Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has entered the national spotlight yet again for making an absurdly racist comment, then following up with even more absurdly racist comments.
On March 12, King tweeted an endorsement of Geert Wilders, a far-right Dutch prime minister candidate who ended up losing the general election by 8.2 points.
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
Given the opportunity to apologize, King stated: “I meant exactly what I said, as is always the case.” He told CNN’s Chris Cuomo:
There’s been this effort we’re going to have to replace that void with somebody else’s babies. That’s the push to bring in much illegal immigration into America, living in enclaves, refusing to assimilate into the American culture and civilization.
I’d like to see an America that so homogenous that we look a lot the same.
Then, on March 14, he told Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson that “Hispanics and the blacks will be fighting each other before” outnumbering whites in America.
Unfortunately, these comments are pretty in line with what the white nationalist representative has been saying for years.
In 2008, King said that Barack Obama becoming president would lead to “al-Qaida and the radical Islamists… dancing in the streets.”
In 2013, he claimed that “for [every immigrant] who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”
In June 2016, he filed an amendment to prevent Harriet Tubman from being put on the $20 bill, arguing that Tubman “didn’t change the course of history” like slaver and ethnic cleanser Andrew Jackson did, and replacing Jackson would be both “racist” and “sexist.”
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’re talking about, where did any other subgroup of people contribute more to civilization?
Yet King has never lost an election – he has been elected to the House of Representatives eight consecutive times and won re-election in 2016 by a whopping 22.6 point margin. Republicans refuse to denounce him, or even characterize his statements as racist. “You know, Steve King is Steve King,” said Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad. “We all know that.”
Even the congressional Republicans who have expressed their “disagreement” with King, such as Sen. Tim Scott, Rep. Carlos Curbelo, and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, have declined to call for King’s resignation.
Nonetheless, one Democrat is ready to challenge King in 2018 – for the second time. Kim Weaver, who lost to King in 2016 in all but one of the 4th district’s 39 counties, is already raising money for her 2018 campaign.
In 2016, Weaver did not receive a single cent from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic committee meant specifically to elect Democrats to the House of Representatives.
“The most disappointing aspect of the campaign” was being denied funding time and time again by organizations that used Steve King’s “horrific” statements to request “money to ‘help defeat Steve King,'” Weaver told liberal news blog Crooks and Liars. “Not a single one of those organizations passed along any of that support. King was a big money maker for them, and it appears that he still is.”
Weaver said that she will run in 2018 if she raises $100,000 by September 2017. In the two years of fundraising she did for the 2016 campaign, she raised only $159,626. But within just eight days of King’s “somebody else’s babies” tweet, Weaver raised $137,183.
Weaver may not have the DCCC on her side, but the Trump resistance is eager and willing to help her take down Steve King in 2018.
Jordan is a political writer, activist, cinephile, proud queer woman of color, and Mad Max: Fury Road fanatic. She’s cautiously optimistic about the future of humanity.