In these days of partisan warfare the GOP has given us a nice target to rally around and a nice tactical play to behold. As of minutes ago this Monday night, GOP Rep. Steve King of Iowa has had his committee assignments stripped away by the Republican House leadership. This was especially important as he sat on the Judiciary Committee and would have made a great talking point for Dems as they use the committee to hunt the president. Nice play, Kevin and Mitch, by getting in front of the story.
His crime? Generally, being an idiot. More specifically, he made favorable statements regarding white supremacy and white nationalism in a recent New York Times interview: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” That’s one for three, you putz.
I know what you’re thinking. The NYT is a rag and thus they mischaracterized or outright lied in the quote attributed to King. If you read this column on a regular basis then you also know I am no defender of the NYT.
But, given his past outbursts on this subject, the paper looks like they got this one right. Now, does King have every right in the world to say that? Yes. You’re free in this nation to be an ignorant prat, as the Democratic Party proves every day. But just like the Dems you have to take the consequences of your words. Usually that shoe falls on the Dems. Today, legitimately, it falls on a GOP congressman.
Republican leadership across the board, hopefully the president joins in, pilloried King from both ends of Capitol Hill. The Dems also chimed in, showcasing their rank hypocrisy by going after King but cozying up to every anti-American Jew-baiting reverse racist they can lay hands on. But this one is not their fault; King is the kind of fool only the Republicans can produce. Though, he has unified America in one multipartisan spasm of righteous indignation that proves deep underneath there may be still some shared values across the barricades.
The GOP is right on the vast majority of the issues facing this country. But, no party or politician is perfect. Well, maybe the Rockingham Whigs, but that’s another story. Thus to excuse this kind of behavior, as some may do in a reflexive defense of King against the Left, does a disservice to the GOP and to America. Speaking of own goals, another primitive conservative fallacy I hear much too often is that the United States of America is a Christian nation.
We were, thankfully, designed by the Founders as a nation based on Judeo-Christian values. Many of those principles were influenced by Greek philosophy, Roman law, and The Enlightenment, as were the Founders. Accordingly the Bill of Rights plainly spells out that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” Thus no specific faith, Christianity or any other, can lay claim to being the de jure religion of America entitled to the status of such. Were we for a long time a majority Christian nation? Yes, and we were lucky for it as the ideals of that faith, my faith, propelled this country to greatness. But those ideals weren’t alone. Other ideals, other faiths, pitched in too. This is something we ought to remember and prize, as it proves that this is, and has been for the most part, truly the free country the Founders intended.
Some today assert that Muslims elected to Congress can’t take an oath on the Koran, as it is a book filled with untoward things, really untoward things, to say about those of other faiths. Maybe it is. I haven’t read it, nor have, I suspect, some who would deny Muslims an oath of office. But as there is, as previously noted, no religious test for office in America, they can take an oath on an Archie comic for all I care. Hopefully any one with Veronica, as the age-old male question of Betty vs Veronica is more vital to our way of life than this one.
While political Islamism is certainly a threat to the West, those duly elected and seated in Congress have a right to swear upon and practice their faith of choice. We have a duty to oppose them, not the practice, when they advocate for issues that we think are harmful to America.
You can even see some of this kind of bias internal to Christianity as well. I don’t exactly love it when, as a Roman Catholic, Protestant friends make a distinct differentiation between themselves and Catholics in a general definition of who is a Christian and who is not, as if Catholics weren’t Christians. Well, not to mention that Catholics were almost the only Christians before the East-West Schism and the Filioque Controversy of 1054, but Catholicism was already in its sixteenth century before Martin Luther came along. Thus Catholics are the original Christians and much of other Christian faith is taken from their standards and liturgy. We’ll spare talk of heresy and schismatics for others better trained in theology. But the religious historical point stands, as does the point of logic.
St. Thomas Aquinas, call your office.
Yes, on this one Mitt Romney, Bobby Rush, etc., neither my favorite pols, are correct. The worse thing about that is every time a GOP numbskull pipes up with an inanity like this it obscures the record of the Dems, from the Klan to the Great Society, the greatest bigots and racists the U.S. has ever known.
Southern Dems lynched blacks to keep them from the polls. A century later they were still at it, organizing in the Senate to stop the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the mid-1960s. In the House, on that vote on the 1965 Bill, the measure passed with more GOP votes than Dem votes. Since then, the GOP has been, as they should be, color blind, while the Dems have used fictitious party-wide Republican racism to stoke the fires of hate and division. Gotta keep blacks looking the other way, the Dems seem to say by their actions. For if not, they could notice the shambles Democratic Party policies have made of their neighborhoods and families.
King did get one thing right.
America should be based on one kind of supremacy, the supremacy of merit. No matter who you are, the color of your skin, who you call God, or where your folks are from, Americans have a right to be judged “by the content of their character” and on the fruits of their labors. No race, no faith, no bigot, has an inside track on that.
That was true in spirit in 1776, bled for in 1863, and is still true now.
It seems Steve King and his ilk need a history lesson in this. And I’m guessing, in so much more.