A 3 minute videos from just before the midterm election. At that time King was a campaign co-chair for Kim Reynolds. Reynolds refused to disavow King at that time. She won with votes from King’s district. Political opportunism, anyone?
We all try to build models of how we expect people to react to news stories and events. We do this so we will be able to deal not only with the story or event, but also so we can understand the reactions. It also helps us get an idea where some story or event might lead us.
For example, pretty much from the day that Donald Trump became a candidate, Republicans have gone into a mode of pretending that his behavior is normal. Treats women like dirt? Everybody does. A bunch of bankruptcies? Doesn’t everybody? Conspire with a foreign enemy? Haven’t all presidents?
So we hear another abomination from Trump and the reaction – or actual lack of reaction – pours out of his party. Conspired with Putin? So what – we are getting our judges, so we don’t care.
Trump’s Republican Party has become masterful in their ignoring reality and creating an alternative universe where what Trump and other nefarious critters do is considered normal. Nazi march in Charlottesville – everybody does it.
Which is why the reaction to Steve King’s latest racist remark is so surprising. Usually the reaction to a King remark by his party is to yawn. Remember just last fall when Kim Reynolds had Mr. King as a co-chair of her campaign. Mr. King had just made yet another of his racially tinged comments. When asked if she would remove King as her co-chair, she demurred and said (I paraphrase) “Geez, I can’t be the police to what everybody says, now can I?”
We will just use that as an example of how most members of King’s Party have treated his remarks for – oh – ever since he’s been elected. When asked about a King comment the typical response was to smile, deflect and ignore.
So what went wrong this time? When I heard what King had said my immediate reaction was to prepare for the usual response (see above) from the usual suspects. Grassley would seldom respond. Ernst nearly said something once two years ago, but showing her usual courage she backed down. I fully expected that Reynolds would go into an all out stall and deflection mode figuring she’s got four years before she has to stand for election and this will all be long forgotten by then.
The fact that any Republican said anything surprised me. When I heard that Tim Scott senator from South Carolina said something I wasn’t overwhelmingly surprised since he has been speaking out about race a little bit lately. But then to hear Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy say the Party might pull King’s committee assignments, I was shocked. (They have since pulled his committee assignments.)
Then it seemed like the snowball was rolling downhill and even Grassley, Ernst and Reynolds couldn’t get out of the way. What ever did King do to deserve this treatment from colleagues that never cared a bit before?
What he did is nearly lost in an almost impossible to lose district. And a good part of the reason he almost lost was his overt racism. Based on this and what can be expected to be two more years of Trump being by far the worst president (or elected official of any stripe) ever in this country, another election with Steve King on the ballot along with Trump in the top spot could easily spell disaster even in one of America’s reddest districts.
Thus when King gave them an opening they pounced like vultures on a fresh road kill. Much like road kill, King never knew what hit him.
Kim Reynolds about face is the most laughable and hypocritical of all. Once she got what she wanted out of King she was ready with the knives as soon as there was an opportunity. With friends like that, who needs enemies, right Mr. King.
And then there is the opportunist Randy Feenstra. One has to think that his candidacy against King in the fourth district was orchestrated to be ready to exploit the next King snafu which is always only a week or so away. Like any good Republican, Feenstra will leave no carcass unpicked.
As for Joni Ernst it is another sad, sad chapter in the continuing story of a politician who can choose to do the right thing or take the cowards way out. After 5 years of total cowardice on Ernst’s part, suddenly she finds courage – after it appears that everybody else is going that way.
This just adds to her support for Brett Kavanaugh when she could have struck a blow for women by voting against him and her refusal to take any stand at odds with Trump. She is sure wasting a valuable seat in the senate that was so recently filled by a person who was such a champion of the common Iowan.
Way to go, Joni. It is people like you that make Iowa a laughingstock.
And if you (Ernst) are truly horrified by Steve King’s racism and claim it doesn’t belong in your party, let me tell you about the guy that is a racist, a misogynist, a person who mocks the disabled and native Americans and who has proudly proclaimed himself a “nationalist” much like Steve King. This guy’s name is Donald Trump. Show us you mean it, Ernst. Stand up to Trump.