ew Orleans It isn’t hard to hear the death rattle of desperation in the latest farcical efforts of Congressman Steve King to try to revive a dying political career and a blogger trying to flack a mail-order book at the expense of ACORN, the once great community organization. King tacked an amendment on a Homeland Security bill last week to defund ACORN, despite the fact that they the organization filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings in fall 2010, and its successor organizations, despite the fact that there would be no legal basis for doing so, as several governmental organizations have already determined. Given the Republican majority and the dead certainty that the amendment will never face a vote in the U.S. Senate, the measure passed 258-168, with the equivalent political force of email protest or a rock thrown through at a neighbor’s window. In fact no one but readers of King’s own Congressional website might have known that it even happened until a blogger trying to generate sales for his mail-order book attacking ACORN tried to make sure someone heard this lone, silent tree falling in the forest.
King has his own problems, so god knows in this time of high unemployment it is easy to understand how desperate he must be facing the fact that his 5th district in Iowa is disappearing and forcing him to pack off to greener fields. The old 5th in western Iowa is one of those rare places in America that still passes for the farm belt with its bit cities being the old dusty whistle and wagon train stops in Sioux City and Council Bluffs. King wouldn’t be the one to tell anyone this, but I can still remember reading about the farm protests and strikes in that district during the depression over the price of milk and their demands for bank holidays. These days the district is almost un-American, meaning that its demographics are radically different than the rest of the country. Here’s a snapshot of one of the few districts left in America where you can honestly say they are “white, right, and ready to fight,” or at least two of those three anyway.
U.S. Census data put Representative King’s record in the context of the people who he represents. Iowa District 5 is 49.34 percent urban, 3.66 percent non-white, and has a population that is 3.58 percent Latino and 2.96 percent foreign-born. 4.65 percent of adults working in Rep. King’s district commute using public transportation, on a bike or on foot. 4.42 percent of adults aged 25 and older in King’s district have a Master’s, PhD or Professional Degree.
King doesn’t worry about his disappearing constituents understanding that all he is doing is political grandstanding and pandering. Reading the comments on the blogs a number of them were confused about why the funding for ACORN was still going on (it wasn’t!) and was it “automatic” (it isn’t!), but thankful the funding stream was finally shut off (huh?!?).
Time would be wasted trying to engage in a conversation about how preposterous it is to contemplate such an unconstitutional “bill of attainder” for the “new” ACORNs as the blogger calls them or the “successor” ACORNs, because we would have to pretend this might ever become law, rather than another unreported press release from a self-aggrandizing bore, who is seen as an embarrassment to the state by no less than the Des Moines Register. It has been widely reported that the New York successor and others have mustered review governmental agencies and proven that they are not successors to ACORN and therefore would now be eligible for whatever crumbs fall their way.
Congress must just be a place where people like King like to hear themselves talk, since no one else back home or anywhere else is interested in listening to this nonsense.