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June 20, 2019

Race to the bottom: Republicans have to condemn the likes of Steve King even when it’s not convenient

January 12, 2019
King of hate. (Tom Williams / CQ-Roll Call,Inc.)

The other day, Rep. Steve King of Iowa mused, “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?”

Leave aside the final term, which bothers only the furthest reaches of the looney left; the rest of the question confirms beyond any doubt that King is a first-order racist.

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After the outrage rained down, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy excoriated the remarks as “reckless, wrong” and having “no place in our society.” Friday, GOP Sen. Tim Scott, who is black, wrote, “Some in our party wonder why Republicans are constantly accused of racism — it is because of our silence when things like this are said.”

Indeed. King has been getting away with racist remarks for the better part of 22 years in Congress; he has never once been censured. The Republicans running the show in his state have bit their tongues harder still.

In the wake of the latest outrage, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds said she wouldn’t support King in the 2020 party primary. This, after King cruised to a primary win this year and eked out a victory in the general election.

If Republicans don’t want to be known as the party of white racial resentment, there’s a simple solution: Oppose those who stoke white racial resentment, not only when it’s politically convenient.

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