What exactly are Stasi troops, you may ask.
Yesterday, Iowa Rep. Steve King compared the janitors who are switching out energy wasting lightbulbs with energy efficient lightbulbs at the Capitol, to East German communist secret police. Apparently, King believes this will play well in the new District 4 and make him the more desirable candidate for U.S. Congress than Christie Vilsack.
In this precarious moment in history when it could not be more urgent that we take action on climate change and energy policy, King seizes the opportunity to make an obnoxious, infantile joke. At least he got some laughs out of it from his fellow right-wingers at the grotesque event known as CPAC where the GOP gets together to validate and affirm one another’s stupidity.
I know, you’re not supposed to call people stupid but it’s the kindest thing you can say about it. While the planet is warming at a faster rate than was previously thought and we must act soon on seriously addressing climate change, addiction to oil, energy policy, etc., the GOP displays the maturity level that reminds one of the antics of a bored middle-schooler (not to insult actual adolescents whose brains are not fully developed yet).
Fortunately, King’s comments can be transformed into something useful to the country when Democrats use them to show the new 4th District voters why it would be a terrible idea to send King back to Congress. Also, quite fortuitously, there’s video! All the Dems have to do is play this over and over. You can watch it below and link to some of the tweets and national media coverage of King’s unpatriotic energy conservation-bashing remarks to the faithful.
4th District Iowans, this election year is your chance to do something really worth doing. The sobering reality is, in order for anything to happen on climate change, we will need a Democratic president and a solidly Democratic, filibuster-proof, progressive congress.
The GOP, if King has anything to say about it, obviously will be no help.
Thanks to Sam Roecker for gathering the media comments and links.
Des Moines Register: King, a Republican congressman from Western Iowa, railed against “leftists that are deconstructing America on a daily basis” – with rules about calories in Happy Meals, how deep you can dig a moat around a sand castle, where you can toss footballs on the beach, showerheads, flush toilets and lightbulbs.
Johns Stanton, Roll Call (@bigjohnrc): Steve king just called janitors in the capitol nancy pelosi’s “stasi troops” for using energy efficient lightbulbs #cpac
Sam Stein, Huffington Post (@samsteinhp): Steve King says his interns would come back “in tears” when they couldn’t find a regular Edison light bulb. #weirdoffice
Alex Koppelman, NewYorker.com (@AlexKoppelman): At CPAC, Steve King just compared janitors who work for Congress to the East German secret police. No, seriously.
The Hill: King compared the Capitol Hill janitors who replaced the lightbulbs in his office with lower-energy bulbs to the East German communist secret police, describing them as “Nancy [Pelosi]’s stasi troops,” and complained of a water-saving showerhead in his shower.
“I drilled it out and now my 12 minute shower is now a three-minute shower and I have nine minutes every day to beat up on the liberals,” he said to strong cheers and laughs from the highly partisan crowd.
Huffington Post: “I would screw them out and send the interns out to get me some of those good Edison lightbulbs,” he said, the crowd cheering. “ And those interns would come back sometimes empty-handed in tears, because they couldn’t come up with a regular Edison light-bulb.”
He said he finally decided it was “cruel and inhumane” to send the interns on that task, so he went to find “black-market” lightbulbs himself. He then was faced with a decision: buy a recyclable bag, which he at first said no to, or pay more.
“Whenever I need to put a lightbulb in the lamp, I reach into this green bag and I screw it in there and I smile,” he said. “A little bit of my liberty back, a little bit of my freedom back.”