it gets.

    You are stretching the meaning of kooky way beyond its normal limits. In the context of this discussion, “kooky” isn’t an umbrella term for any sort of bad behavior by a politician. What we’ve been discussing is open embrace of extreme views, particularly conspiracy theories and racism. That’s what is ordinarily meant when someone is described as a “kook.”

    Moreover, the stuff about Weiner and the 15-year-old didn’t come out until years after he’d left office and his political career had ended. The original “sexting” incident that led to his resignation from Congress in 2011 involved consenting adults. It was weird and creepy, sure, but it wasn’t any worse–in fact it was arguably a lot better–than what Bill Clinton was caught doing in the late ’90s, which unlike Weiner involved actual adultery (and that’s without even getting into the matter of perjury). So, according to your logic, the Democratic Party, by defending Clinton against attempts to remove him from office, was just as guilty of embracing its “kooks” as the GOP was.

    But, again, this illustrates how poor your example is. Men in power often cheat on their wives. It happens broadly across both parties. It’s in a fundamentally different category than promoting bigotry or crackpottery. The problem with “pussygate” wasn’t that most Republicans were defending Trump’s behavior per se (in fact it was widely denounced by Republican leaders, and his poll numbers took a nosedive) but that they were willing to tolerate it as the price for getting into power. Other things being equal I doubt most rank-and-file conservatives think grabbing women by their pussy is acceptable behavior. But a disturbingly large number of them do fear and resent brown people, and they don’t merely tolerate but go out of their way to vote for politicians whose platform is built on hate. That’s the issue under discussion here. Anthony Weiner’s hobbies have got nothing to do with it.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  56. george says:

    @Kylopod:

    I don’t disagree with what you say about men in power. However, I don’t see any possible useful definition of kookiness which includes Trump’s pussy grabbing (which is taken as important politically by most Democrats) without simultaneously including Weiner’s sexting.

    If you’re arguing that neither Trump’s nor Weiner’s actions have political import, then I allow you’re consistent and have a reasonable argument. However I think you’re in the minority in that; most would say Trump’s pussy grabbing is important politically, which requires Weiner’s to be politically important as well – which in context means Weiner is an example in the Democratic Party of something like Trump in the Republican Party wrt inappropriate sexual actions. The difference being how the party’s responded.

    In terms of voting for hate and racism, I think most people vote purely as a team sport (ie they’ll support their quarterback no matter what and hate the opposing quarterback no matter what – the various reactions to the Patriots deflategate for example is on team lines). The racism is an added “bonus” for many but not all GOP voters, but you find people have and are voting conservative in countries with no major racial issues, and people are willing to overlook racism to get their people into power. People’s major reason for voting is how it affects them personally. This is pretty universal. There are many blacks who don’t care about harmful policies which affect first nations because those policies don’t affect them. Are they racist against first nations? My experience is no, its just that the “someone elses problem field” applies.

    This applies to other things as well. Drone killing, support for Wall Street, running a deficit, sending troops into battle tends to be deal breakers or merely unfortunate depending on which team is doing it.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  57. Kylopod says:

    @george:

    However, I don’t see any possible useful definition of kookiness which includes Trump’s pussy grabbing (which is taken as important politically by most Democrats) without simultaneously including Weiner’s sexting.

    I agree. That’s why I didn’t apply the word “kooky” to either. Yes, I’m aware that if you consult Google’s dictionary it will tell you that “kooky” is defined as “strange or eccentric,” and that description might arguably apply to Trump’s or Weiner’s sexual antics (though even that is strained). But in a political context, when people talk about “kooks” they are nearly always referring to someone who holds far-out views, such as that the moon landings were faked or that 9/11 was an inside job. Sexual misbehavior, even of a predatory variety, is simply not in that category. And raising the topic in this discussion distracts from the question of which party does a better job of reining in its extremists. It isn’t relevant, because sex crimes have got nothing to do with extremism. You dragged it into the discussion through a vague, slippery definition of “kooky” in order to make a strained analogy, using Anthony Weiner’s Internet hobby as a point of comparison with another pol’s public statements in support of white nationalism. You might as well have started talking about rancid milk in a discussion about out-of-touch rich people, since both are, after all, “spoiled.”

    If you’re arguing that neither Trump’s nor Weiner’s actions have political import, then I allow you’re consistent and have a reasonable argument. However I think you’re in the minority in that; most would say Trump’s pussy grabbing is important politically, which requires Weiner’s to be politically important as well

    Amazing. I argue that your definition of “kookiness” is unnecessarily vague, and suddenly that means I’m saying pussy-grabbing isn’t politically important. It’s like debates over what is or isn’t terrorism. Definitions matter. Excluding something from the definition of a particular negative term isn’t equivalent to praising it or deeming it irrelevant. Trump’s and Weiner’s behavior can be awful without necessarily being kooky.

    which in context means Weiner is an example in the Democratic Party of something like Trump in the Republican Party wrt inappropriate sexual actions. The difference being how the party’s responded.

    Even there, your comparison is flawed. By the time the revelations about Weiner and the 15-year-old came out, Weiner had long left political life and was a private citizen. His wife’s job in the Clinton campaign notwithstanding, the Democratic Party had no need to defend him at that point. The original sexting scandal that led to his resignation from office years earlier involved only consenting adults; it was morally wrong but hardly criminal. Yes, even then the party was quick to abandon him. But Republican office-holders have been known to resign for similarly trivial sexual infractions. (For example, in 2010 Rep. Chris Lee resigned from office a mere hours after being caught sending a shirtless photo of himself to a woman.) The important question is how the Democratic Party would have reacted if its own presidential nominee were caught on tape boasting about sexual assault. I think they’d have reacted differently than the GOP, but that hasn’t been tested.

    In terms of voting for hate and racism, I think most people vote purely as a team sport

    Agreed–if we’re talking about the general election. The primaries are a different matter. Calling Mexicans rapists is not the reason Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton. But it was at least part of the reason why he defeated Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

    This applies to other things as well. Drone killing, support for Wall Street, running a deficit, sending troops into battle tends to be deal breakers or merely unfortunate depending on which team is doing it.

    Of course. But that only goes to show how important it is to be clear about what problem we’re describing. Both parties have problems. Both parties support destructive policies, and in both parties you’ll find millions of voters who will uncritically back any candidate as long as they have a D or R after their name. But in only one party has racism and crackpottery been utterly normalized.

    Sticking with Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood tape was an example of team-play. It isn’t in itself evidence that Republican voters or the Republican leadership favor sexual assault, but it is evidence that they will stand by their candidate no matter what is revealed about him. If he’d been caught having shot a guy on 5th Avenue, the response from the GOP would have been to talk about how terrible that is because their mothers all shop there, but but but… Hillaryemailbenghazi!!!

    On the other hand, Trump didn’t win the GOP nomination despite his calling Mexican rapists or calling for a shutdown of Muslims entering the US, but very much because of those things. That isn’t about team-play but about the fundamental outlook of a large chunk of the GOP electorate. That’s the difference.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  58. al-Alameda says:

    @Kylopod:

    Sticking with Trump after the release of the Access Hollywood tape was an example of team-play. It isn’t in itself evidence that Republican voters or the Republican leadership favor sexual assault, but it is evidence that they will stand by their candidate no matter what is revealed about him. …
    … On the other hand, Trump didn’t win the GOP nomination despite his calling Mexican rapists or calling for a shutdown of Muslims entering the US, but very much because of those things. That isn’t about team-play but about the fundamental outlook of a large chunk of the GOP electorate. That’s the difference.

    Dead on, exactly right.

    ReplyReply

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

Speak Your Mind

*