Congressman Steve King, Symbol for the Right and True Face of His Party

Congressman Steve King

Little Rock       I’m no friend of Steve King, the nine-term Republican Congressman from the 4th District of Iowa, hard in the northwestern part of that state.  Heck, I got a camera ticket on the interstate going through Sioux City some years ago and refused to pay it, largely because of King and all he represents.  During the time of troubles for ACORN in the United States, King was in the thick of it.  Watching “The Organizer,” I get to see him reprise his grandstanding, hateration regularly, as he stands before the television cameras and a bowl of acorns claiming that he keeps an acorn in his pocket to remind him of how important it is to stop the organization.

That was ten years ago.  Nothing King is doing now is any different than what he has been doing year in and year out, over and over.

He’s in the news again for standing up for white supremacy and so-called western civilization, which is actually a euphemism usually for white supremacy and rule by the rich as well.  Even though I may take his anti-ACORNisms personally, all of this is just his latest outrage.  He has been the cheerleader for neo-Nazis, immigrant bashing of the worst and most vile kind, and stone-cold racism on a regular basis.

This time California Congressman Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, stripped King of his membership in three influential House committees.  Listening to the radio yesterday, one of his constituents on a call-in show in Sioux City said it hardly mattered, since King had never been able to get any legislation done or have any impact on the committees anyway.  Former Vice-President Dick Cheney’s daughter, now the lone Congressional representative from Wyoming and the deputy minority whip, made a big stink on a namby-pamby resolution that knocked white supremacy.  It passed overwhelmingly in the House with only one nay vote.  Steve King even voted for it, which should be a good barometer of how irrelevant the motion was.  Some are talking about organizing a PAC to get rid of him in 2020.  The Democrats may move to censure King since they hold the majority.  Some Republicans are suggesting that he start looking for another job.

Why all the ruckus now?  My own view is that a lot of this is a fog machine to take the attention off of Trump’s regular tweets that say almost the same thing as King’s do and a cover for the fact that the Republican Party depends on hate for their vote totals.

Furthermore, my view is let the racist scoundrel stay in the House.  He is an important symbol and spokesperson for a central support of the Republicans from the extreme right and a reminder of the base that they may not like acknowledging in public or polite company or the news media, but is critical to their politics and their strategy for hanging on to power.  Until they change their hearts and minds, let Steve King stay in office until the voters turn him out in shame and the Republicans disavow jingoism, racism, and the rest of his bile as fundamental parts of their program and appeal.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

The ACORNing of Planned Parenthood

indiana-planned-parenthood-MM4ASS8-x-largeNew Orleans     The one thing that I have always told organizers, as I imagine we all have, is that any tactic too often repeated, loses its power. Somehow the Republicans, including in Congress and on the Presidential trail, don’t seem to have gotten this message and are trying once again to video-scam a respected nonprofit institution, Planned Parenthood.

A lawyer for the organization sent a letter to a Congressional committee already acting in lockstep “looking” at two heavily edited videos stirring the red meat on the Republican grill. He documented 65 recordings “without their knowledge” and 10 “attacks” over 8 years that they have attributed to David Daleiden, through a fake company called Biomax Procurement Services in a so-called “campaign of corporate sabotage.” Let’s hope the facts matter, because that was not the history with ACORN.

It’s not just me seeing the connection either. Here’s the award winning Heather Digby Parton on Salon.com:

[Iowa Congressman Steve] King, for example, was one of the first lawmakers to urge the defunding of low-income housing group ACORN, which went belly up following similar undercover videos suggesting criminal activity. To this day, he keeps a tiny acorn in his pocket to remember his crusade. Now, he’s got his eyes on another organization. “This represents ACORN’s scalp,” King said off the House floor Thursday, pulling the acorn out of his pocket. “Ask me after the appropriations cycle and see if I have a talisman in my pocket for Planned Parenthood’s.”

One would think that Democrats would never go along with the de-funding of Planned Parenthood, since the ramifications for millions of low income women would be so dire. But the ACORN precedent is instructive. When those doctored videos were released, the Democrats had a majority in congress and the first African American president had just been elected. And ACORN was not just another community organizing institution, it was essential to voter outreach among an important Democratic Party constituency. Yet the Democrats in Congress simply crumbled like a cookie made with way too much white flour.

The Republicans recognized that their language and their attitudes on women’s issues were destructive in the last couple of election cycles and suggested that politicians and pundits take a less insulting approach on the campaign trail. But the base is not happy with that and they seem to have shifted their strategy now that their guerrilla hoaxers have provided them with some video they can use to put women’s organizations on the defensive and set up another ACORN spectacle to de-fund another liberal backed institution. They are going to try to turn Planned Parenthood into the Democratic Party’s Todd Akin. The only question is whether the Democrats will have the fortitude to resist.

Geez! Talk about a hope-and-prayer strategy. Luckily, Cecile Richards and her gang at Planned Parenthood have proven they can take these shots and fire back and have the friends and money to do so.

There are big stakes here. Bigger than most of us might realize at least according to the BlueNationReview.com:

Republicans remember what they did to ACORN. If they could do the same to Planned Parenthood, it would be a bigger victory for them then winning the White House. And it would be devastating to women all over the country.

***

As we approach the 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Please enjoy Led Zeppelin’s If it Keeps on Raining (When the Levee Breaks – Rough Mix) from the Album Coda Deluxe.  Thanks KABF. 

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail